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View Full Version : GOP Senators May Make 69 Retirement Age



savafan
06-15-2005, 03:49 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/14/AR2005061401257_pf.html

By DAVID ESPO
The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 14, 2005; 10:56 PM

WASHINGTON -- Key Senate Republicans are considering gradually raising the Social Security retirement age as high as 69 over several years as they struggle to jump-start legislation that President Bush has placed atop his second-term agenda, officials said Tuesday.

Under current law, the retirement age for full Social Security benefits is 65 1/2 and is scheduled to reach 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

The possible increase to 69 over two decades or more was among the suggestions that Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, presented to fellow Republicans on the panel last week as part of an attempt to give the program greater financial solvency, the officials said.

Grassley also suggested steps to hold down benefits for upper-wage earners of the future, these officials have said previously. They spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying the discussions were confidential.

The disclosures surfaced as Bush campaigned in Pennsylvania for changes in Social Security, including creation of voluntary personal accounts for younger workers _ a step that would be accompanied by a reduction in the promised government benefit.

Speaking to a convention of the Pennsylvania FFA _ formerly known as the Future Farmers of America _ Bush said he wants to "make sure the system is a better deal for younger workers" and assured older people in the audience that they would continue to get their promised benefits.

The students would get the same benefits that seniors today receive, Bush said, without mentioning that his plans involve a reduction in the benefits younger Americans have been promised in their own retirement.

In a fresh illustration of the political stakes surrounding the issue, Democrats charged that rural Americans would be hit hardest by Bush's plans, which they consistently describe as privatization.

"Rural Americans tend to be older and more likely to depend on Social Security. In fact, more than 90 percent of counties in America with high senior populations are rural counties. In 2001, 20 percent of rural Americans were 60 years old or older, significantly higher than the 15 percent of seniors living in metropolitan communities," Reps. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., and Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., said in a joint statement. The two co-chair the Democratic House Rural Working Group.

Republicans on the Finance Committee are scheduled to meet privately on Thursday as they continue searching for agreement among themselves on legislation that achieves the goals Bush laid out in his State of the Union address last winter.

The fate of the effort is unclear, and some Republicans in Congress have suggested in recent days that the issue may not reach the Senate floor until September at the earliest. House Republicans have said in the past it's possible they will wait for the Senate to act first before they plunge into the politically sensitive issue.

The president has called for a bill to create permanent solvency for the program, and he also wants the bill to give younger workers the option of establishing a personal retirement account financed from a portion of their payroll taxes.

Under current predictions, Social Security will begin to pay out more in benefits than it receives in tax receipts in 2017, and the trust funds will be depleted in 2041. At that point, benefits will be cut to adjust for the reduction in available funds.

Along with curbs in benefits or increases in taxes, raising the retirement age is one of three general approaches that lawmakers can consider as they try to improve the solvency of Social Security.

Officials statistics show that Americans, on average, can expect to live longer than was the case when Social Security was created, meaning that they will receive more in lifetime government benefits than projected. At the same time, there are fewer workers paying into the Social Security trust funds per retiree than was the case in past decades.

Raising the retirement age is unpopular, according to some surveys.

Several officials said Grassley's suggestion for raising the retirement age would be phased in, possibly over two decades or more. The details would depend on future demographic trends, they said.

Crafting legislation has proven to be a challenge in Congress, even though the president has campaigned energetically in an attempt to build public support for his proposals. With public opinion polls showing tepid support for personal accounts, many Republicans have been reluctant to embrace the idea.

For their part, Democrats are unified in their opposition and threatening to use the issue as a major theme in the 2006 elections, when all members of the House and one-third of the Senate are on the ballot.

Ravenlord
06-15-2005, 03:50 PM
how about we just outlaw retirement?

or fix social securtiy? or fix the 401K and all that other neat crap.

TC81190
06-15-2005, 03:53 PM
Sava on a news posting rampage!

flyer85
06-15-2005, 04:51 PM
how about we just outlaw retirement? Hope you aren't counting on Social Security.

Social Security = ransom briefcase at the end of Dumb and Dumber

15fan
06-15-2005, 04:55 PM
Age 69?

That's shocking. Appalling. Horrendous.

Hopefully it's outrageous enough that it will convince more of the population that retirement planning is an individual responsibility.

Not a government responsibility.

Rojo
06-15-2005, 04:56 PM
Or how about we pull out of Iraq.

flyer85
06-15-2005, 04:57 PM
Not a government responsibility.I thought our government was supposed to take of us?:rolleyes: What will we do?

Rojo
06-15-2005, 05:23 PM
Not a government responsibility.

Is protecting us from terrorism a government responsibility? Is putting out fires a government responsibility? Is printing money? Is building highways?

And who decides these things?

registerthis
06-15-2005, 05:32 PM
Age 69?

That's shocking. Appalling. Horrendous.

Hopefully it's outrageous enough that it will convince more of the population that retirement planning is an individual responsibility.

Not a government responsibility.
And for the ones that aren't ABLE to adequately plan for retirement, what? Screw them?

Redsfaithful
06-15-2005, 05:35 PM
I thought our government was supposed to take of us?:rolleyes: What will we do?

What is our government's role if it's not to serve it's citizens?

Mutaman
06-15-2005, 07:02 PM
Here's a little history lesson: Back in the 1930s, in response to the great depression, the government passed some laws known as the "New Deal". One of these programs was called social security and its basic concept is that the younger folks would help take care of the older folks . Basically we would all help each other.

Despite a lot of complaints from the more conservative members of the country, who complained that it wasn't government's job to help people, the "New Deal", particularly Social security, was pretty successful. It has clearly stood the test of time. But now the heirs of those conservatives who were opposed to the New Deal when it was passed, have gained control. And , no matter what they want to call what they are doing, the bottom line is that they simply want to get rid of all of the New Deal programs that have been so successful over the last 70 years. very simple.

15fan
06-15-2005, 11:48 PM
And for the ones that aren't ABLE to adequately plan for retirement, what? Screw them?

Work with me here for a minute.

Social Security serves a great purpose. I completely understand that there are a whole host of reasons why someone might need a helping hand, and I have no problem giving it to them. Especially if it's a situation where someone is in bad straits simply because they drew a rotten hand in life.

But the problem with Social Security is that massive numbers of people from multiple generations have assumed that Social Security would take care of all of their wants and needs for many years in retirement.

401(k)? Nah. IRA? No way. I'm already paying into Social Security. That'll be just fine.

When these folks are hit with the reality of what Social Security provides (or doesn't provide) compared to what they want/need, it's often too late to do anything of substance about it. I've watched many people from the Greatest Generation struggle through retirement because they didn't plan for their retirement, assuming that Social Security would be adequate. I'm watching now as many people from my parents' generation (the Boomers) are realizing that they aren't going to be able to completely retire in their late 50s / early 60s because they didn't save enough for retirement. In a lot of cases, many Boomers are having to put off their retirement because they're at least partially footing the bill for their parents in retirement.

Worst of all, I'm watching as many people in my generation (X) are following down the same path. "Retirement? I can't afford to save for that. Besides, it's so far away that I don't need to worry about it right now. I'll worry about that later when I'm making more money."

Something needs to happen to get the masses tuned in to the fact that Social Security alone does NOT equal a viable retirement program. It's a minimal supplement. That's it. Nothing more. If increasing the retirement age to 69 gets more people to start thinking about, and more importantly, actively preparing for retirement, then we as a society will be better off in the long run. We'll have fewer folks depending on a government handout every month. More people will be self-sufficient and financially independant.

Finally, the thing about retirement planning is that it isn't rocket science. If you can buy a car, or buy a house, or graduate from high school, you can comprehend the basic financial principles that are the basis for investing and long-term wealth accumulation. With the telecommunications available, all you have to do is flip on your tv every once in a while and listen to Suze Orman or watch MSNBC. If you can work a web browser you can teach yourself all of the basics of retirement planning in less time than it takes to watch a 9 inning Reds game.

Heck, it's so simple that even I can understand it.

And I'm a complete idiot. ;)

15fan
06-16-2005, 10:03 AM
Is protecting us from terrorism a government responsibility? Is putting out fires a government responsibility? Is printing money? Is building highways?

And who decides these things?

Yep. Yep. Yep. And Yep.

As far as who decides them, I'm a big fan of simple, common sense tests.

Does it make more sense for the government or the individual to:

fight terrorism? I'd say the government.

provide basic social services such as police and fire protection? Again, I'd go with the government.

Same thing for printing a standardized currency and building roads.

As far as Social Security, I agree that for a variety of reasons it makes sense to have a system in place to prevent people who are down on their luck from being completely without an income. Again, the government is the best mechanism for establishing such a system, and I have no problem if some of my tax dollars go to such a program.

But too many people operate under the misguided notion that Social Security is a means for planning for a comfortable retirement. IMO, the burden of retirement planning falls on the individual. That's something that the individual can do better than the government can. Somehow, the word needs to get out to more people that there is a BIG difference between minimal baseline income provided by Social Security and an effective savings & investment plan for retirement.

If that means offering more incentives to save for retirement, or disincentives to simply count on Social Security, then I'm all for it.

registerthis
06-16-2005, 11:13 AM
Work with me here for a minute.

Social Security serves a great purpose. I completely understand that there are a whole host of reasons why someone might need a helping hand, and I have no problem giving it to them. Especially if it's a situation where someone is in bad straits simply because they drew a rotten hand in life.

But the problem with Social Security is that massive numbers of people from multiple generations have assumed that Social Security would take care of all of their wants and needs for many years in retirement.

401(k)? Nah. IRA? No way. I'm already paying into Social Security. That'll be just fine.

When these folks are hit with the reality of what Social Security provides (or doesn't provide) compared to what they want/need, it's often too late to do anything of substance about it. I've watched many people from the Greatest Generation struggle through retirement because they didn't plan for their retirement, assuming that Social Security would be adequate. I'm watching now as many people from my parents' generation (the Boomers) are realizing that they aren't going to be able to completely retire in their late 50s / early 60s because they didn't save enough for retirement. In a lot of cases, many Boomers are having to put off their retirement because they're at least partially footing the bill for their parents in retirement.

Worst of all, I'm watching as many people in my generation (X) are following down the same path. "Retirement? I can't afford to save for that. Besides, it's so far away that I don't need to worry about it right now. I'll worry about that later when I'm making more money."

Something needs to happen to get the masses tuned in to the fact that Social Security alone does NOT equal a viable retirement program. It's a minimal supplement. That's it. Nothing more. If increasing the retirement age to 69 gets more people to start thinking about, and more importantly, actively preparing for retirement, then we as a society will be better off in the long run. We'll have fewer folks depending on a government handout every month. More people will be self-sufficient and financially independant.

Finally, the thing about retirement planning is that it isn't rocket science. If you can buy a car, or buy a house, or graduate from high school, you can comprehend the basic financial principles that are the basis for investing and long-term wealth accumulation. With the telecommunications available, all you have to do is flip on your tv every once in a while and listen to Suze Orman or watch MSNBC. If you can work a web browser you can teach yourself all of the basics of retirement planning in less time than it takes to watch a 9 inning Reds game.

Heck, it's so simple that even I can understand it.

And I'm a complete idiot. ;)
oK, I gotcha...I mis-read your earlier post as a call to dispose of social security. I agree that people shouldn't simply rely on social security for their retirement if they have a means of planning for it themselves. Agree completely with that. But there are people, as you seem to realize, who don't have the opportunity to create 401k's or other retirement accounts, simply because they live paycheck-to-paycheck. And for those people, social security can be indespensable.

But I do think we are on the same page with this.