Momentum builds to delay Social Security

July 16, 2010
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Quietly, politicians are beginning to join economists and other experts who for years have urged ratcheting up Social Security retirement ages to prevent the program from sinking into permanent deficits beginning in 2016.

Last month, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, floated the idea of raising the retirement age. Days later, Minority Leader John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, suggested raising the age to 70 from the current range of 66 to 67 for phasing in full benefits. This week, a Texas member of the House, Sam Johnson, also raised the possibility.

In recent days other political leaders have thought aloud about the idea, revealing that not only is the idea bipartisan, but it also might be considered one of the easiest ways to keep the nation from adding to its spiraling deficit.

Europe arrived at this party earlier. Greek officials want to stop people from getting away with retiring at 58 instead of the official age of 65. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. In Spain, the talk is about 65 to 67.

What are your thoughts? Should the retirement age be raised here? And what about the proposals to phase in retirement earlier for poor people and those whose bodies are worn out sooner by manual labor?

Here’s another question. Should high-profile Indiana pols like Richard Lugar, Evan Bayh and Mike Pence—all of them fiscally conservative to one degree or another—be in the forefront of this movement?

  • A different solution
    It seems it's also a bipartisan idea that you can't raise the amount of income subject to social security withholding. That should come first before derailing the retirement plans of many people who are getting close to 62 or 65 or somewhere in that vicinity. The rich don't care if social security benefits are delayed until age 70. It's just walking-around money for them. Sen. Lugar should be front and center in this discussion; Sen. Bayh seems to have checked out; Rep. Pence is on the side of those that already got theirs.
  • Hmmmmmm!
    So let me see,we cut out SS benefits (or delay them) after borrowing that fund into bankruptcy. But, heaven forbid we should ever raise taxes back to what they should have been all along (pre-Bush election buying) to maintain our spending habits.
  • Not going to see a dime
    I'm for raising the retirement age as long it includes all federally elected officials. Whatever age the new retirement is set becomes the maximum age any federal politician can serve in office. The SS system was a Ponzi scheme from the beginning - when it was initially set to receive benefits at age 65 very few Americans lived to age 65. Privatize the entire system including Medicare and Medicaid and see how fast our economy comes out the current depression (it would also speed things up if we had a completely new Congress and President).
  • Being Fair
    Taken by itself, fixing SS doesn't have to be very difficult or painful. Very modest adjustments could put it on a solid footing for the rest of the century. Increase FICA rates by less than 1%, increase the FICA base by less than 10%, base SS payout rates on the CPI-U not wage changes, and change full retirement age from 67 in 2022 to 67 in 2018 and 68 in 2022. That way everyone gives a little bit, but nobody loses much. The vast majority of Americans are fair minded, and are willing to shoulder their share of the load when they see everyone else doing the same.
  • Social Insecurity
    Why can't the gov just raise the amount of income you pay SS tax on? It's ridiculously low now. That's a lot better than forcing people to work an extra 5 years.
  • Why tax?
    Why is it that the first response is to raise the tax base or the tax rate? It seems to me if they would simply lower the cost of living adjustment given each year to social security recipients that would cover the majority of the issue. Also does the government give the option to a wealthy person who does not need social security to opt out of collecting it? If not, this seems reasonable - I would think many wealthy people would opt out of receiving it. The problem may simply be fixed without raising taxes and the wage base. I for one would rather choose to spend my money the way I would like instead of the government choosing it for me.
    TO: The Republican and Democratic Leadership of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives: The Hon. Harry Reid, The Hon. Robert C. Byrd, The Hon. Richard J. Durbin, The Hon. Charles E. Schumer, The Hon. Patty Murray, The Hon. Robert Menendez, The Hon. Byron L. Dorgan, The Hon. Debbie A. Stabenow, The Hon. Jeff Bingaman, The Hon. Blanche L. Lincoln, The Hon. Barbara Boxer, The Hon. Thomas R. Carper, The Hon. Bill Nelson, The Hon. Russ Feingold, The Hon. Mitch McConnell, The Hon. Jon L. Kyl, The Hon. Lamar Alexander, The Hon. John R. Thune, The Hon. John Cornyn, The Hon. John Ensign, The Hon. Nancy Pelosi, The Hon. Steny H. Hoyer, The Hon. James Clyburn, The Hon. John B. Larson, The Hon. Xavier Becerra, The Hon. Chris Van Hollen, The Hon. Rosa DeLauro, The Hon. George Miller, The Hon. John A. Boehner, The Hon. Eric I. Cantor, The Hon. Mike Pence, The Hon. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, The Hon. John R. Carter, The Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter, The Hon. Pete Sessions

    ***Your Name and Address Will Appear Here***

    RE: Stop The Department Of Justiceâ??s Lawsuit Against Arizona. Support The DeMint-Vitter Amendment!

    An ever-growing number of Americans are coming to the unfortunate and inescapable conclusion that the Obama Administrationâ??s lawsuit against the State of Arizona â?? together with its continued refusal to secure the border â?? is nothing more than a political stunt designed to help advance so-called â??Comprehensive Immigration Reformâ?? (Amnesty) through Congress against the wishes of the American people.

    As Senator Jim DeMint recently and correctly put it, â??States like Arizona shouldnâ??t be prosecuted for protecting their citizens when the federal government fails to do so. The federal government is rewarding illegal behavior and encouraging many more to enter our nation illegally when they refuse to enforce our laws. States along the border are facing kidnappings, drug trafficking, human trafficking and gang violence and they have a duty to keep their residents safe. Instead of suing states for doing his job, the President should get serious and stop holding border security hostage to pass amnesty and score points with his liberal base.â??

    Simply put, the administrationâ??s lawsuit against Arizona must be stopped! That is why I urge you to support the amendment introduced by Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and David Vitter (R-LA) that would prohibit the Obama Administration, including the Department of Justice and other federal agencies, from participating in and further pursuing lawsuits that seek to invalidate Arizonaâ??s tough new immigration law.

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    ***Your Signature Will Appear Here***

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