Mudcat Café message #3033129 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #133576   Message #3033129
Posted By: Genie
15-Nov-10 - 09:40 PM
Thread Name: BS: Should Obama Run in '12???
Subject: Social Security
Bobert, we very well may have to deal with people bringing up the issue of raising the retirement age, but at least we should look at it realistically and fairly.

Continuing to work to age 70 is really not a viable option for millions of people who have been replaced in the work force by younger people, who face severe age discrimination ("You're overqualified," etc.), and who are in occupations that really require relatively young, fit bodies (e.g., heavy construction work, telephone linesmen). Heck, the airlines have been trying for years to force competent, experienced pilots to retire so they can hire younger ones and pay them less.

And there is the very real issue of what expanding the pool of labor, by upping the retirement age, does to the unemployment rate.

I think the biggest 'problem' with Social Security is the tidal wave of plutocratic, anti-populist propaganda against it that is growing and will probably grow even larger now that SCOTUS has given big corporations the green light to pour unlimited funds into spreading such propaganda.

Social Security is solvent until 2039 and can pay out 80% of benefits for some years after that even if nothing is done to tweak the system.    And if we can get unemployment down and more people paying into the system that will extend its solvency.   
If the people really understand what Social Security is and how it works, it shouldn't be that hard to garner support for raising the cap on SSI taxable income beyond the current $190k or so.   The cap wouldn't have to be totally removed, just raised reasonably to keep up with inflation, etc. And that "lock box" that Al Gore talked about would be a good start towards making sure the Social Security surplus, which is to be saved and to accrue interest, is there to serve the purposes for which it was designed.