Friday, October 28, 2011

older Americans

Older Americans are falling into poverty in shameful and staggering numbers. I heard one older gentleman at a coffee shop in North Denver exclaim last Friday that he wished he could go down and join in on the "tent city." He was afraid his walker might get in the way.

One out of every six elderly Americans, now lives below the poverty level. Between 1991 and 2007 the number of American between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by 178%. The sad truth is that our state and local governments are broke. They realize there is no way they can keep the promises the made to those retired folks. Some politicians are planning on telling older people in Colorado that they will bring back the senior citizen property tax relief payments.

I told a friend of mine in the legislature, it is unethical to promise to bring that tax benefit for older people back without a funding source for those payments. Does anyone remember the severance tax. I think Governor Hickenlooper is for it. That would be a temporary source for funding for senior property tax relief. Our conservative state to the north of us has used severance tax to fund students to free higher education for decades.

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