Commission Weighing Deficits Cuts Should Spare Social Security, South Carolina Attorney Says

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Columbia, S.C., lawyer Bert Louthian, who handles Social Security disability claims, says taxpayers are entitled to promised benefits and any changes in the system should be gradual, not immediate.

Columbia, SC Lawyer Bert Louthian

Those who paid into Social Security did so with an understanding that the benefits would be there when they needed them. When it comes to cutting deficits, Social Security should be off the table.

A South Carolina attorney who helps clients with Social Security disability claims says the new national Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform must avoid cutting or immediately delaying benefits to Social Security recipients as it searches for ways to cut the federal deficit.

“Those who paid into Social Security did so with an understanding that the benefits would be there when they needed them," says Bert Louthian, a lawyer with the Louthian Law Firm in Columbia, S.C. "When it comes to cutting deficits, Social Security should be off the table.”

Louthian supports the position recently taken by the AARP, which lobbies for people over the age of 50. The AARP argues that the deficit was caused by spending other than Social Security and the system that aids the retired and disabled shouldn’t be changed to compensate for that spending.

In a statement, AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said: “AARP believes that Congress should strengthen the critical benefits of the program sooner rather than later to ensure adequacy, equity and solvency for years to come. We must accomplish these goals under the context of enhancing retirement security for today’s and tomorrow’s retirees, not under the framework of reducing a deficit that Social Security did not cause.”

More than 50 million Americans, most of them retirees or persons suffering from disabilities, receive Social Security checks. For many, the monthly check is their main source of income.

Although the Social Security fund is currently solvent, the commission is expected to look at cuts in benefits in anticipation of a surge in Baby Boomers making claims. The first of the post-World War II Baby Boom generation will turn 65 in 2011. From then through 2031, Boomers are expected to qualify for Social Security benefits at a rate of 10,000 a day.

“Clearly there will be a bulge in demand on the system, but experts believe that demand can be met with modest changes such as taxing Wall Street transactions and gradually raising the amount of income subject to Social Security taxes,” Louthian says. “There is no need to make immediate cuts or add restrictions. Social Security didn’t cause the current deficit and shouldn’t be used to fix it.”

The commission is expected to report its recommendations to Congress by Dec 1.

About The Louthian Law Firm

The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, South Carolina, has been obtaining fair compensation for personal injury victims and disabled South Carolina residents since 1959. The firm was founded by Herbert Louthian, who has 50 years of trial experience and is licensed to practice in all courts in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm focuses on Social Security disability claims as well personal injury cases involving medical malpractice; car, truck and motorcycle accidents; and other serious and catastrophic injuries throughout South Carolina.

For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact the firm by phone at 866-410-5656 or visit the firm's Web site at http://www.louthianlaw.com/.

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