In 2010 Mitt Romney made $21.7 million, while that same year the average senior citizen received $14,000 in Social Security benefits.
Put another way, Mitt Romney made more by 6:00 a.m. on January 1 than many retirees did the entire year. His daily income was over four times greater than many seniors' annual income.
Why does this matter? Shouldn't his finances be none of our business? To me, it matters because of how sharply it contrasts with his plans to increase the Social Security retirement age, lower benefits for some seniors, and let Wall Street gamble away -- and profit from -- a privatized Social Security system. It reflects a cold indifference to those less fortunate.
Seniors -- along with younger generations who worry if they will ever be able to retire -- need to keep a close eye on politicians this year. For example, Romney's stance on Social Security does not match his telling a group of seniors on the eve of the Florida primary, "We will never go after Medicare or Social Security."
Social Security is not just another pension fund for the Bain Capitals of the world to raid. Social Security is how each day -- while Mitt Romney earns another $59,360 -- millions of retirees are able to pay their bills and put food on the table.
Barbara J. Easterling is president of the Alliance for Retired Americans. She was previously the secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America. For more information, visit www.retiredamericans.org or call 1-800-333-7212.