As hundreds of seniors, including Idaho citizens, converge on Washington, D.C., today to tell Congress not to balance the budget on their backs, AARP Idaho is holding what it calls "a day of action" in the Gem State. In particular, seniors are targeting Congress' so-called "supercommittee," charged with agreeing to a federal spending plan by Thanksgiving.
"Idaho seniors are no pushovers. Just because Idaho doesn't have a member of Congress on the supercommittee doesn't mean we don't have a vote," said Gene Wiggers, an AARP volunteer from Pocatello. "We're making it heard loud and clear. No cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits."
In Idaho, roughly 260,000, or 17 percent, of people in Idaho receive Social Security and about 226,000 rely on Medicare. It's estimated that nearly 57 percent of Idahoans 65 years or older rely on Social Security for half or more of their family income, while roughly a quarter count on it for 90 percent or more of their income.
"The bottom line is that Idaho seniors have to do more and more, with less and less," said Jim Wordelman, state director for AARP in Idaho.