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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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Headlines


Report shows rural New Yorkers rely on Social Security more than rest of state

Social Security is even more important to New York’s rural communities than non-rural communities, according to a new report released by IN THIS TOGETHER: New Yorkers United to Protect Social Security. (The report is available on the Internet at http://InThisTogetherCampaign.org/RuralReport.pdf.)

New York State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), the ranking minority member of the New York State Senate Committee on Agriculture, says the report shows that President George Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security will be most detrimental to New Yorkers who live and work on farms and in rural communities.

“Upstate New Yorkers are dealing with so many challenges right now. It is simply not the time to pull the social security rug out from under our rural communities,” said Valesky. “Social Security is part of a compact the government has made with all working Americans and it serves as an essential retirement benefit for people in rural communities. No one should take away what we have earned and what rightfully belongs to us.”

The mandatory benefit cuts included in Bush’s Social Security privatization plan would hurt New York’s rural communities more harshly than urban communities. For every county in New York, the Institute for America’s Future analyzed Social Security income and beneficiary data as well as other distinguishing characteristics from the Social Security Administration, Congressional Budget Office, Bureau of Economic Analysis and other sources. The study found that New York’s rural communities depend on income from Social Security more than the non-rural communities.

According to state classifications, there are 44 non-metropolitan or rural counties in New York. Total personal income in these counties was fully $84.4 billion in 2003, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The BEA reports that individuals with Social Security income in these counties cumulatively received $6.5 billion in Social Security benefits – or 7.7 percent. Although non-rural communities rely on Social Security income, they do not nearly as much as rural areas. There are 18 non-rural counties in New York with a total personal income of $609.4 billion with individuals receiving $25.7 billion in Social Security benefits – or 4.2 percent.

“Rural Americans deserve the guaranteed benefits of Social Security and depend on these benefits even more than their urban counterparts,” said Valesky.

“This report clearly shows that any reduction in benefits would have a disproportionate negative impact on New York’s rural communities,” said Richard Kirsch, the state director of IN THIS TOGETHER: New Yorkers United to Protect Social Security.

The report also reveals that rural New York has a higher percentage of women who receive Social Security, and more disabled people receiving Social Security benefits.


 


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