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Voice: Senior citizen implores that feds not slash benefits

August 08, 2001

I am 80 years old and use senior and disabled services. Without these services I would not be able to live independently of my children, which helps with their children. Which means three generations would suffer very badly.

Please write letters to your elected officials. As many of you have experienced yourself, every year when the Social Security Administration provides a cost-of-living increase for those on Social Security and SSI, recipients actually lose funds because their rent goes up (if they are on subsidized housing) and their food budget goes down (if they are on food stamps). The government has not yet recognized this glitch in the system. Something that was meant to help has actually harmed those on these programs.

I, being just one of millions of senior citizens who have worked all our lives and now depend solely on our Social Security and disability benefits to live, wish to express my deepest concern about the current presidential and congressional debate as to how to change the Social Security law.

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I implore you, please use your influence to not make any changes in the law. The prospect of having my benefits slashed or eliminated sends a chill of fear through my body and conjures up the image of being homeless and begging for sustenance.

Since age 21, I have been a dutiful taxpayer. I have participated and contributed to the American political system and the "American way of life." Through the years I have been led to believe my friends on Capitol Hill would not let me down when my retirement time came.

So regarding any changes in the Social Security and disability law, I again implore you to please use your influence and keep the status quo. Surely if our leaders look hard enough they will find a way to continue to fund Social Security indefinitely.

Thank you for your time, consideration and efforts. Your elderly constituents (and those who wish to be someday) appreciate your hard work and dedication.

LEONA M. STEEN

Le Grande, Ore.

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