An official for the D.C.-based AARP said the 170 million people currently paying into the federal Social Security system are the “real losers” of this week’s presidential debate.

John Hishta, AARP senior vice president for campaigns, said Friday that Monday’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was the best chance for voters to get real answers on how the two presidential nominees intend to keep Social Security strong for future generations, but both hedged on the matter —which Hishta said could cost future retirees up to $10,000 per year.

“In this issueless campaign, the failure of [moderator Lester Holt] to ask them about it, or for the candidates to address the issue proactively, is deeply troubling,” he said. “Especially for the [millions] of Americans who deserve to know whether the candidates stand before Election Day. We will now turn our attention to the upcoming debates and urge the moderators to commit to ask and the candidates to commit to act.”

Hishta added that if left unaddressed, Social Security faces a significant revenue shortfall that could result in across-the-board benefits for all recipients being cut by 25 percent.

“Despite recent polling in support or more focus on the issue, it has been largely ignored in this election,” said Hishta, pointing out an AARP survey of boomer-age women which found that 71 percent want the next president and Congress to address Social Security immediately, while more than two-thirds have heard nothing about the candidates’ plans regarding the program.

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