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Earlier this week, Ezra Klein voiced a strong argument against raising the age for receiving Social Security benefits to 70:

I'm not surprised to hear there's energy behind pushing the retirement age at which you get full Social Security benefits back to 70. It's been in the discussion for a long time, people have grown comfortable talking about the idea, and perhaps most importantly, it seems like a no-brainer to pundits and politicians who would happily pay you to keep working to age 70, and in fact beyond.

But I've never liked it. The customary justification is that when Social Security was created, people died younger, and so it was never meant to stretch this far in the first place. But that argument works in the other direction, too: Our country has become far richer than the architects of Social Security could have possibly imagined. It would make perfect sense for us to give ourselves more leisure time, if we chose to take it, at the end of our lives.

This is a strong and civilized argument that carries a lot of weight, and one with which I think most progressives can heartily agree. However, there is a stronger argument, not based on an appealing philosophy but on solid statistics, that is getting very, very short shrift in this debate, and it’s laid out best by Nancy Altman in her excellent (and highly recommended) history of Social Security, The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision To Bush's Gamble:

Related to issues about retirement age are questions about life expectancy. Many people are under the mistaken impression that Americans receive retirement benefits for considerably longer than they did when the program was created. The misconception results from looking at life expectancies from birth, which have changed dramatically because of the medical success achieved in conquering childhood diseases. But those numbers reflect changes in the numbers of those who survive to retirement, not what happens thereafter. The statistics regarding children distort the overall average ....

For Social Security purposes, the correct question is not how many live to age 65, but rather how long those reaching age 65 live thereafter. Here the numbers are not as dramatic. In 1940, men who survived to age 65 had a remaining life expectancy of 12.7 years. Today, a 65 year old man can expect to live not quite three years longer than he might have in 1940, or 15.3 years beyond reaching age 65. For women, the comparable numbers are 14.7 years beyond age 65 in 1940; 19.6 years in 1990. [Emphasis added.]

Clearly, despite the common misconception that we’re all living a dozen or so years longer than the 65-year-old retiree did 70 years ago, it’s just not true. Andrew Sullivan fell into this common trap too this past week when he wrote, "But the retirement age has in no way caught up with life expectancy in America." The fact is, men are living less than three years longer, women about five. Yes, there are more people living longer because they didn't die at age 3 of whooping cough or polio, but the life expectancy for an individual has not been extended very much at all once age 65 is reached. Disturbingly, pushing the retirement age out five years as is currently proposed actually means an individual male retiree today is at risk of being cheated of two years more retirement than our supposedly drastically shorter-lived forebears received more than half a century ago.

This statistic needs wider play. And you’ll probably see me bring it up, repeatedly, as the discussion over Social Security and the Catfood Commission heats up. Every one of us should be dropping these numbers into every conversation we have about proposed reformations of the program.

And everyone concerned about the issue really should get a copy of Altman’s book, which was published in 2005 in the heat of George Bush’s privatization scheme. It’s a deeply informed, wide-ranging overview of the men and women who created Social Security, have defended it over generations and are still fighting silly lies about the “bankruptcy” of the program. I know that for the next six months, it’s going to be my bible on the issue, close at hand with well-thumbed pages and highlighted passages.

(Altman also will be speaking on a panel at Netroots Nation.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Works the Other Way Too. Righties Commonly Say (13+ / 0-)

    they chose 65 because it was the "average life span" so therefore most retirees wouldn't collect it.

    But as you say, if you made it mostly out of childhood and reached 65 you were going to draw for some considerable time.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:34:03 PM PDT

    •  people forget the dead babies (11+ / 0-)

      If you take out the number of infants dying before age 2, you'll get a totally different "average."  In the "good old days" about HALF of all births were gone by 24 months of age and the leading cause was infectious diseases and lack of adequate sanitation.  (Food for thought for the anti-vac squad.)  And when is the last time you heard of polio or whooping cough and such having mass outbreaks and deaths?  In statistics, these past fatality trends skewed the data on average life spans.

      Oh, for Pete's sake! -8.38, -6.77

      by sow hat on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:50:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whooping Cough epidemic in LA... (6+ / 0-)

        Thanks a lot, anti-vaxxers...herd immunity is breaking down.

        http://www.ktla.com/...

        The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
        Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

        by Pris from LA on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:43:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Has NOTHING to do with anti-vaxers (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grada3784, esquimaux, DBunn, bkamr, JesseCW

          I got whooping cough in '05 in LA.  I HAD my vaccine, thank you very much.  So did the student I caught it from.

          A LOT of the problem with these spikes in whooping cough is that DOCTORS DON'T RECOGNIZE IT.  I saw three physicians at UCLA, none of whom saw it for what it was.  When I learned there were a number of infections at the high school up the street, I called the public health department which sent a nurse who included me in the statistics.

          Blame away if that's your religion, but you're missing the point.  Vaccines are a WONDERFUL idea but they don't seem to be the failsafe panacea you believe in.

          "Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money." --Michael Steele

          by MsGrin on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:57:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did you get your booster when you were a teenager (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, MsGrin, sow hat

            If not, why? We lose a bit of the immunity we got as kids from our childhood shots. This is why when people go to foreign countries they get shots.

            This is reminding me...I didn't get my booster or any boosters when I was in my teens, nobody thought of it. I might inquire next time I'm at the clinic I go to.

            The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
            Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

            by Pris from LA on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:26:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Best of my knowledge, I was up to date (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              my schools required thorough medical exams and I never wanted for care - my parents did not object.

              But lemme tell ya - I know I infected at least three or four people since no one diagnosed my whooping cough for several weeks and it went untreated.

              "Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money." --Michael Steele

              by MsGrin on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:48:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  All adults should get thier booster. Unless you (0+ / 0-)

                can absolutely be sure you will not come into contact with an infant or toddler, there is the risk you could pass it along to them, and that could be fatal for a little one.

                It was just starting up in our middle school when school ended, so the risk passed.  But if that had been at the beginning of school, it could have been a lot worse or affected many of the young children of the teachers in our school.

          •  and how many died? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BobTrips

            or did you take only one point from my statistics to jump on?  I was addressing past fatalities, not vacs only.

            Oh, for Pete's sake! -8.38, -6.77

            by sow hat on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:34:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My comment was not attached to yours (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              barbwires

              I actually found your diary quite good, although I'll note that because of my birth year, my SS was pushed out to begin when I am 67 and I'm pretty sure it's been revised upwards since then.  In other words, while your diary is correct and I agree with your assessments, the number of years it is being pushed out to age 70 is less than 5.

              Regardless, the whooping cough issue is a much larger issue than about vaccination.  Med schools have gotten complacent or something.  I kid you not, one half hour before I read your diary a friend in Orange County informed me that she got whooping cough in mid-May of this year... yes, she's had all her vaxes and boosters.  And it took her a month to get a diagnosis as well.  Ask the people who have been documented as being sick and see how long it took to get a diagnosis and if they knew anyone else with similar symptoms who was also going without diagnosis.  I ran into like a dozen people who were sick while I was returning again and again because they weren't coming up with answers, just more powerful narcotic cough syrups.

              In my case, as is the case with my friend I've just mentioned, we had a CLASSIC sign of whooping cough we were reporting:  daily, we coughed so hard that we would vomit.  If you experience this, it's not something you ignore - given the violence of the coughing, people TRY to get diagnosis and treatment.  It ain't always available, even at hospitals which call themselves, 'The Best in the West.'

              "Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money." --Michael Steele

              by MsGrin on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 04:01:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  3-5 years "more" is probably double SS expense (13+ / 0-)

      Ok.  But, the retirement benefit is now supporting a life span
      that is 25% longer,

      ((15.3 - 12.7) / (12.7) + (19.6 - 14.7) / (14.7)) / 2.0

      is

      0.26902887139107623

      This is the shift in the curve, not the area under the curve,
      which is the cost increase.  The area under the curve could be
      much higher, 100% or even 200% of previous cost.  See, at least
      25% more people will receive benefits that never had them before,
      and those that have them will be extended 25% longer.  

      While 3 or 5 years may not seem like much -- it is a huge difference
      when you look at the population and cost curves.

      •  Rec'd for math and precision in arguments. n/t (3+ / 0-)

        "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

        by be the change you seek on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:32:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  time for top 1% to pay back 2.5 trillion (23+ / 0-)

          Well, you're all missing the elephant in the room.  The social security trust fund.  Back in the 80's the boomers has a choice -- they could limit retirement age for themselves, or they could put more money away. They chose to raise the social security taxes rather than raise the retirement age.  So, it's time to honor this promise.

          They created a social security tax surplus -- a very regressive tax of about 15%, paid without deductions first 70k (in 80's) to 100k (late 2000's).  This surplus was used by the Republicans to purchase debt used in the general fund (48% to military industrial complex). Regan, Bush, Clinton, and then Bush used this huge surplus to hide the exceptionally low taxes enjoyed by the upper class and corporations over the past 20 years.  It was a boom time... on the boomer's backs. General taxes were lowered, with a huge part of the debt being financed by the social security trust fund.

          Why is this a big deal now?  Because within a few years, as designed, the social security trust fund will no longer be running a surplus (it only had 100 billion dollar surplus last year), and will start to sell off U.S. t-bills, ie, national debt it holds, in order to pay benefits. This isn't a bug -- it's a feature.  It's what is suppose to happen.

          The problem with this picture?  To pay for this, we need to raise general fund taxes in a serious, serious way.   It's time for the regressive-tax gravy train created by Regan to end.  They are scared shitless and want to re-negotiate.   They don't want a progressive tax back -- double time, to only only pay off social security debt but to also fund the military industrial complex.   It's pay back time.

          The real deal here?

           The top 1% of the country borrowed 2.5 trillion dollars from the middle class... and don't want to pay it off.

          That's the real story here.

          •  Not only (10+ / 0-)
            do they not want to pay it off, they really want to keep borrowing it.

            Cuts to benefits or SS tax increases will be designed to keep SS in surplus for years, "so that it's fiscally secure". Meanwhile they'll keep being invested in treasuries and top tax rates stay low.

            Screw that! Leave SS alone for now. Raise income taxes on everyone above the cap to cover what the Trust Fund is owed. 15-20 years down the road, when we get closer to depleting that Fund, see how revenue matches up with expenses and tweak the program as needed.

            The Empire never ended.

            by thejeff on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:08:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We did BOTH (8+ / 0-)

            There's no 65 retirement age anymore. In the 80s, they not only jacked up our FICA but also phased in higher retirement ages. I'm 53 and I can't get full SS until age 66 and 4 months, not 65. And younger folks have to wait until 67. It's not as drastic a rise as 70, but it's not like it was a complete tradeoff of higher FICA for not raising the age. And the way Lucy keeps moving that football, when I hit 70, no doubt the age will be raised to 72, benefits will be cut 10% and FICA will be 18% instead of 15 or whatever it is now, and the catfoodists will be peddling the same rhetoric.

            •  Everyone after 1960 = 67 for full benefits (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee

              but the key is that we can currently take it at 65 for a 12% benefit reduction.

              Now, if "The Retirement Age" was 70, that would be a 30% reduction for taking it at 65.

              What's more, taking it at 62 would then result in a 48% benefit reduction.

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:31:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Benefits however are "progressive" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Minnesota Mike

            First, as you make more money, some of your SS benefits become taxable, so the higher income folks end up returning more of their benefits back to the Feds.

            Second, I'm also fairly certain (although I've not looked at it in a while) that someone who pays in the max contribution for 45 years, does not get four times the benefits as someone who only paid in half the max every year and only worked 22.5 years.

            Also, people who start working at twenty and work past 65 (of which I know a number) keep paying the full SS tax but get no increase in benefits (the max number of quarters of credit in the benefit computation is limited to 45 years worth IIRC).

            I'm not saying that removing the cap is a bad idea, but by further decoupling the pay-in with the pay-out, calling it "insurance" seems increasingly inappropriate. It would increasingly be viewed more as just a welfare program for old folks. This may be okay, but it also makes it more politically vulnerable.

            •  That's only true, of course, if their retirement (0+ / 0-)

              age is (or was) 65.

              Also, people who start working at twenty and work past 65 (of which I know a number) keep paying the full SS tax but get no increase in benefits (the max number of quarters of credit in the benefit computation is limited to 45 years worth IIRC).

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:33:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I'll be happy to work until 70 (12+ / 0-)

        so who knows a company that's hiring 64 year olds?

      •  As I said below ... (8+ / 0-)

        Yes, more people living longer, but more people living longer means more people working and contributing to the system. More money out, but more money in as well.

        •  Yes (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, WillR, DocbytheBay, bluebuckaroo
          I think the question of how long people who reach 65 live after that is not quite the right question.

          Someone who dies before retiring also contributed to the system. If more people are living long enough to retire, that taxes the system too.
          On the other hand, most women are working now than back in the 40s, but widows could collect their husbands benefits.

          The key to me seems to be, years in/years out. How many total years of work contribute for every year of collecting. Counting in those who die early and never collect as well as those who collect early. How has that ratio changed over time?

          I have no idea where to look for those numbers.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:59:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd start by looking at some life tables (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sow hat

            and looking in particular at life expectancy at age 15 (considered the beginning of adulthood for these types of statistics) and then at some key points (40, 50, 55, 60). Then figure out some way to weight the increases; plainly an increase in the number of 60-year-olds surviving to 65 is going to affect the system a lot more than an increase in the number of 15-year-olds. You could start with a linear weighting, though that will understate the effect since until recently, people's earnings increased over time all the way until retirement (e.g. they retired at the peak of their earnings).

            If Nixon was cocaine for the resentful psyche, Palin is meth—Andrew Sullivan

            by ebohlman on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:14:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Life expectancies are projections anyway (0+ / 0-)

            All these figures are educated guesses, a good reason not to get hysterical about things that aren't going to happen for decades. For all we know lifespans may start getting shorter.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

            by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 08:25:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What is so wrong about increasing the top income (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, DocbytheBay, JesseCW

          that is taxed for Social Security? Why not tax the first $1 million of income? IMHO, those high wage earners will draw from SS longer than the median earners because of better access to health care, decreased exposure to occupational hazards. I understand if we do this SS becomes solvent. So what is the argument against it? Additionally, in this economy, there are so many people who are 55 and over who probably will never be employed fully again. They can't wait 15 years.

          Never underestimate the ability of the Right to over reach.

          by never forget 2000 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:59:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If there are jobs (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, DocbytheBay, JesseCW

          and if one is healthy enough to keep working until 70.

          One thing a lot of boomers who get in their 50s and get laid off are hit with-even if they do get a new job, its at lower wages.  And that puts a dent in social security taxes but also a very significant dent in social security earnings, since they are based on average income for working life span.

          Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

          by barbwires on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:17:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I think benefits are based... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee, jim bow

            ...on the highest 35 years of "indexed" (for inflation) annual earnings. At least this is the case if I'm reading this and this correctly.

            Thus, if someone works for 35 years from 18 (through 53) and then takes a lower paying job vs. one that gives them just "inflation" increases (best one can hope for on the average late in one's career), it should have no impact on their SS benefits.

            Of course, the person taking the lower paying job would likely pay less into SS over their lifetime so, in some sense, they "win".

            •  It's based on the highest 35 out of the last 45 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee, barbwires

              years.

              So, you can drop 10 years.

              However.

              If you retire at 65, your benefit period started at 20.  Most people don't earn much in their early twenties, so we've got maybe 5 years of piss-poor income there.

              Throw in a few year unemployed due to recessions, maybe a few years off to care for family, and yes, that lower paying job certainly does impact benefits.

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:38:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  We allready raised the retirement age two years. (0+ / 0-)

        Men are living 2.6 years longer, meaning the maximum justifiable hike would be 0.6 years.

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:25:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not willing to even discuss it. It's an (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vigilant meerkat

      outrage!  Simply NO.  And, I think this is really one issue that we could find Americans that we don't usually agree with standing with us.

      The Tea Party crew is already outraged by their faux loss of entitlement.  They aren't really Libertarians.  They are scared people afraid of losing their tenuous grasp on the American Dream, as they percieve it. I dare say a goodly portion of them have that 65th birthday date emblazoned as part of their lifes' plan when they can finally "be free" of working and retire.  

      LOL Telling them that they don't get to retire at 65 with thier Social Security is more likely to get them howling in Town Halls than cheering.  They don't REALLY care enough about the deficit and their grandchildren to accept working another 5 years.  

      I'd just love the RNC to make this part of the policy positions they come up with after their meetings with those corporate lobbyists.  

      And, this time their signs telling Government to keep their hands off their Medicare would actually make sense.

  •  what does this do to the unemployment rate? nt (4+ / 0-)

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:34:59 PM PDT

    •  Lots of people -- on a decent pension -- means (13+ / 0-)

      they spend for services. And at the same time are not competing for jobs. Seems like a win win to me, even if a little over simplified......

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And where to jobs for seniors come from? (23+ / 0-)

      I'm old enough recall policies that were criticized for penalizing people for not retiring at 65. These were defended on the grounds that they left jobs available for younger workers with families. Even the phony U3 unemployment rate is pushing 10%, and it beginning to appear some of our leaders think that is normal.

      It's hard as hell to reboot a career at 50 let alone 65.

      •  especially when us 40+ can't get a job now? (15+ / 0-)

        no jobs, and no one wants to give us benefits these days (ageism has got to be at its worst ever..50 is not the new 30..it's the new 80 when it comes to the job market)...guess we can count on the current lack of health insurance...and the lack of preventative and needed care that goes with it, to knock life expectancy down to where it is in any other third world country (which is where we are headed right now.)

        Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

        by marzook on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:29:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reboot (7+ / 0-)

        Our increased life expectancy may actually be tied to a retirement age of 62 or 65/66. Would life expectancy be decreased by the effect of job stress on heart disease and diabetes and stroke and all of the diseases that are now recognized as chronic to many as we age and exacerbated by stress?  How about the need and ability for older people to take more time dealing with their health--cooking better food, setting aside more time for exercise.  An advanced retirement age would cut into the time needed for the maintenance of health of older workers. (Talk about death panels!)

        Besides which, although as this diary says,

        it seems like a no-brainer to pundits and politicians who would happily pay you to keep working to age 70, and in fact beyond

        let's look at what this does to most of the work force.  From the point of view of the worker--would you really want to be picking up people's trash and hauling it into a garbage truck when you are 70?  And from the point of view of the employer--would you really want to be employing a 68 year old to be doing this?

      •  I was one of those (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn

        who was encouraged to take an early retirement.  At least I have a pension and do not have to rely on Social Security even though I have enough quarters in to claim it.  

        What many people do not understand is that even if you have enough quarters in on Social Security, if you have another retirement plan, such as a pension, your eligible payment under Social Security is significantly reduced.

        •  FALSE. (5+ / 0-)

          There is no such thing as a "means test" in Social Security.  Bill Gates get his just the same as you get yours.  I get a pension from the Army Reserve, but that has no effect on my Social Security.  I might ask you for some attribution for this claim, because I have never heard this before - just a bunch of Sunday morning blowhards suggesting that we implement such an idiotic plan.

          This space intentionally left blank.

          by Steaming Pile on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:55:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra77

            I know because the Social Security Office told me.

            It is not a means test, but it is related to an alternative source of income.  In my case, I receive a pension from local government.  Prior to that, I worked enough quarters to qualify for social security.  When I checked with my local office about my benefits under Social Security, I was informed that because I already received a pension that my Social Security benefits would be significantly reduced.  

            •  Ask again... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vigilant meerkat, JesseCW

              Someone might have given you bad information.

              If you worked your 40 quarters and paid into Social Security you should be eligible.

              It might be true that the time you spent working for a governmental agency don't count.  Your contributions might have gone to that pension plan rather than SS.

              Even if they were right (can't see how) then file for the reduced SS benefits.  If you can't use the extra bucks I'm sure there's some good cause that can.

              (Ross Perot purposed means testing SS.  Remember how far he got....)

              Enough of this reality crap. I voted for MAGIC!!!

              by BobTrips on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:23:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is the provision (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassandra77

                I worked for 40 quarters at several jobs in which I paid into Social Security.  Then I worked in local government where I paid into a pension plan.  Because of this pension plan, my benefits under Social Security were reduced and in my case significantly even though my pension from local govt is very modest.

                Pensions from work not covered by Social Security
                If you get a pension from work where you paid Social Security taxes, that pension will not affect your Social Security benefits. However, if you get a pension from work that was not covered by Social Security for example, the federal civil service, some state or local government employment or work in a foreign country—your Social Security benefit may be reduced.

                •  Also if others in the same position as me (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cassandra77

                  are getting full SS benefits in addition to their pensions, I want to know why as a local govt worker, I was penalized and they are not.

                •  I think that's a misread... (0+ / 0-)

                  Where did you find that quote?

                  Enough of this reality crap. I voted for MAGIC!!!

                  by BobTrips on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:42:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Breaking the quote down... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vigilant meerkat, JesseCW

                  If you get a pension from work where you paid Social Security taxes, that pension will not affect your Social Security benefits.

                  You worked your 40 for a non-governmental employer and paid into Social Security.  Based on the number of quarters and amount of contribution you should have earned benefits.  Perhaps not the maximum amount possible if, for example, you had earned less than the cap amount for several of those years.

                  However, if you get a pension from work that was not covered by Social Security for example, the federal civil service, some state or local government employment or work in a foreign country—your Social Security benefit may be reduced.

                  I read this as saying that any pension you get from your government job might reduce your SS benefit resulting from the years you worked a government job.

                  It seems to me, based on what you posted, that you should receive all your Social Security benefits based on your non-governmental contributions and some additional benefits from your government days contributions (either in the form of a pension or additional SS payments).

                  Enough of this reality crap. I voted for MAGIC!!!

                  by BobTrips on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:56:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Social Security NOT tied to pensions (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vigilant meerkat

                  except for the bad deal written into the 1983 changes you quote above re federal civil service.  Meaning post office workers, who are union and negotiated their pensions in good faith, expecting like everyone else to get Social Security AND their pensions, suddenly found their pensions counted AS their Social Security.

                  OTHERWISE, what you are saying is NOT TRUE - no private pensions count against Social Security.  Earned income does - that's something else entirely.

                  "Statistics are people with the tears wiped off." --Irving Selikoff

                  by watchman on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 06:21:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I suspect that you worked at a job (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee, vigilant meerkat, JesseCW

              Where you did pay into a pension, but not Social Security?

              That can affect your benefits.

              But that isn't most people.

              "...Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order." FDR

              by wrights on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:18:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I heard this just recently from a retired teacher (0+ / 0-)

              who had a teacher's pension.  Something about a windfall something or other...

              United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

              by Cassandra77 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:30:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Many public shool teachers have pension plans (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SarahLee, vigilant meerkat

                that divert their SS withholding into the pension fund, in order to try to get a higher return.

                It's not about a "windfall" so much as it is about years they spent not paying into SS.

                "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:45:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You didn't pay into Social Security while (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee, vigilant meerkat

              working that local government job.

              Of course you don't get as much out when you paid into a different system instead.

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:43:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's only true if you got that pension from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee

          a job which waived your payments into Social Security.

          If you paid into a Government or Railroad pension plan, instead of paying into Social Security for part of your life, then of course your benefit is reduced.

          If you paid into (or otherwise earned) a Pension that didn't so divert a portion of FICA, then there is no reduction to SS benefits.

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:42:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  bingo! (8+ / 0-)

      We are currently in a period of extremely high unemployment and yet Congress is talking about raising the retirement age to draw Social Security.  Where are all these people going to work?  The jobs are not there and they will not be there in the foreseeable future.  Many of those jobs are gone for good.....outsourced overseas or simply gone.

      In these times of a very tight job market, many employers have been encouraging early retirements.  Of those who do not take early retirements, often the older workers are the first whose jobs have been cut.  Right now we a have large number of unemployed workers over the age of 50.  Suddenly a worker who is over 60 is going to find work for at least another ten years?  Ha ha ha ........

      The bottom line is Social Security is a safety net for those who never had the opportunity for a pension plan or who never earned enough wages to fund an IRA.  Social Security is all they have and now they are expected to find employment until age 70?  This is just another way to beat down the people who need it the most.

      •  The average age of a senator is 65 (3+ / 0-)

        so to a bunch of rich white guys, an increase of 5 years doesn't seem like a lot. But tax them and/or their patron on the full value of their earnings, now we're talking money. It all goes back to "I've got mine"!

        Never underestimate the ability of the Right to over reach.

        by never forget 2000 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 04:04:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My best friend lost his job this week (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        at 57. After 10+ years, they found a reason to fire him for cause, so he gets zero severance. He has two small children, one of whom has problems requiring a lot of therapy; almost all their substantial savings have been spent on this therapy. Health insurance runs out August 1. His wife has not been able to find a job for over a year. I'm terrified for them. What will they do?

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

        by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 08:33:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another important note would be racial disparity (10+ / 0-)

    I seem to recall another poster previously bringing up the point that AA's in America get shortchanged on the longevity, so that raising SS age unduly affects the number who will ever receive it at all.

    Am I cynical? Yes I am! - Bob the Builder's lesser known brother Pete the Politician

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:35:06 PM PDT

    •  Probably true, but SS isn't the problem. (0+ / 0-)

      If fat kids are finishing races less frequently, you don't say "there's the argument for not lengthening the race even furter", you say "how can we get these kids more fit?"

      Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

      by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:48:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  White married men (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Ezekial 23 20

      gain most from the system, which comes as no surprise given the make-up of our society, and the picture of a "typical" household back in the day.

      African-American men have about 5 years' less life expectancy, iirc.

      Here's an article on the subject from the Brookings Institute

      •  Middle-class married (0+ / 0-)

        white women get the biggest return on SS compared to what they pay in.

        Regarding life expectancy - once adjusted for income, African-American men lag about 18 months behind White men.

        Still clear evidence of racial disparity, but it also highlights how much larger class looms.

        For men in the botton 60% in terms of income, regardless of race, less than half will ever see a dime of SS if the retirement age is raised to 70.

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:24:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Black Men Do (0+ / 0-)

      Black men do come out as slight net-losers under the current system, while black women are net-winners.  It's a similar situation for whites, though it breaks down differently at the individual level due to differences in marriage rates and relative employment rates between groups (whites are more likely to be married, black women relatively more likely to work than white women, etc).  

      A rise in the retirement age to 70 would almost certainly be a losing propostion for blacks, but this might be partally offset by maintaining early retirement provisions (progressive indexing should help offset some of the reduction in benefits).  Still, you're right to worry about this issue.

    •  To some extent, (0+ / 0-)

      ...I would think that would be offset by the average lower income of AAs.

      The first dollar you and your employer pays SS tax on results in higher benefits than the last dollar that is taxed for SS.

      I think the first dollar "pays out" at 90% in benefits while the last only "pays out" at 15%. At least that's what I get from reading this.

  •  So now they want us all to be slaves.. (10+ / 0-)

    into our 70's. Ain't Capitalism grand?

    •  So working = slavery? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WillR, ScottDog

      I don't follow.

      I oppose the jump to 70, but it seems like you're basically saying most people are slaves until they retire.

      Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

      by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:49:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  look at the jobs available ... (13+ / 0-)

        to those of us who are out there looking in one of the worst markets ever. i have never seen so many full time 40-60 hr a week jobs that offer no benefits, (not even paid lunches)...and so many employers advertising for jobs that require "a degree, a certification and 3-5+ years experience" that pay minimum wage or maybe a buck ab above it. for the first time in my 30 year working career, i am looking at jobs that pay as crappily as they did when i was fresh out of school. and, oh yes, as soon as they see i am over 40, some don't even bother to do the interview. they take my app and say thanks for coming in, the person who was doing the interviews is tied up -- they'll call you. the jobs that are going to available to people over 65? i shudder to think.

        Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

        by marzook on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:33:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But that's now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WillR

          and hopefully temporary, as history shows. Personally I see just many jobs that are part-time and low pay, vs full-time.

          Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

          by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:53:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Depends on what slice of history you look at (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Matt Z, JesseCW

            If you look at the period from '55 to '90 you are right. This is a relatively brief period in history. If you go back prior to WWII you will likely see the reverse, i.e. most jobs for people on the margins were menial and servile in nature. And certainly the people who were adults during the great depression experienced something similar

      •  It you have no choice, you are a slave of sorts. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Bohemian Rebel

        You keep a job you hate because you're afraid of losing your benefits - what do you call that?

        You cling to a job because you're afraid you won't find another one - what do you call that?

        And how does that not put you at an extreme disadvantage in your relationship with your employer similar to that between slave and master?

        This space intentionally left blank.

        by Steaming Pile on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:59:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We're slaves.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        to this consumer culture materialistic bullshit society.

      •  If you have to work in a physical job until you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denise b, JesseCW, bluebuckaroo

        are 70, it pretty much is slavery.
        and, the age now is 66.

        United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

        by Cassandra77 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:33:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  67 for those born after 1960, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra77

          if they take an early-in at 62 right now, they suffer a 30% benefit reduction.

          If they raise the retirement age to 70, that would be a 48% benefit cut to take an early in at 62 (if they still allowed that).

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:26:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Alan Simpson has been lying about this for months (20+ / 0-)

    For example:

    "They never dreamed that the life expectancy [would go] from 57 years of age to 78 or 75 or whatever. Who would dream that? No one. They just died. People worked. Social Security was never a retirement. It was setup to take care of poor guys in the Depression who lost their butts, who were digging ditches, and it was to give them 43% of their wages ... when they got out ... and that's what it was. It was never a retirement. It was an income supplement."

    They just died...Social Security was never a retirement.

    How do they say this crap with a straight face?  So wrong on the facts, so cruel and deluded.

    He also thinks that every retiree is a 'lesser person'.

    We're trying to take care of the lesser people in society and do that in a way without getting into all the flashwords you love dig up, like cutting Social Security, which is bullshit.

    It's astounding, honestly, that this man is co-chair of the Catfood Commission.  I think we can expect a major screwing.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:39:15 PM PDT

    •  Perhaps because... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxschell

      Social Security was never designed as a full retirement support system.  It was not meant to be a retirement pension plan.  

      It's an old age safety net.  Not enough money to provide one with a comfortable life, but enough to keep one from starving to death.

      Enough of this reality crap. I voted for MAGIC!!!

      by BobTrips on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:31:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that still describes it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, maxschell, JesseCW

        so I don't know why people keep repeating this. The average benefit is something on the order of $1k/month. People who have nothing but Social Security, and there are lots of them, are very poor.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

        by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 08:38:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why isn't anyone talking about (33+ / 0-)

    removing the cap on taxable wages?  $106,800 is still a low figure when compared to what the Wall Street types earn.

    I'm a thinking person. I don't listen to Glenn or Rush.

    by tpabob on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:39:15 PM PDT

  •  You know...if Social Security should be 70 (7+ / 0-)

    ...then so should Medicare.

    Let seniors chew on that one for about 10 seconds and then ask them what they think about these twin ideas.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:42:10 PM PDT

  •  "Give more leisure time?" WTF? (6+ / 0-)

    But that argument works in the other direction, too: Our country has become far richer than the architects of Social Security could have possibly imagined. It would make perfect sense for us to give ourselves more leisure time, if we chose to take it, at the end of our lives.

    Yes, it would make perfect sense...except that nobody wants to pay taxes for that.  Nobody wants to take money out of people's paychecks working two jobs in order to guarantee a fun retirement.  

    Look, work free leisure should not be the goal of the social safety net.  Trying to justify the inertia with that is without principle.

    Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

    by Inland on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:42:37 PM PDT

    •  Agree, but many will (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan, TERM LIMITS, ScottDog

      disagree with you and say because people are born, they "deserve" this or that.

      Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

      by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:50:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why Shouldn't That (13+ / 0-)

      Be a goal?  I don't see anything wrong with giving people a few years of work-free leisure at the end of their lives.

      "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

      by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:57:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because we as a society have so many competing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites, ScottDog

        needs.

        Our society's investment in our children's health and education is ridiculously paltry when compared to what would reap benefits for everyone. Our infrastructure needs (internet, transit, energy) are ENORMOUS; we are years, even decades, behind where we need to be.

        A budget is a moral document. Deal with some of the other priorities out there & then we can come back and talk about publicly-funded work-free leisure for seniors.

        "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

        by be the change you seek on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:03:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, There Are a Lot of Needs (7+ / 0-)

          I guess I just don't understand how it came to be that government starting playing this coercive role when it comes to making sure that citizens are offering themselves up to private parties for the purpose of labor for the maximum number of years possible.

          "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

          by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:07:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not (or shouldn't be) coercive (0+ / 0-)

            There's got to be a middle ground.

            America really is about entrepreneurship, innovation, and hard work. Culturally we're more inclined to only take 2 weeks of vacation and try to build the bigger mousetrap (or help to do that).

            The problem is that the system has been exploited by global capa-financiers who have essentially pillaged the US for global wealth-gathering and market share...they took advantage.

            I really don't want to see an equal/opposite reaction where the retirement age drops to 50, everybody gets 6 weeks of vacation, nobody can get fired, etc (i'm hyperbolizing a bit), because I think that flies in the face of what we've been all about since our founding. However, I realize that many people have grown accustomed to just getting up, going to work, and coming home, and want some of the niceities that come along with doing so much more than that, which is what they got when there was little global competition for the products they were building.

            If you don't want to work "for the man" and have your retirement totally reliant on SS/Medicare, you can work for yourself, build a business, or work to become someone who is invaluable to the organization that they're apart of, and gain the monetary benefits and ownership that comes with that.

            Again, the system has been exploited so that just existing is much harder to do, and many people who are just plenty happy laboring and living are on the rocks. But if people are choosing to work to live, don't blame the government if your wholly-reliant-on-them retirement plan has to adjust.

            Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

            by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:37:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Work free leisure? (8+ / 0-)

          We're not talking about dropping the age limit here. We're talking about keeping it where it's at. I could see your argument if we were talking about moving it to 60 but we're not. We're talking about leaving it where it's at and where it's been.

          The way you're describing it makes it sound like we're trying to give everyone over the age of 65 a free RV and a monthly debit card to Biloxi Casinos. It's saying "Here you don't have to work anymore at 65. You can pay the bills but not live excessively on this money. If you want to take a trip across America you better have saved up."

          The Great Depression: Now In Color!

          by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:10:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I am responding to SusanG's excerpting of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Liberaltarianish

            Ezra Klein, with whom she agrees:

            Our country has become far richer than the architects of Social Security could have possibly imagined. It would make perfect sense for us to give ourselves more leisure time, if we chose to take it, at the end of our lives.

            Given all the various urgent needs out there, I would argue that increasing publicly-funded leisure time at the end of our lives should be a low priority for our society.

            "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

            by be the change you seek on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:22:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's insurance (14+ / 0-)

              Social Security is insurance.  We in the 55+ age group have been paying FICA taxes in the expectation of having something at retirement. Some of us have been paying since we were 14. We were told in the 1980s there might not be enough to cover us, so we agreed to pay even more.

              Most seniors work plenty.  They volunteer.  They have part-time jobs.  They take care of their grandchildren.  They take care of each other.  

              And no one's getting rich on Social Security. We have saved our own money and spent our own money through the years based on the knowledge that there was a certain amount we would get upon retirement from SS, and for the vast amount of Americans, we need this amount to survive.

              If the Social Security age goes up to 70 it won't mean that those who can't afford to retire at 65 will keep working longer and that's the end of the story--because they won't be able to find the kinds of jobs that pay a living wage.

              What it will mean is that they'll have to move in with their kids.

              I don't think either generation really wants that.

              •  You and I agree on most, if not everything. (0+ / 0-)

                The FICA tax structure is regressive, and I believe that the FICA income caps should be eliminated.

                Income tax rates on the affluent and on the wealthy need to increase, and more tax brackets (with higher tax rates) should be created for the very wealthy.

                Our society owes seniors some measure of security, protection against poverty in old age. Absolutely.

                That said, if life expectancy has increased (whether modestly or substantially), it is reasonable to consider whether to raise the retirement age accordingly. IIRC, no one is talking about increasing retirement age for those in the 55+ age group; that wouldn't be fair. However, would it be fair to raise retirement age for my 47 yr old spouse? I believe it's reasonable to at least have the discussion.

                To be clear about what I believe to be the proper priorities: Our roads, bridges, sewers, and electrical grids are crumbling. Our rail system is substandard. Access to the internet and reliability of that network lags far behind other countries. Our school year is shorter than in the rest of the industrialized world. How many of our children go hungry on weekends or when school is not in session? Infant mortality (such a basic indicator of the stability of a society) for at-risk populations (ie low-income minorities) is far greater than for caucasians.

                What I am saying is that society needs to deal with these and many other pressing needs FIRST before even contemplating this

                It would make perfect sense for us to give ourselves more leisure time, if we chose to take it, at the end of our lives.

                with public resources.

                "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

                by be the change you seek on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:54:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Higher taxes (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SarahLee, denise b, JesseCW

                  The amount of taxes people pay now (especially the very rich) are lower than they ever were when I was growing up, lower than they were under Reagan, even lower than they were under Clinton.

                  I totally agree that our infrastructure is crumbling and that we need to address that issue.  But I am adamant that I want to save Social Security not only for myself but for future generations. The rich pay very little, relatively.  Those who inherit pay no federal taxes, although they did nothing to earn that money.  Republicans have succeeded in bankrupting this country by relying on taxes paid by hardworking people and not taxing, or taxing very little, those who make money not attached to income.  Raising taxes to the level that they were, even under Clinton, might be a way to start addressing his problem.

                  If Social Security were truly the problem in this country, we would be "borrowing" from the regular budget to pay for Social Security, rather than the other way around.

                  Baby Boomers do have a different attitude to the idea of retirement.  I don't know many who want to just sit around "doing nothing."  Most are probably scared of that proposition, to tell the truth.  We may want to look at ideas to have people ease out of the workforce--perhaps going part time at a certain age, with a combination of SS benefits, healthcare, and earned income.  It will take a lot of creative thinking, however, and a lot of willingness to restructure the way we work--to include four years more at the older end of the work force while at the same time accommodating those who are ready to newly enter the work force.

                  It may also be the case that the reason people live longer is because they can retire earlier. Making older people work, the way this workforce is currently structured, could in fact be a guaranteed way to lower life expectancy in this country, thus changing the very rationale upon which a retirement age of 70 is based.  

              •  If they have kids (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NCJan

                Even worse off are any in nursing homes--many of those keep people warehoused in substandard conditions now-what happens when the social security check disappears?

                Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

                by barbwires on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:28:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yet, you're ok with spending billions to bomb (0+ / 0-)

              brown people while denying elderly people a few moments of peace in their final years?

              When it's really a choice between that and taking care of kids, get back to me.

              Untill then, you're proposing an utterly false dichotomy.

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:35:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ??? How do you come to that conclusion? (0+ / 0-)

                The diary is about Social Security, not defense or foreign policy.

                I happen to think that the defense budget should be slashed dramatically.

                I also still believe that it is wise for a society to prioritize its collective resources toward the young and toward investments in the future.

                Peace to you.

                "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

                by be the change you seek on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 06:54:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Always other ways... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottDog, Liberaltarianish

        Nobody is saying you can't enjoy retirement.  The SS provides the safety net, the extras (401ks, IRAs, Pensions) provide for extra things that people want to do (retire early, travel, etc).

        As a 32 year old, I'm perfectly happy with this. I don't mind if they raise the tax rate, but i'd rather have it actually segregated from person to person.  So if my tax is 10%, unlimited.  I'd like to have that money actually be OWNED by me.  So instead of some statement of expected earnings, I get a statement of money in MY account.  

        •  Yes, the Ownership Society (7+ / 0-)

          I know about this ...

          If the share of wealth and income received by the bottom 99% of Americans were actually expanding as a percentage of the pie, I might be more swayed by the audience.  However, we are looking at a situation where working Americans can expect to earn -- and save -- less and less during their lifetimes.

          It doesn't seem like shifting over to private savings plans makes sense.

          "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

          by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:24:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, the system is a sham.... (0+ / 0-)

            The top 1% don't care about income tax or payroll tax rates cause they don't pay them. They live off investment income/capital gains.  You want to address that problem, move to a simplified tax system.  I think eliminating the income tax and moving towards a Fair Tax on consumption makes more sense.  

            But what do I care about the top 1%? All i can do is take care of myself.  If I want to make more money, I make myself more valuable to my employer or start my own business.  

      •  It's the taxes to pay for that's wrong. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottDog, Liberaltarianish

        Nobody wants to pay for that.  Even you don't go as far as saying "and I'd gladly pay higher taxes to pay for a sixty five year old's greens fees; we could have the retirement age at sixty eight, but he want's to dedicate his time to golf while he's still young enough to break one hundred....".

        But if you want to sell the social safety net as a personal leisure saftety net, then go right ahead and walk into that buzzsaw.

        Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

        by Inland on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:27:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Think Public Opinion Could Be Against It (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, JesseCW

          Because since Reagan voters have been trained to believe that any government policy that might benefit the regular working person is wrong.  It does really freak out the mind that government could actually provide a benefit to the average person.  I think people would get angry at the idea, because somehow it just seems wrong.

          As far as taxes go -- tax burdens are at multi-generational lows.  People just don't pay a lot of taxes.

          "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

          by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:33:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read your comment. (0+ / 0-)

            Reagan voters have been trained to believe that any government policy that might benefit the regular working person is wrong.

            You're talking about taxes on regular working people to pay for a not-working person's leisure.  That's not helping working people.  It is wrong.  And it's going against the concept of social security from FDR, not Reagan.  

            Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

            by Inland on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:38:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'm all for a better safety net, single payer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        health insurance, disability for those who need it, unemployment benefits, etc, ideally paid for by greater taxes for the wealthy (Particularly the extremely wealthy).  But when it comes to trying to giving people capable of working "leisure time" at the end of their lives, I'm not so sure...

        •  Too much kool ade, I would say (0+ / 0-)

          Would you really deprive someone in their 80's any "leisure time" at all?  Ever?  Should we all work until we literally drop dead?  Reading these comments is very depressing.  The brainwashing has been successful and the arguments perpetuating the right wing talking points have been adopted.  Someone's done a great job on this.  We seem sufficiently ready now to be ruled and worked to death by our overlords, who certainly will enjoy a lot of "leisure time."

          Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.~~Lily Tomlin

          by vigilant meerkat on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 07:54:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously? Leisure Time?????? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland, ScottDog

      You definitely don't want that getting out there.  People think of gov't programs as safety nets.  They aren't intended to provide time for your "leisure".  IF you want to live a life of leisure, then save your own money for it.  

      If we're intending the Social Security system to be built to provide a life of leisure, then we're really on the wrong track!

      •  The meme here is "Catfood Commission".... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites, ScottDog

        but i'm pretty sure that telling seniors to eat catfood is going to get more votes than making sure they have enough for leisure activities at an age young enough to REALLY enjoy them.

        Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

        by Inland on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:29:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seems like a lot of people on Dkos (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alumbrados, QuestionAuthority

          just go to work and fucking hate what they do, look at it as work and are just counting down the hours/day/weeks/months/years till the evening/weekend/vacation/retirement.

          Ironic because, in the progressive society that so many here seek, that attitude would lead to an epic fail of a community.

          A big part of the attitude, I bet, is how little we really make these days, as Americans. We service, we consult, we engineer, but don't produce a lot. Yaaaaay globalism.

          Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

          by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:42:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh. Pining for retirement... just heh. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barbwires, vigilant meerkat

            "...just counting down the hours/day/weeks/months/years till the evening/weekend/vacation/retirement..."

            I wish. I'm 52. For the moment, I have a decent job. I don't expect to retire....ever. Why?

            So many people talk about the 401k's and investments we're supposed to have for our retirements. Check the stock market lately? That crash did a huge amount of damage to my 401K, as well as the the 401k's of millions of other Americans. I don't expect to see that money back. Now they want to raise the SS age, too? WTF.

            I expect to end up dying at work, assuming I'll be abot to even FIND a job when I'm older. It was hard enough BEFORE the crash for a 50 year old to find a job - and I have a college degree and lots of experience. Now? If something happens to this job, I expect it to take a year or more to find a new job...if I can. It took 5 months last time...We'll probably lose our house this time.

            "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

            by QuestionAuthority on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:00:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Work sucks for damn near everyone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vigilant meerkat

            If it doesn't suck for you, count your lucky stars.

            "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

            by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:18:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not a "life of leisure" (12+ / 0-)

        A dignified old age, where we don't force seniors to spend their declining years saying "do you want fries with that?"

        "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

        by Bush Bites on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:55:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Social security (4+ / 0-)

      wont give anyone a "fun" retirement.  Subsistence living at best.

      What scares me is how many people in their 50s have been working all their lives and have no defined pension, have lost their jobs or have been forced to take much lower paying jobs and are using up their 401ks-those left after the stock market crash-to pay bills now. What the hell are they going to retire on?

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:26:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Nobody"??? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vigilant meerkat, Matt Z

      Most of us don't mind paying taxes to let old people relax for a few years, so speak for yourself.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:33:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does that mean raising Medicare to 70? (10+ / 0-)

    Fuck these bastards.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:43:52 PM PDT

  •  Pay one way or pay the other... (7+ / 0-)

    Raise the Social Security age some more, and you will have more people age 55-70 on Disability. We may be living more years but many of them are years of infirm health. I am more for taking the ceiling off FICA. Let the millionaires and billionaires help shore up the Social Security trust fund. And put the trust fund in the goddamn LOCK BOX already! No more dipping into granny and grandpa's security income to boost the general fund.

    The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
    Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

    by Pris from LA on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:47:46 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are coming for our Retirement (6+ / 0-)

    Why don't we give them their own pill. Except this one pill is reality.

    Republicans have taken away our democracy with the fillibuster, they've tried to take away our midecare and medicaid, they've tried to take away our minimum wage, they've tried to take away our overtime, Now they're trying to take our retirement away from us. They're trying to take away our social security.

    Republicans are trying to take our lives away from us.

  •  I find the the data about life expectancy (0+ / 0-)

    powerful and thought-provoking.

    However, I agree with Inland's comment just above about how the purpose of the social safety net is not to expand the length of work-free leisure at the end of one's life.

    Consider on a macro level how much of our society's resources are expended upon the last years of one's life vs. how much is expended at the beginning years of one's life. Compared to other civilized nations, we shamefully underinvest in our children, to the detriment of us all.

    "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

    by be the change you seek on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:48:50 PM PDT

  •  Outstanding story. (11+ / 0-)

    The myths and misconceptions about life expectancy, life span, and Social Security are many.

    The age for me to retire with full benefits has already been extended to age 67. Now 70? Ridiculous.

    "♪♪ It's a-gonna happen...someday ♪♪ You're gonna see things...my way!" Buddy Holly

    by Giles Goat Boy on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:49:51 PM PDT

  •  It also means fewer available jobs (12+ / 0-)

    If people are required to work five more years it means those jobs are not available to be filled by other workers.

    •  You don't have to work until you're 70 unless (0+ / 0-)

      you're going to be very reliant on SS for support after you retire.

      Fuck, if I was French, I'd work my ass off and retire 10 years earlier at 50, knowing I had an awesome pension coming in 10 years!

      Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

      by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:52:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For 1/4 of Seniors (15+ / 0-)

        Social Security is their only retirement income.  I suspect that this will double or triple for people of my generation, because the current crop of seniors also had access to public and private pension plans.  For people my age (39), we just have 401(k) plans that we have to liquidate every few years when the most recent bubble pops.

        "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

        by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:00:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and factor in housing... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          barbwires, JesseCW

          my dad and the majority of retirees had paid for houses or nearly paid for houses. with the massive defaults and foreclosures, the average senior (if they live til 65 without health insurance) is going to be paying rent or a mortgage. my dad would have never survived on ss (even with his teacher's pension) if he was still making house payments.

          Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

          by marzook on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:38:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Solving that (0+ / 0-)

            would be a function of them making more money (either through work or benefit), vs lowering/keeping the retirement age, right?

            Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

            by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:43:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are huge numbers of people (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              quaoar, JesseCW, marzook

              in their 50s and 60s with serious health problems, but who do not qualify for Disability. I'm talking about medical problems severe enough to impact their ability to get and hold a job. Frequently they have depleted what savings they had because of medical bills and unpaid time off. Please factor these people into your conclusions.

              The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

              by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:11:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I call BS on that one, Liberaltarianish. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Val, sngmama, quaoar, Matt Z, JesseCW

        You underestimate the damage done by the recent financial crash. Many people 50 and older are looking at severely reduced or no retirement at all.

        "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

        by QuestionAuthority on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:03:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That was one of the reasons SS was introduced (7+ / 0-)

      in the first place. It gave incentive for older workers to retire, thereby freeing up jobs for younger people. In the Great Depression, that made a lot of sense...and it makes just as much sense today.

      Multitudes of unemployed young people is simply not good for society.

      •  That argument doesn't really hold water (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottDog

        You help the economy when you produce more than you consume, not when you consume more than you produce. Transitioning millions of productive people to unproductive retirement just increases the burden on the rest of us.

        Now, I'm not saying I know what the appropriate retirement age is, I'm just saying that the economy is better when people produce.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:02:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well then let's do away with retirement (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bleeding blue, happy camper

          I'd rather have a 66 year old out of work and give that job to someone just starting out at 23. Most 66 year olds have some savings, have already consumed what they're going to consume and are going to live rather modest life styles.

          A 23 year old with a steady job is going to be looking to buy a home, buy a car for the family, have some kids, plan and invest for the future, etc.

          Adding to the supply of labor doesn't actually help the demand for labor substantially. At a certain point a 23 year old is underemployed or unemployed because the 65 year old is still working and not riding off into the sunset.

          The Great Depression: Now In Color!

          by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:15:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chop, why don't you be HONEST (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            akeitz, barbwires, asdfghjkl

            and state your support for mandatory euthanasia at age 65? It would be less cruel than your proposal to just let them starve.

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:28:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No that's your proposal. (0+ / 0-)

              My proposal is to give a work over 65 Social Security and keep the age there. Others are saying raise the age to 70 and let them fiend for themselves.

              Either way I think you and Sarah Palin should get together and discuss your death panels.

              The Great Depression: Now In Color!

              by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:36:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Maven, do your quote apply to McD's french (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheChop

              fries too? Definitely off-topic but just wondering.

              Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

              by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:45:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You're confused (0+ / 0-)

              and state your support for mandatory euthanasia at age 65? It would be less cruel than your proposal to just let them starve.

              I'm the one you're accusing of letting old people starve, not him/her.

              I don't actually want old people to starve, I just hate bad economic arguments, which is what this is. If providing money to senior citizens is good policy, it's good policy, so let's spend the money.

              But it's a cost to everyone who is working (on the whole), not a benefit. Just say "I'm willing to make the sacrifices necessary to see that elderly people can live in comparative comfort" and be done with it. Arguments that it is good for the rest of us don't really hold water; it's a cost.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:52:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You're looking purely at the supply side (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          There's a demand side to the economy too, you know. As a reductio ad absurdum, consider the case of maximal production and minimal consumption: production in excess of consumption doesn't contribute anything unless it can be exported. Filling warehouses full of widgets doesn't create any value unless people are buying them.

          Spending by retirees is hardly a net loss to the economy; it creates demand.

          If Nixon was cocaine for the resentful psyche, Palin is meth—Andrew Sullivan

          by ebohlman on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:37:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Generally That's True (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quaoar

          But in a period like the thirties - or, um, NOW! - where there is a lot of idle capacity sitting around dragging down the economy because there is no demand the LAST thing we need (economically speaking) is more production and less consumption.

        •  Its suffecient consumption we've had a hard (0+ / 0-)

          time managing since the 1920's, not suffecient production.

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:21:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The only people that want it raised don't work. (39+ / 0-)

    By work, I mean physical labor.

    Mark my words:  the political party that raises the retirement age to 70, will be dead in the water.  Period.

    Tell a carpenter that he gets to work until 70.   Tell it to someone doing roofing work, or road work, or farming work.   Tell that to anyone that doesn't sit on their ass, in an air conditioned office, pushing a pencil, and see what the reaction is.

    It's easy for guys like Andrew Sullivan to sit on his ass, in the AC, and peck away on his computer telling other people that they should be fine to work until they're 70.  

    You want revenue?  END THE BUSH TAX CUTS on the top 1%.   END THESE STUPID FUCKING WARS.  

    Instead of taxing the rich (which can afford it, thank you), and talking about cutting our insanely out of balance defense budget, they want to go after senior citizens.   It's BULLSHIT.  

    The United States: A wholly owned subsidiary of British Petroleum.

    by Beelzebud on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:50:44 PM PDT

  •  We need to raise the age... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScottDog, Liberaltarianish

    ...but raise it more for younger people.

    If (like me) you owned an Atari game system, you probably can work for a 1-2 more years.

    If you owned a Dreamcast probably 2-4 extra years.

    If you are a teenager, five more years is probably fair.

    •  I owned an Apple 2C (6+ / 0-)

      as my first computer, and I'm wondering how I'm going to make it until 66, nevermind 70.

      I've been working fulltime since 1973, and I'm getting pretty tired of it, thank you.

    •  Not So (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akeitz, maxschell, fhcec, JesseCW

      There is no reason to raise the eligibility age.

      "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

      by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:02:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are ASSuming all things will be equal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      but they never, ever are - and they are getting far LESS equal in this benighted dehumanized country.

      The rich need never worry about how to support their retirement...but they have rigged the game so that more and more goes to fewer and fewer. And that means more and more people will reach old age with less and less.

      You have four choices:

      1. Force some money OUT of the hands of the very very rich so that everyone will have enough to survive on - not in luxury, just goddamn SURVIVE.
      1. Do nothing and let the elderly paupers starve.
      1. Build workhouses in which the elderly may live, but they must do hard manual work until they die (which won't be long).
      1. Institute a means-tested euthanasia law: if you are not a millionaire by the age of 65, you must report to the nearest euthanasia center in order to decrease the surplus population.

      How do you like those choices?

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:37:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Arthritis sets in later if you owned an Atari? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxschell

      You should inform doctors, they don't seem to know.

      Since life expectancy has only gone up 0.6 years for men since the last time the retirement age was adjusted, why do you think the reitrement age should be hiked five years for, well, anyone?

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:29:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you capitulate so quickly? (0+ / 0-)

      These motherfuckers are coming for your money.  They tried it once under Bush and now are trying it again.  They have stolen from you and the American people again and again.  Why are you willing to give them anything?

      Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

      by maxschell on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 01:00:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another good reason for the lower (6+ / 0-)

    Social Security age; older workers can retire, or work part-time (as long as their wages don't exceed a certain threshold), freeing up full-time positions for younger workers who are starting families and thus reducing stress on social services (food stamps, welfare, etc.), and allow people to "move up" the work chain and provide continuity in key positions.

    My mother retired in her early 60's, but worked as a "casual" (fill-in) worker at her old job until age 70. She died 7 years later at 77, having had the opportunity to spend time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    Don't let the facts hit your narrative in the butt on the way out -- Rachel Maddow

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:51:51 PM PDT

  •  The main issue ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... is that at this point, Social Security's solvency isn't problematic enough compared to, say, Medicare's (let alone the long-term budget deficit, global warming, and the uninsured) that we should worry about it at this time.  Social Security will still be able to pay full benefits until 2041 without any adjustment.

    That said, if we were to do something about Social Security's solvency, I'd combine raising the payroll tax cap to $175,000 (and crediting the contributions with benefits, and this amount might still be too much) and a small increase in the retirement age (which would get Republican political cover).

  •  So how many companies are going (11+ / 0-)

    to hire people 65 and over? The Cat Food Commission is loaded with conservatives who never cared for Social Security in the first place. It makes no sense to cut SS to lower the debt since SS has huge surpluses for years to come and if the economy expands at the same rate, or even a little less than that, there will be no SS shortfall for many,many decades to come. Even Paul Volker, who is for cutting SS benefits, admits cutting benfits will have no impact on the deficit at all but will show the foreign markets that the U.S. is willing to cut popular programs to get serious about the debt. This is pure bullshit! I have e-mailed all of the Democratic leaders warning them if they touch SS it will be political suicide and I and many others I know will not vote for them.

  •  The bigger problem (9+ / 0-)

    is how many companies don't hire older workers. Where exactly is everyone supposed to work from 65-70?

    "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:52:28 PM PDT

    •  Call it the WalMart Greeter Supply Act nt (6+ / 0-)

      Don't let the facts hit your narrative in the butt on the way out -- Rachel Maddow

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:58:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (6+ / 0-)

      I have several firends who've had to re-enter the workforce due to loss of retirement savings in the market, and they hav eahd no luck in finding part-time jobs that use any of their credentials.  They are professional people with advanced degrees and strong work histories.  One finally found some per-diem work (no benefits), but a couple others have been looking for over a year.

    •  Have you been to a supermarket or a ... (0+ / 0-)

      department store lately...they are filled with working senior citizens...many who like to have human interactions and get paid for it...

      Obama - Change I still believe in

      by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:05:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you live in a dream world, my friend... n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, heart of a quince
        •  No I live in reality... (0+ / 0-)

          I guess you only go to markets staffed with 20 something year olds...I would much rather interact with a 70 year old...

          Obama - Change I still believe in

          by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:28:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you think a person can sustain a humane (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            heart of a quince

            existance on 20 hours a week as a service employee, you're living in a dream world.

            "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

            by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:32:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If they save and plan their retirement... (0+ / 0-)

              then it can supplement their retirement savings...can they live on it alone...nobody is saying that...we need a little personal responsibility here too..

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 06:31:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If they're not wealthy, they have nothing to (0+ / 0-)

                save.

                You have nothing to offer here except Republican ramblings about "personal responsibility" lifted from Sarah Palins bumpers stickers.

                "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 02:16:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Everyone can save... (0+ / 0-)

                  and that is not a Republican talking point...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 05:56:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, they can't, and yes, it is. (0+ / 0-)

                    Saying that the right-wing extremist rhetoric you post isn't Republican doesn't alter the fact that, well, it is.

                    "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                    by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:03:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Again you are taking a minor disagreement... (0+ / 0-)

                      and using names and hyperbole to make it sound like I am some sort of wacko...

                      Do you have the capability to have an adult to adult conversation...or not????

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:14:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This is not a minor disagreement. I am opposed (0+ / 0-)

                        to abusing hard-working people for the benefit of the Rich.

                        You advocate ripping them off so that the rich can keep the money Bush let them steal.

                        It's that cut and dried.  It's no different than if you were advocating gutting our child labor laws.

                        Even George Bush didn't dare advocate the kind of three year hike in the retirement age you're pushing, so I guess it isn't fair to imply you're a Republican.

                        That is...it's not fair to Republicans.

                        "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                        by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:18:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If we are abusing them at 70 then we... (0+ / 0-)

                          are abusing them at age 67...our disagreement is whether 3 years over the next 40 is a big deal or a little deal...you say big deal...I say little deal...

                          So we have a minor disagreement which you are making into Mt Everest.../peace

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:27:51 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Our disagreement is about whether it's ok (0+ / 0-)

                            to steal 2.5 trillion dollars that was paid in good faith with the expectation of being repaid.

                            That's not a minor disagreement.

                            You've picked a side in the class war.  It's not the side I, or most Democrats, stand on.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:35:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nothing was stolen... (0+ / 0-)

                            it was borrowed and is still owed to the SS Trust fund...we do not disagree that it must be paid back...

                            So we are in agreement on that point...

                            What you do not understand is that acturial value takes into account assets (including notes to the US Treasury) and Liabilities...so it is not an issue that we need to debate and is not the reason for the reforms proposed...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:39:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If its paid back, there's no need to (0+ / 0-)

                            raise the retirement age.

                            So, you're admiting that you think it should be raised just so you can see seniors suffer more.

                            You don't, btw, seem to know what acturial values are, anymore than you know anything about the actual financial picture for SS.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:49:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes there is... (0+ / 0-)

                            there is still an acturial deficit of the SS Trust fund of $75 Trillion dollars...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:25:16 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Link. (0+ / 0-)

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:51:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fuck you on this comment... (0+ / 0-)

                            stop fucking saying this FUCKING LIE that I WANT SENIORS TO SUFFER...NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH....

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:26:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're insisting that we massively increase (0+ / 0-)

                            their suffering, and force millions of them into poverty.

                            You've got absolutely no idea how much it might save, or what the liabilities of SS are.

                            You're not demanding this massive benefit cut because of any understanding of the financial concerns SS might have - you have no idea what those are.

                            You don't care in the least what's needed for the program. You just want to see the retirement age hiked by three years, whether or not it's in any way needed.

                            You've repeatedly said you take pleasure in seeing seniors work at supermarkets and department stores and fast-food outlets.

                            If you're not aware that most of the older people forced to take those jobs are suffering, you're bereft of empathy.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:51:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What you say... (0+ / 0-)

                            is massive I say is minor...in nature...which is the crux of our disagreement...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:57:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You think millions in povert is minor (0+ / 0-)

                            and you think millions more laboring through intense pain is minor.

                            I think seniors deserve a small measure of dignity after a life time of work.  

                            You don't.

                            Yes, that is the crux of our argument.

                            BTW - What's the most physically demanding job you've ever done?

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:00:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No that is not the crux of my argument... (0+ / 0-)

                            the crux of the argument is that a small change over the course of 40 years is not onerous and does not materially change the dignity and is not materially changing the number of people in pain because of working past their physical ability...

                            You believe on the other side that 3 years over the course of 40 will cause millions of people massive pain and loss of total dignity...common' that is not even close to reality...given the status of health of our seniors...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:46:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  // Not even CLOSE to enough of those jobs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kareylou

        "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

        by heart of a quince on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 04:25:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A very salient point at the moment. OTOH, (0+ / 0-)

      it is possible to envision a time in the future when we might not have enough workers to fund our safety net. Immigration has helped the US in that regard, but one can't necessarily assume that will continue in perpetuity as opportunities improve in other countries.

      IIRC, Japan, China, and many European countries (for different reasons) have to grapple with the issue of an aging population and its implication for publicly-funded safety nets.

      "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

      by be the change you seek on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:14:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Teachers? (0+ / 0-)

      I've wondered about this for a while. Why don't we have senior citizens transition into teaching part- or full-time if they can't find work until they retire? They should have a lot to teach the younger generation, they'll receive benefits, and it's even better if they have advanced degrees or credentials but are faced with age discrimination.

    •  65-70? (10+ / 0-)

      try anyone over the age of 40. No one wants to hire anyone over 40-45. I speak from experience here. 10 years of applying for jobs paying from 2/3 -1/4 of my previous salary. Not one bite. Not one.

      you're gonna get what you give

      by chicagobleu on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:28:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  look at the "long term unemployed" now. (5+ / 0-)

      most are over 40. so where are the 40-70 year old supposed to go? there can be a walmart on every corner and there won't be enough for four decades worth of unwanted workers.

      Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

      by marzook on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:44:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  umm... (0+ / 0-)

    So if we go with your numbers, then men are living an average of not quite three years more in retirement, and women are living an average of 5 years more in retirement.  

    So if we split the difference and say people are living an average of about 4 years longer after retirement than they did in 1940, then it is at least reasonable to suggest that the retirement age be raised by 4 years.  So it wouldn't be 70 it would be 69.  Close though.

    If you want to make the argument that our increased standard of living, or the fact that when we do work we work more hours, means we should be entitled to more retirement years, that is a somewhat separate argument.  One that has some merit, certainly.

    •  I also think we have to take out the people... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks

      who die before age 18 from the equation...they skew the numbers....you need to look at age expectancy of adults...which I suspect is over 85

      Obama - Change I still believe in

      by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:14:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you make it to 70 (0+ / 0-)
        Your age expectancy gets to 85.

        According to this table from the cdc, US life expectancy at 20 in the US was 78.6 in 2006.

        I don't know what the equivalent number from the 40s was.

        Not a lot of people die in childhood anymore. Looks like about 1%. The numbers are a lot less skewed than they used to be.

        The Empire never ended.

        by thejeff on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:54:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK I was off on that calculation... (0+ / 0-)

          but appreciate the data because I was spot on for retirement...for those who make it to age 70 the life expectancy is 14.9 years which is approximately 85 years old...and for 65 it is 83.5 years old...

          Which is pretty comparable to the original lifespan compared to the original retirement age of 62 back when SS was created...

          Thanks for proving my point for me...

          Obama - Change I still believe in

          by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:15:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Full retirement was 65 when SS was created. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maxschell

            Please at least browse Wikipedia.

            "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

            by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:35:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But the age expectation of living... (0+ / 0-)

              has increased and that was the general point of my comment...

              Yes I should have been more clear the 62 is an early retirement option with lesser benefits for those who choose to retire early...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 06:46:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It hasn't increased much for (0+ / 0-)

                people who live long enough to become part of the SS system.

                You haven't a clue what the program is now or was then - all you've got to offer is the firm belief that elderly people (except those in your family, who are 'different') deserve nothing but a desperate and lean existence scrounging for nickles under cofee cups untill they drop dead or become bedridden.

                "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 02:15:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh that is utter bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

                  I am in favor of treating the elderly with dignity and SS benefits...the only disagreement we have is that raising the retirement age 3 years over the next 40 years is a major negative issue for SS participants or it is a minor negative issue for SS participants...

                  As usual...you take the most minor disagreement and turn it into a major disagreement.../peace...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 05:53:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Peace? You've got to be kidding. (0+ / 0-)

                    Don't rant about lazy old people needing to work longer into their dotage, and assume there's a possiblity of peace between us.

                    You're advocating cutting SS benefits 18% just so the wealthy won't have to pay back the money they've looted.

                    "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                    by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:02:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I am not cutting anything... (0+ / 0-)

                      by gradually raising the retirement age by 3 years...and it has nothing to do with paying back funds...the issue is the actuarial value of benefits compared to receipts regardless of borrowings...

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:10:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What? How is stealing three years of benefits (0+ / 0-)

                        not a cut?

                        It has everything to do with the 2.5 trillion in tax cuts given to the rich, paid for by borrowing from the SS trust fund.

                        If that fund is paid back, SS is perfectly solvent for the next 40 years, which is well beyond the point projections mean much, anyway.

                        "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                        by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:15:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Has nothing to do with the borrowing from the... (0+ / 0-)

                          trust fund this is about the acturial value of the fund including amounts due to the SS Trust fund...one has nothing to do with the other...

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:25:00 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well reality and your rambles don't (0+ / 0-)

                            seem to have much to do with each other.

                            If the Trust Fund is paid back, there is no problem and no reason to raise the retirement age.

                            So, yes, they are most certainly related.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:26:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I understand... (0+ / 0-)

                            that many Kossacks do not understand the meaning of a actuarial value and that it has nothing to do with borrowings or actual cash in the fund...it is a difficult concept for non-accountants/finance to understand.../peace

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:29:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, the concept is really quite clear (0+ / 0-)

                            but you seem to be a bit confused about what a Treasury Bond is.

                            People paid extra premiums for 30 years in order to make sure the system could pay more in claims than it took in in premiums for the next 30.

                            It's not complicated, and it doesn't require anything more than fourth grade mathmatics to understand stand.

                            Please stop talking about peace while waging war against the poor and the elderly.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:33:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And the treasury bond pays ... (0+ / 0-)

                            the SS Trust fund interest on those borrowings...

                            Again you fail to understand basic accounting theory...but that is OK...many Kossacks are in your same situation...

                            The system is not actuarially sound even with counting the $2.5 Trillion in Treasury bonds owed to the trust fund...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:41:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Until 2037 it's just fine (0+ / 0-)

                            if the bonds are paid back.

                            And, yes, paying the bonds involves paying the interest they bear.  Duh.

                            However, there's no "basic accounting theory" that the vast majority who oppose your sadistic goals are somehow failing to understand.

                            You know nothing about accounting or how insurance works, and you're making that clearer and clearer every time you insist that raising the retirement age is not a benefit cut.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:59:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is not sound if it is going broke... (0+ / 0-)

                            in 26 years...which we now both agree on...the point is make small changes now to make the SS Trust fund solvent for the next 75+ years and be done...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:32:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The Trust Fund is meant to be exhausted (0+ / 0-)

                            at which point it will return to the Pay-Go program it was originally intended to be.

                            Economic forecasts more than 40 years out are just guesses.  

                            We did nothing at all to it under Clinton, and guess what happened?

                            We gained 5 more years.  In 1991, they estimated the Trust Fund would exhaust in 2032.

                            No changes were made.  Turns out, life expectancy didn't increase as much as they'd projected.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:39:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So make small changes now and be... (0+ / 0-)

                            done for the next 75 - 100 years

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:43:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You've got not interest in small changes. (0+ / 0-)

                            You're demanding massive benefit cuts, despite the fact that you haven't got the slightest idea what the shortfalls are, or how much money the cuts you're insisting on would save.

                            You didn't even know what the retirement age was when you started making these demands.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:47:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You say massive...I say minor... (0+ / 0-)

                            the crux of the disagreement...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:58:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  An 18% cut is massive. That's (0+ / 0-)

                            not the crux of our disagreement.

                            The fact is, you don't give a shit about this issue.  You've just got a knee-jerk reaction when you hear "fuck the poor".  You cheer it, and claim that doing so makes you "moderate" (as if that's ever been a decent place to stand).

                            You don't know what the shortfall is.  You don't know how much surplus the benefit cuts you demand would create.

                            You just like the idea of people suffering at shit jobs for another three years.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:03:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  continuing to say that I want to fuck... (0+ / 0-)

                            the poor and elderly and make them suffer does not make it true...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:48:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  BTW - Hiking the retirement age to 70 would (0+ / 0-)

                            close 1/3rd of the SS shortfall.

                            Raising witholding by 1.1 percent (0.55% each for employer and employee) would close the whole gap without raising the retirement age.

                            So, your call.

                            Do you really begrudge Senior Citizens 0.55% of your paycheck, if it means keeping them out of poverty and providing them with a basic measure of dignity?

                            Raising the retirement age doesn't solve the problem, anyway.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:50:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

                            since SS taxes are highly regressive (essentially a flat tax)...I would be more in favor of a small increase in the retirement age...and other small changes to stop a tax increase...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:50:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow. Raising the retirement age is *massively* (0+ / 0-)

                            regressive, since it's the poor that would lose the most.

                            You want to see to it that less than half of all blue-collar men ever see a dime of SS, and you claim this is progressive?

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:50:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not true at all.. (0+ / 0-)

                            that is a myth and a gross misrepresentation of the statistics...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:36:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You have no idea what any of the relevant numbers (0+ / 0-)

                            are, and haven't bothered to do even the slightest research on the topic.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:22:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Neither have you...n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:30:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Tell me about the 75 trillion, again. (0+ / 0-)

                            Tell me full retirement age is 65, agian.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:46:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My hasty mistake... (0+ / 0-)

                            $75 Trillion is the total outlay...the actual acturial deficit is only about $2.5 Trillion and that includes the asset from the US Treasury...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:01:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And that's over *75* years, assuming pessimistic (0+ / 0-)

                            estimates of wage growth are the most accurate.

                            There is no financial need to raise the retirement age.

                            At all.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:19:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If we start doing it gradually... (0+ / 0-)

                            5 years from now over the following 36 years...there will be no issues with SS for the forseeable future...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:22:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  We already raised the age 2 years. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxschell

      Please try to keep up.

      Men are living 2.6 years longer, but more importantly, 0.6 years longer than they did in 1981 when the retirement age was last increased.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:34:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But we are also healthier... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ScottDog

    due to breakthroughs in medical care in our 70+ years than we were in the 1940s too...

    This FP story makes the case for me that we should raise the retirement age by 3 years over the next 36 years (1 month per year)...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:56:50 PM PDT

    •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxschell

      Is there some sort of funding problem with Social Security?

      "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

      by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:03:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes when it was designed... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScottDog

        there were 40 workers for each retiree...now there are approximately 3 workers for each retiree...problem...

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:06:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Robobagpiper, JesseCW

          Are you saying that Social Security is -- or is imminently -- insolvent?

          "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

          by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:08:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not imminently... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ScottDog

            that is why a gradual increase of 1 month per year over the next 36 years would easily solve the problem...but the longer we wait the worse the problem becomes...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:13:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Guess I Don't Understand (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Alumbrados, denise b, JesseCW

              What the problem is -- and I don't understand what benefit is conferred on society by raising the eligibility age.

              "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

              by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:18:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There have been many changes... (0+ / 0-)

                in all sorts of retirement benefits around the world...it happens all the time to adjust the supporting revenue to the expected and required outlays...

                Obama - Change I still believe in

                by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:34:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Bink, you're thinking emotionally, he's (0+ / 0-)

                thinking strictly from a funding/sustainability standpoint.

                Obviously they are other ways to fund SS for the short-term, but his plan would make it more sustainable over the long-term, vs just levying a big tax on the wealthy once every 20 years.

                Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

                by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:50:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No (6+ / 0-)

                  I'm just wondering 1) why there is this panic over a possible small funding problem with a program 40 years from now right now during the middle of a deep financial crisis with so many other pressing issues and 2) why we are so resistent to the idea of implementing government policy that helps ordinary people.

                  Most folks won't be able to work much at 70.

                  True story.

                  "Simon Wiesenthal told me that any political party in a democracy that uses the word 'freedom' in its name is either Nazi or Communist."

                  by bink on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:54:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  True story now. (0+ / 0-)

                    And back in the day.

                    It would be naive to think that by the time I'm 70 (and I'm in my mid 20's now), me and my peers won't be in much better mental and physical shape.

                    Are you working to reduce pain, or just distribute it?

                    by Liberaltarianish on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:01:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  When they break out the cybernetics (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JesseCW

                      then we can revisit this issue but until then let's not make any hasty assumptions and say that we younger folks will be just as likely to be senile old people yelling for those damn kids to get off our lawns because raising it to 70 is the first step to pretty much doing away with it entirely.

                      The Great Depression: Now In Color!

                      by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:16:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  There isn't any reason to think you'll be... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Val, barbwires, cognitivecontinuity

                      ...in as good a shape as you're in now. When you're out of work and don't have health care, things can go downhill fast.

                      Not to mention, I don't want to work until I'm 70, but I've had to use up almost all of my god damned savings for retirement over the past ten years because of being unemployed as companies I've worked for went out of business and downsized due to shrinking markets and sending jobs overseas, all no fault of my own.

                      I've been out of work a year now and still can't find a job, although I have twenty years of machine design experience, including supervising R&D and part owner of my own company for a short time and I also have a couple of years of structural engineering experience as well. I've sent resume's out for the past year and not received one interview.

                      The jobs I did find over the past ten years paid half of what I made the previous ten years. So, besides driving down my wages and driving up my health care costs they now want to make work that much longer for that much less? Fuck them. Fuck them all.

                      Wealth is destroying America.  We can no longer afford to support the wealthy in this country. Wealth in this country does not produce jobs, it just captures more wealth from what's left of the middle class. Therefore, we must tax the wealthy until we can balance our budget and provide living wage paying jobs for our citizens. Any program short of that is just pouring more bullshit on the problem instead of actually fixing it.

                      The sleep of reason produces monsters.

                      by Alumbrados on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:28:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Your peers will be the first generation (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      maxschell, denise b

                      to die younger than their parents.

                      One third of them will have Diabetes by the time they're 50.

                      There's little reason to believe that at 70 they'll be in better shape than their grandparents are today.

                      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                      by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:37:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Best comment of the week! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    maxschell

                    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

                    by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:23:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  No, in fact SS doesn't need to be touched (4+ / 0-)

            for 25 years; by which time we demographic projections will be "5 year out" accuracy, rather than "30 year out" accuracy level, and we'll know how we need to adjust withholdings and benefits to keep the system in balance.

            Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, and part of a scheme to steal the 2.5 trillion in the trust fund by pretending that it's an IOU, or a special burden to the government, and that it can just be written off at Social Security's expense.

            The only policy decision that needs to be made between now and 2035 is "how do we increase general revenues so that we have the funds to cover the T-bills Social Security will redeem over the next quarter century".

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:02:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's actually a misleading statistic (9+ / 0-)

          Yes, during its start-up, when few qualified but many were paying in, that was the ratio. But for decades it's been stabilized at around three workers for each employee, which was fine until the trust fund began to be raided.

          Altman goes over this in the book as well: This is another zombie lie I plan on tackling that Altman shoots down.

          ANY pension plan at its beginning has many contributors and few pensioners. In fact, it always was planned from the very beginning to stabilize at around 3:1.

    •  Some are healthier (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, schnecke21

      there is a marked increase in disability over 60, let alone 70.

      You are also assuming everyone gets access to medical care.

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:44:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is why we have SS Disability... (0+ / 0-)

        for the exceptions...

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:30:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOTS of people are caught in the middle (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, schnecke21

          Too sick to get and keep a job; not sick enough to get on Disability.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

          by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:26:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  SS Disability works... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jim bow

            my mother who applied when she was 60 (and it took 1 appeal) is a fully functioning person afflicted with 45 years of type 1 diabetes.  She can walk and generally function and she made the case that working was killing her because she needed to focus on controlling her diabetes and won SSDI...

            So the system works just fine...it is not just for people who are completely disabled...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 06:28:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Many people cannot get on (0+ / 0-)

              I had no problem myself, but I've heard stories of people in far worse shape than I am who got turned down, one of them being a friend of mine with HIV. His doctors could never pin down what was causing his shakiness and weakness, and without a clear diagnosis they will not approve you.

              The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

              by denise b on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 06:00:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  In general if you are too sick to get and... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jim bow

            keep a job you would be eligible for SSDI...that is the primary purpose of the program...

            The Listing of Impairments describes, for each major body system, impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity (or in the case of children under age 18 applying for SSI, severe enought to cause marked and severe functional limitations). Most of the listed impairments are permanent or expected to result in death, or the listing includes a specific statement of duration is made. For all other listings, the evidence must show that the impairment has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. The criteria in the Listing of Impairments are applicable to evaluation of claims for disability benefits under the Social Security disability insurance program or payments under both the SSI program.

            http://www.ssa.gov/...

            Honestly many people would qualify if they just applied...and in some cases appealed (even if your case goes on appeal for years the back date benefits to the day you would have been eligible when you finally get approved)

            Here is where it would apply to a manual laborer...

            http://www.ssa.gov/...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 07:42:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Really? SS Disability will cover you if a life (0+ / 0-)

          time of waiting tables has left you with painfully swollen ankles at the end of every shift, and chronic pain, and a haggard face the Employers don't want to hire?

          Who knew.

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:39:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If those conditions preclude you from working... (0+ / 0-)

            sure...(except for the haggard face remark)...and there are plenty of wait staff at local greasy spoons that are not good looking or young...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 06:30:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Guess what? Wait Staff who show the ravages (0+ / 0-)

              of age don't get choice jobs.

              That's reality.

              The jobs they are able to land, at places willing to put with them hobbling around, pay far less.

              I've seen plenty of people ripping tickets from wheelchairs - why did your mother decide to exploit taxpayers instead of working?

              "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

              by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 02:13:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  She did not... (0+ / 0-)

                exploit taxpayers...you are a total asshole for saying that and I will not dignify with a response...

                If you apologize...I will explain to you the rules of SSDI and how she qualified under the rules of the program...

                Obama - Change I still believe in

                by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 05:55:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  According to you, if she's capable of working at (0+ / 0-)

                  all she shouldn't be enjoying leisure.

                  Or at least, those are the rules you think should apply to everyone not related to you.

                  Like most Right-Wing Authoritarians, you believe that you and yours are the "exceptions" who "only use programs as they were meant to be used".

                  Every Republican on Welfare always has the same reasoning.

                  "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                  by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:05:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  More utter bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

                    and taking a minor disagreement and turning it into a monumental disagreement...

                    I never said that...I am all for retirees enjoying life...stop using hyperbole to try making you point...

                    Obama - Change I still believe in

                    by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:11:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Bullshit. You've repeatedly claimed (0+ / 0-)

                      that they should be required to work as long as they can, and they should only be permited a break if they can qualify for SSDI.

                      "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                      by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:13:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Now if you are interested... (0+ / 0-)

                        I can explain why...but I suspect you are only interested in hyperbole and ad-homenim attacks...

                        And people can retire whenever they want, the question is when does SS kick in...that is all we are discussing...I am all for personal choice on retirement...

                        You act as all people are just a bunch of dependent children who are not able to work 1 day longer than the current retirement age or they will fall apart...

                        There is a middle ground...if 70 is an issue than 67 is an issue for the same people...that will not make a difference...to most people...if you are saying it should be lowered to 55 or 60 then that is a different issue...

                        Lets look at middle ground here rather than making a mountain out of a molehill.../peace

                        Obama - Change I still believe in

                        by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:23:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, people cannot retire whenever they want (0+ / 0-)

                          unless they want to starve.

                          Your quest to destroy the Safety Net on which we rely is not "being for persnal choice".

                          It's about fucking old people over and forcing them into penury, into begging for the chance to sweep a floor for a few hours in hope of a sandwich.

                          Again, while you continue to oppose justice, there is no peace between us.  You're as much my enemy as Pete Peterson, or the board of the Heritage Foundation.

                          You seek the same dystopia they do.

                          Calling your inhumane right-wing extremism the "middle ground" does not make it so.

                          You're seeking the destruction of the New Deal, by advocating an entirely unnecessary 18% cut to Social Security merely because you enjoy seeing old people suffer for their bread.

                          "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                          by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:30:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh yes... (0+ / 0-)

                            3 years over the next 40 will completely destroy the safety net...any more hyperbole on Hyperbole Monday from you...

                            Again you believe 3 years over the next 40 is the end of the world and I believe it is a minor adjustment to a 65 year old program...

                            I also believe even if I agreed with you the extent of your hyperbole on the issue that old people will be destroyed over 3 years is not reality based...we can agree to disagree on the policy...but to say the 67 year old retirement age all will be peachy keen and 70 years old and grandma will be in the streets and pennyless...is just plain childish...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:35:09 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why should any blue-collar man support SS (0+ / 0-)

                            after you turn it into a long-short lottery he's unlikely to ever benefit from?

                            How the hell does SS survive if half the Country turns against paying into it, since they'll be unlikely to ever benefit from it?

                            You're advocating a 18% benefit cut to a program that currently barely keeps 1/4th of its recipients out of poverty, and which leave 1/8th in poverty.

                            Those cuts will dump many seniors into pure desperation.

                            Those cuts are entirely unnecessary, if the rich pay back what they borrowed from the program.

                            One is forced to assume that since there is no financial reason for the cuts, you just want them to occur for ideological reasons.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:44:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It has nothing to do with... (0+ / 0-)

                            paying back the treasury bills...are you dense or just trying to be obtuse about this issue...it is about acturial values not cash balances...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:47:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You don't even understand the (0+ / 0-)

                            terms you're using.

                            SS is fully funded, at current levels, as long as the T-bills are honored.

                            It seems you heard the term "acturial value" at some point, and having no idea what it meant, starting waving it around like a magic chicken foot to ward off those evil fact which all undercut your poorly constructed arguments in favor of fucking working-class seniors for the benefit of the rich.

                            If you understood the term at all, you'd understand why raising the retirement age three years is an across the board 18% benefit cut.

                            Oh, and for your own ammusement, since you like watching them struggle at simple physical tasks while they desperately hope they don't suffer an injury or accident that leaves them homeless and destitute.

                            It's really hard to understand someone having as active a desire to harm the elderly as you do.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:56:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is an acturial deficit of $75 Trillion... (0+ / 0-)

                            dollars in SS Trust fund (and that includes the amounts owed in T-Bills)...that is what we are talking about...but of course people like you do not understand acturial numbers so you focus on false choices...instead...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:27:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're just making shit up for fun now. (0+ / 0-)

                            Claims so utterly outlandish that either George Bush would be laughing at you.

                            But, please, I'd love to see the link that supports your claim.  

                            Even the Heritage Foundation and CATO institute have been talking no more than 1 trillion over the course of the entire 21st century, and that's using very pessimistic projections.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:41:32 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are the one who is... (0+ / 0-)

                            subject to hyperbole

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:46:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Link. No source, right or left, has ever claimed (0+ / 0-)

                            SS has a 75 trillion deficit, over any time frame.

                            You have no idea what you're talking about.

                            You don't know what average life expectancy is, you don't know how big the shortfall is, and you only just found out what the current retirement age is.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:54:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And this bit of hyperbole and projection... (0+ / 0-)

                            of my motives takes the cake as being a chidish asshole...

                            You're seeking the destruction of the New Deal, by advocating an entirely unnecessary 18% cut to Social Security merely because you enjoy seeing old people suffer for their bread.

                            Why can't you fucking have an adult-to-adult conversation without that projection bullshit!!!!

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:37:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You've made it clear that you think (0+ / 0-)

                            there's nothing wrong with expecting someone to stock shelves at 70.

                            That's suffering, for easily 80% of the people that age.

                            Doge, weave, whimper, or deny - you've signed on to subjecting millions to very substantial suffering for no better reason than that it appeals to some vague notion you have about "self reliance".

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:40:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Where is your proof... (0+ / 0-)

                            that the elderly 30 years from  now will suffer significantly more than they do today by retiring at age 70 as opposed to age 67...I see no valid evidence of that...and you have provided none...except for your belief that it is cruel to make people work 1 day past their 67th birthday...why 67...why not 57 or 47...hell lets let everyone just retire when the are tired of working...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:44:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You need "proof" that a 18% cut to benefits (0+ / 0-)

                            will cause hardship?

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:46:49 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is not a cut... (0+ / 0-)

                            it is a gradual rise in the retirement age...the actual monthly check is not being cut one dime...so show me the proof that there will be old people dying in the streets because of a 3 year rise in the retirement age in 40 years....

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:49:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A 18% reduction in benefits paid out (0+ / 0-)

                            is a fucking cut.

                            If I saw you spewing this Peterson bullshit while I wasn't talking to you, your Right-Wing talking points would be getting HR's.

                            But, what can one expect from a person who loves to see 70 year olds trying to unload trucks.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:51:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are just being obtuse and... (0+ / 0-)

                            argumentative now and childish...I do not want anyone to suffer...the only question is...does raising the retirement age gradually by 3 years over the next 40 constitute destitude for the elderly or is it a reasonable adjustment to benefits given the changes to our society and aging demographics...???

                            You say it is a disaster...I say it is a small reasonable change over time...we agree to disagree on a small point...

                            An 18% cut would mean cutting benefits immediately by 18% when you do it over time...it is not equivalent to an 18% cut because of the time value of money...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:31:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I'm just giving back to you the things (0+ / 0-)

                            you've said over the last several days while pushing for a massive theft of The Peoples money.

                            Have you noticed your "tell"?

                            When you're aware that you're spewing complete bullshit, you start using a lot of ellipsis.

                            75 trillion dollar SS shortfall....Pete Peterson would be proud.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:46:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Over several days...WTF,,, (0+ / 0-)

                            why not over several years...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:57:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who knew you'd been demanding this (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dvogel001

                            dystopia be created for your ammusement for years?

                            I haven't compiled a list of all your Right-Wing nonsense, I'm just going on what I've seen you write the last few days.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:05:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  I would raise the age.... (0+ / 0-)

    but lower and/or eliminate the tax on SS if you decide to work past retirement age...so you can continue to work if you like and still collect SS...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:58:41 PM PDT

    •  So, you'd like desperate elderly workers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxschell

      to undercut the labor market, driving down wages for everyone, rather than permit them a little dignity in their old age.

      I'm betting Wal-Mart would love your plan.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:40:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In the final analysis... (7+ / 0-)

    ...what matters is the numbers, which indicate that Social Security (unlike the rest of our government) is extremely solvent and that changes to SS are unnecessary at present since SS is funded as its own line item.

    Medicare and the rest of the debt may be a different story.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:59:52 PM PDT

  •  Income Inequality Kos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxschell, barbwires

    A proposal for a weekly series on the issues of income inequality and concentration of wealth, here.

    Please weigh in.

  •  More savings vehicles now though.... (0+ / 0-)

    When SS was created, there also weren't the opportunities to save like there are now.  401k's permit a max of $16,500 annually with $20,500 as a catch-up.  IRA's add another $5,000 with extra for catchup.

    I think for anyone under 50, you keep the current ages in place.  If you're under 50, you can easily make up the difference with just setting a few bucks aside.  It adds up fast when you're deferring the tax on it.

    •  Remember the three legged stool? (8+ / 0-)

      Pension
      Social Security
      Personal Savings

      In 1970 49% of people were part of an employer sponsored pension system
      Now, 28%.
      In 1970, median income was increasing at approximately 3% per year.
      It's been flat since 1980.

      How's that one-legged stool doing?

      the fact that you're right is nothing more than interesting

      by Egg on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:28:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't blame Corps for dropping pensions (0+ / 0-)

        Defining a benefit 30 years in the future and trying to guarantee it is a huge risk to a company.  Nobody can guarantee returns...I think it puts both the company and the retiree at risk.

        Investing doesn't need to be expensive either. Vanguard charges .08% per year for most of it's funds and they adjust as you age.  When you're young, you are invested 90% in stocks.  When you're 65, only 10%.  You have broad diversification across all sectors, sizes, and regions.  

        If the average 30 year old put their 6.2% plus their employers 6.2% in something like this, you'd have about 350k at retirement.  That's assuming a flat 40k salary with no raises and 2% returns.  Which is ULTRA conservative.  You add on your own 401k savings, that's a good start.

        You could collect $18k in interest without touchhing the $350k.  

        •  You missed the point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          barbwires, JesseCW
          You're claiming there are opportunities to save now that didn't exist back then, which is true.

          He replied that back then there were pensions, which while they are not "an opportunity to save", were a source of retirement income that doesn't exist now. These new opportunities replace them as retirement income.

          So the need for social security is not affected. You lose one source of retirement income and replace it with another.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 04:21:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get the point, it's irrelevant though.... (0+ / 0-)

            You still have 3 places to save....401k (replaced pension), SS, and personal savings outside retirement accounts.

            But even moreso, you have an opportunity to start early and save in a tax-deferred way.  The problem with most people is discipline, not how much they make.

    •  At the end of the day... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      denise b, wsexson

      ...it's a wash. If you are paid $2k/month via Social Security, or you save up a nest egg that pays you $2k/month in interest, society doesn't really see the difference. At the end of the day, you're still not working and drawing $2k/month in resources out of society.

      That's why the privatization scheme was such a farce: even if it worked the way proponents claimed it would ("better returns than SS"), it would just amount to the economic equivalent of a tax increase anyway.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:30:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        barbwires, JesseCW

        Although the risk of complete loss via privatization and increased fees, fund managers self-dealing, transfer of losses from one end of the private management companies to the retirees are what the real problems are.

        Everyone knows by now, for example, if the privatization happened in 2005 anything put into it would have been used by the funds (operated by the banks or hedge fund friends) and dumped into subprime mortgages or credit default swaps, etc.

        In reality all of this is Kabuki trying to mask the fact that an easier method of tackling the obligations of this country is to re-introduce 1950's style tax rates. That it would largely affect only 2 to 3 percent of taxpayers seems to be the biggest stumbling block.

        •  Re (0+ / 0-)

          In reality all of this is Kabuki trying to mask the fact that an easier method of tackling the obligations of this country is to re-introduce 1950's style tax rates. That it would largely affect only 2 to 3 percent of taxpayers seems to be the biggest stumbling block.

          I find this difficult to believe, honestly. If the top 2-3% of taxpayers mostly save their extra income, taxing that extra income will merely result in inflation, with little if any actual increase in living standards across the broad mass of US citizens.

          I am very skeptical of claims that there is a vast store of wealth in the rich just waiting to be tapped like a giant oil field. While I'm sure there is some room for wealth capture there, I don't think it will work out the way that most people here think it will.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:45:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  At 1% interest it adds up really fast (0+ / 0-)

      in a money market option.  If you put it in a mutual fund it will add up even faster until the day it loses.

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 05:47:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You do realize, don't you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maxschell, Habitat Vic, schnecke21

      that only a small percentage of the population can save $16K a year?

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

      by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:28:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course! Just save extra $25K per year. Easy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schnecke21

      I am in my early 50s and, yes, IF I get back to full employment (and reinflating my almost gone IRA & 401K) I will definitely look at doing catch up payments.

      But the idea of putting aside that extra $25,500 a year for a typical worker is ludicrous.  The median (50% make less, 50% make more) household income in 2009 was $46K in the US. They are not putting aside an extra $25K per year.  $100K per year is only made by the top 15%, top 10% starts at $120K. link: http://www.mybudget360.com/...

      I have a downsized friend who is struggling with self employment (the great "consultant" euphemism). He's hustling and maybe pulls in $120K or so per year. But with three kids to put through college and $18K per year on health insurance, he can't put aside an extra $25K either.

      You're quite correct technically about "just setting a few bucks aside" when you're younger, but for the vast majority of households that are struggling to get by (and will never earn enough to have that extra $25K per year to catch up), or that are out of work in their 40s and 50s, you might as well parrot the talking points of the Catfood Commission.

  •  Quality of life HAS to be considered (6+ / 0-)

    Medical technology can keep people living longer but at a certain point quality of life certainly goes down and there's no reliable way of saying a person in 1940 who was 70 has a greater or lesser quality of life than someone who is 70 today.

    There's a reason we have retirement and it's not because at the end of our lives we want to kick back with some leisure time. It's because the body begins to feel the increased effects of aging. The number of years past 65 maybe going up but when you factor in the number of years after 65 where a person is completely self sufficient I'm pretty sure those numbers have even gone up less dramatically.

    So great raise the age to 70 and you're not just taking away five years you're taking away the best possible years to utilize SS. The years where a person can get out and take care of their lawn, enjoy their hobbies, travel, etc. The argument is complete bullshit and wouldn't even be brought up if it wasn't such a popular argument with aging voters who've been told their SS is going to dry up unless they make their grandkids retire at 70.

    The Great Depression: Now In Color!

    by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:04:51 PM PDT

    •  Some people act as if we... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScottDog

      have zero quality of life while we are working...that is just not true...many people have wonderful quality of life during their working years as well as into retirement...

      Many go back to work after they retire because they find they are bored in retirement or they find some sort of alternative work...

      Like I met a retired police officer from Boston who went to Napa CA and was hired by a winery to serve wine at wine tastings...he had to pinch himself everyday...getting paid to talk to people, taste wine and get all great  wines at wholesale prices...

      Obama - Change I still believe in

      by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:10:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not what I said at all. (9+ / 0-)

        Most people that are 30 have a great quality of life. They can feed, cloth and bathe themselves but there's a natural curve at play here where towards the end of our lives we stop being able to do these simple basic things. People begin to slow down. What you could do easily at 30 sometimes becomes a bit problematic at 70.

        We're just looking at these numbers and going "Well we're living longer! Raise the age!" but we're failing to ask what kind of years we're adding onto our lives. Are we trading 5 non-working years where you can have some basic dignity with life for five non-working years where you're in a nursing home strapped to a catheter?

        Your example of a retired police officer is completely bogus as well. If the retirement age was raised to 70 he'd still have to be working a Boston beat instead of having the ability to move to Napa and have a job as a hobby.

        The Great Depression: Now In Color!

        by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:26:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not true... (0+ / 0-)

          he was retired on his civil servent pension and savings...and he retired before SS kicked in...

          It is not a hobby to him it is a job and he loves it...

          Obama - Change I still believe in

          by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:32:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Apparently you just think (6+ / 0-)

            everyone should work until they're dead and love every minute of it because every job is a joy.

            I've known older people with second jobs and they do them because they want to get out of the house and not out of any necessity. That's great. They're lucky. I've known people who love their full time job that is their necessity and would never think of not doing it. They too are very lucky. Then there's people that have very difficult manual labor jobs who do it because it pays the bills. Demanding that they work until they're 70 is lunacy.

            The Great Depression: Now In Color!

            by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:40:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As usual... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Minnesota Mike

              neither position is reality...the reality is that many people can and will get a lot out of working and going to 70 is no big deal and others that will not work for...

              So making hyperbole on either side of the equation is not helpful...

              Gradually raising the age over the next 40 years (wait 4 years and then 1 month per year for the next 36 years) would not be the death knell of American society either...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:54:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But not raising it would also (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fhcec, JesseCW

                not be the death kneel of America.  There's far better arguments to be made to keep the age the same, let people retire if they need or want to and make sure there's a safety net there for old age. If the system truly is without funds then you tick up the SS tax a little bit to support it.

                The Great Depression: Now In Color!

                by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:08:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  As usual the RW is not correct... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Minnesota Mike

                  that the answer is always cutting taxes and the LW is not always right that the answer is raising taxes...the answer is in the mushy middle.../peace

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:04:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, your idiology is in the right edge of (0+ / 0-)

                    the mushy middle, but that's not were the answers ussually are.

                    Unless the question is "How do we fuck the poor more severely".

                    "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                    by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:44:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The answer is apparently (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Minnesota Mike

                    to throw your hands up in the air and run around like C-3PO confused over what to do about Master Luke.

                    At some point you have to make a decision. You can't just say "The extremes on both sides are extreme!" and then say "Well we'll do something between those." The RW would like to eliminate the program altogether. The LW is looking to keep it around without putting more burden on working people.

                    The Great Depression: Now In Color!

                    by TheChop on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 02:13:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It is called a representative Democracy... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jim bow, Minnesota Mike

                      and comming up with solutions that satisfy a population that has generally polled by gallup over the last 40 years as...

                      20% Liberal/Progressive
                      35% Moderate
                      40% Conservative

                      So lets start living in that reality world and stop expecting miracles and calling out when people in political office don't get the most liberal solution...complete failures...

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 06:52:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Don't we have more important things (0+ / 0-)

                to worry about right now than when people will retire 40 years from now?

                If we could get the economy going there would be lots more Federal revenues. Likewise if we could stop meddling in other countries at enormous cost to ourselves.

                The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

                by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:32:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  social security is strained but the pension (0+ / 0-)

            system is completely broken - exponential curve - that will be impossible to maintain.

            You have to do a lot more saving than we have to sustainably retire with 90% of your working income as many salaried people with pensions are doing now.

            It's obviously another thing altogether if you have huge bonuses and stock options that have panned out than if you work at minimum wage or even construction jobs in high cost areas where it's difficult to put money aside.

            On the other hand, as a nation we may well need to buy fewer boats and fewer houses and fewer gas guzzles and so forth to afford retirement.

            Social security is not the problem, tho'. Fixing it would be very simple. Fixing the pension system, such as it is, will be much more difficult.

            •  The pension system as we know it is dead... (0+ / 0-)

              we need to face the fact and move on...you need to save and assume you have no pension...

              I have a friend who works for one of the global big-4 accounting firms as a partner and he was told explicitly to plan on retirement without the pension...that the pension is just icing on the cake...and that is for the wealthy...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:19:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  YOu can still do those things... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScottDog

      Just save extra in a 401k, IRA, etc.  I know the argument will be "Oh, great for those that have jobs".  But we'll get back to 5% unemployment soon, like we were in mid-2008.  We shouldn't be assuming that unemployment will always remain at 10%.

      •  In other words... (0+ / 0-)

        The current younger generation gets to work so that the current older generation can retire at 65 but has to fiend for itself until they're 70.

        The Great Depression: Now In Color!

        by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:28:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          That seems to be the case. I haven't figured out how exactly the government expects the people that are young and get that situation to support and at the same time expect their parents or grandparents to sell their kids or grandchildren down the river.

          I expect one or more revolutions at the ballot box over this upcoming debacle.

        •  Yes, exactly (0+ / 0-)

          I'm 32. I have no expectations for social security, whatsoever.  It doesn't even enter into my planning.  We're squarely middle class...not management or executives.  We just live below our means and try to save for retirement.  We have the luxury of time.

          Personally, I don't want to rely on social security.  I don't want to rely on something that can so easily be yanked out from under me.  It's a sham that politicians are able to raid the SS fund so easy.

          •  You've been sold that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Val, barbwires, JesseCW
            And that con job is the only reason there might not be Social Security waiting for you. The expectation has been created that it won't be. People who don't expect it won't be outraged when it's taken away.

            And don't kid yourself that whatever else you're relying on won't disappear so easily. You're 32, it's easy to say just ride out the market slumps. A crash when you need to take money out could still wipe out a good deal of your value when you can't wait for it to recover.

            A good period of un(der)employment can make you dig into those savings.  

            And it sounds like you're probably well above the median income? The half of the country that isn't has a lot more trouble putting anything away, much less keeping through crises.

            The Empire never ended.

            by thejeff on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 04:35:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Your savings can be yanked away too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            It's nice for you that you're so assured about your future, but life has many surprises. Social Security is the one thing that you can count on.

            The fact that the Social Security trust fund was spent is not a problem in Social Security.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

            by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:38:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  How does it feel to know you've fallen for (0+ / 0-)

            a billionaires PR campaign, and are willing to cut your own throat based on the lies he's been funding since you were 12?

            "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

            by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:47:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, people despereately saving (0+ / 0-)

        every penny they can for retirement will really help get that U3 back to 5%.

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:46:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another important question (6+ / 0-)

    Where exactly are these jobs going to come from? People already have a hard enough time getting jobs in their 50's. If we have a higher level of unemployment going forward, say 6% and above, we would need some fairly drastic changes to our system of labor in order for raising it to 70 to be realistic. One possibility might be a shorter work week, say 32-35 hours, in exchange.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:05:40 PM PDT

  •  Few jobs for older workers (8+ / 0-)

      Companies do not want to hire older workers. They fear they will be a drain on the company's health plan.
      My husband just turned 66. He is healthy, but he fears that  someone in corporate will notice his age and "downsize" him at any time.  If they do, he would be lucky to get a job as a Walmart greeter.
     No one hires older workers if they can help it. Even for government jobs there is an unspoken age bias.
     My husband has an office job, but what of those who have more physically demanding work?  Try doing those with a 65+ year old body.

  •  Work til 70? (7+ / 0-)

    At what fucking job?  People in their fifties are not getting hired as it is.

    Forget the statistics and the charts.  Just answer one simple question:  At what jobs?

    When you punch enough holes through steerage, the first-class cabins sink with the rest of the ship.

    by Roddy McCorley on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:13:44 PM PDT

    •  Have you been to a supermarket or a department... (0+ / 0-)

      store lately...full of 70 year old assistants...

      Obama - Change I still believe in

      by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:15:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wal-Mart greeter positions don't really count. (6+ / 0-)

        Seriously. I worked with a guy at a television station who was in his 70's and worked weekends answering phones. His attitude was he enjoyed the job but could tell them to kiss his ass at any point and walk out. There's a difference between having a 20 hour a week job to get you out of the house and having to make hours and get enough money to pay the rent.

        The Great Depression: Now In Color!

        by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:30:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree with your premise... (0+ / 0-)

          all jobs count...

          Obama - Change I still believe in

          by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:35:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So there's no difference between (6+ / 0-)

            working as a Boston beat cop and chit chatting with tourists as you serve them wine?

            You can disagree but you're just wrong.

            The Great Depression: Now In Color!

            by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:43:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is a difference... (0+ / 0-)

              clearly...but they are both jobs...one is a lifetime job and one is a "winddown" job...but both are jobs nonetheless...

              Obama - Change I still believe in

              by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:51:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You can't make social policy based on Napa Valley (4+ / 0-)

                Exactly. It's a "luxury" job. If his boss starts to stress him out and the job becomes no fun he can quit. My mom had a similar job at a car wash so she could meet people and chat them up. Not everyone can get those jobs and most people that can get those jobs don't rely on them for necessities. Hell, economically I'm pretty sure living in Napa Valley and working at a winery is probably less viable than living somewhere cheaper and not even working.

                If you raise the age you're going to just have more people using disability or not being able to safely say they're going to have a job. By the time this takes effect private pensions are going to be nearly extinct. The reality is the number of people that can viably work and support themselves after 65 is not going to go up if you raise the age. Whether that's due to infirmity or due to lack of jobs. We have a policy in place to alleviate that uncertainty now. There's no reason to make sweeping changes to it.

                The Great Depression: Now In Color!

                by TheChop on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:04:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK lets take this one at a time... (0+ / 0-)

                  Exactly. It's a "luxury" job. If his boss starts to stress him out and the job becomes no fun he can quit. My mom had a similar job at a car wash so she could meet people and chat them up.

                  Bullshit...there are tons of those jobs and you know the youthful are too wrapped up in themselves to be chatty...

                  Not everyone can get those jobs and most people that can get those jobs don't rely on them for necessities. Hell, economically I'm pretty sure living in Napa Valley and working at a winery is probably less viable than living somewhere cheaper and not even working.

                  Of course wisely, he chose to live just outside of Napa Valley so that the housing costs would be cheaper...it is all about choices...

                  If you raise the age you're going to just have more people using disability or not being able to safely say they're going to have a job.

                  That is why they have SS Disability for those special cases where someone cannot make it to 70 years old...like my mother...but the able-bodied should not get 3 extra years if they don't need it...take care of the disabled...I am all for that...

                  By the time this takes effect private pensions are going to be nearly extinct.

                  So that makes incentives for people who are able to work to work 3 extra years and save for retirement.

                  The reality is the number of people that can viably work and support themselves after 65 is not going to go up if you raise the age.

                  And your evidence of this "proven fact" is??????

                  Whether that's due to infirmity or due to lack of jobs. We have a policy in place to alleviate that uncertainty now. There's no reason to make sweeping changes to it.

                  First, infirmity should be covered by SSDI...secondly raising the retirement age by 3 years over the next 30 or 40 years is not a sweeping change and gives both individuals and policy makers a chance to plan...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:02:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Funny, but you don't seem to have the slightest (0+ / 0-)

                    idea what problems would be created or solved by raising the age "three or four years".

                    I've yet to see you offer any information at all in the way of the impact you would expect from this, financially.

                    Just your belief that it's somehow wrong for elderly people to have some rest.

                    Why have SS retirement at all, if we're to buy into your perverse and twisted Calvinist nightmare world in which elderly idleness is a sin to be erradicated?

                    Why not just have disability (which you, for some reason, seem to think is generous and easy to get).

                    Funny, of course, how your mom is the one special valid exception that we all should sweat for a daily bread untill we drop.

                    "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                    by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:52:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Apparently... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dvogel001, JesseCW

                      It's not a proven fact that raising the retirement age on social security would not raise the number of people able to work over 65. According to this jack off if you raised the age this social policy legislation would possibly have some biological effect on people enabling them to work longer and I need to prove that somehow raising the age wouldn't make 69 year olds more fit.

                      Not even worth replying to anymore especially with the bullshit about the young of the country being too wrapped up in themselves to take service jobs. Seriously fuck that guy.

                      The Great Depression: Now In Color!

                      by TheChop on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 02:18:06 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Look this is really quite logical.. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Minnesota Mike

                      In 1935 we did not have:

                      1. Hip, knee replacement surgery.  There are people in their 70s and 80's doing 100 mile bike rides, playing tennis and golf after these surgeries leading productive and happy lives many years later...in the 1940s they would be wheelchair bound...
                      1. Organ transplants, open heart surgery, angioplasty and other life expanding treatments that allow people to live longer and more productive lives...
                      1. Protections for workers who perform manual labor to protect them against life shortening injuries after retirement (yes I know there are still deaths due to lack of compliance and oversight but much less than 70 years ago)...

                      And people who make it to 65 or 70 are living to 83.5 - 85 years old on average...that is a healthy amount of retirement time 13.5 - 15 years...why is 65 some arbituary number we should follow...if 65 is good why not 60 or 55 is better...???

                      Again, your post talks about extremes...I am all for retirement and look forward to my own someday...my parents are both retired (my dad retired at 71 and my mom got SSDI at age 60)...

                      My mom is no exception, when you go through the process (which honestly is not fun) you realize that SSDI is not just for someone in a wheelchair and there are plenty of valid reasons and we should take care of them all...but raise the general age gradually to 70 over the next 40 years...

                      This is not some RW radical idea, it is clearly in the mainstream of thinking...

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 07:06:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Have you ever met someone living (0+ / 0-)

                        with a hip replacement?

                        You think they can stand 8 hours?

                        Most people don't have access to most organ transplants.  They're frequently not covered by insurance, and won't be even after reforms.

                        Waiving your self-applied "mainstream" label doesn't change the fact that you're advancing the arguments of Pete Peterson and George Bush.

                        Prattling about what SSSI "should" be changes nothing - it takes years to get on to it.  That's reality.

                        If you want to promote the inhumane treatment of seniors, that's your call, but please stop pretending to be a Democrat.  

                        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                        by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 02:07:25 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My wife's uncle who had a double hip... (0+ / 0-)

                          replacement at age 75 rode in a 10 mile MS bike ride a year after his surgery...and still rides today...

                          My dad plays tennis with a guy who is 85 and had hip replacement at age 80...

                          My dad is scheduled to get a new hip at age 79 in 2 weeks and expects to be back on the tennis court in 6 months...

                          So yes...I do know many people who are very active after a hip replacement surgery...

                          My mom had a kidney transplant at age 65 paid for by Medicare and is doing quite well...Medicare will pay for transplants if you can get on an approved transplant list...anyone who has Medicare has access to organ transplants...

                          And people with good health insurance have access to transplants as well (about 75% of Americans...and the standard policy under HCR will have to cover transplants for approved patients...

                          So there you go...

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 05:50:42 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You remind me of the woman who claimed (0+ / 0-)

                            that my mothers 40 pound wieght loss and chronic vomiting while dying from ovarian cancer was all an act, since she had a friend who recovered from ovarian cancer without missing a day of work.

                            "The road to Hell is paved with the good intentions of people who refused to listen to Paul Krugman." ~ Drew J Jones, mostly.

                            by JesseCW on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:07:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You asked... (0+ / 0-)

                            and I provided the information...and then you dismiss it...Wash-Rinse-Repeat childish, sophmoric and hyperbolic behavior...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 06:45:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  wow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dvogel001, fhcec

        always one of my aspirations. Thanks

        you're gonna get what you give

        by chicagobleu on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:37:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not true.... (0+ / 0-)

      People in their 50's aren't getting hired now...either are people in their 20's, 30's, or 40's.  Nobody is getting hired.  When jobs return, they'll return for all people.

      And if we think they won't return, then SS isn't even the main problem then.

  •  Why are people talking about age 65? (7+ / 0-)

    The current age to receive full benefits is 66, not 65, and is already scheduled to go up to 67 eventually.

    Therefore extending the retirement age to 70 would "only" lengthen things by 3 years, not 5, as claimed in the article.

    (Not that I'm in favor of an extension out to 70; 67 is already quite enough, IMHO.  But facts are facts)

    •  I think you are right, jpm... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      and here's a chart to see where you personally fall with retirement age and the benefits:

      http://www.socialsecurity.gov/...

      I'm not for raising the retirement age.  (1)  Many who work are doing back-breaking work that breaks down the body even before 65.  Many have chronic diseases they have been dealing with before the age 65.  And (2), jobs need to open up for the younger people looking for jobs.

    •  compared to the French who (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      are protesting for raising the age from 60 to 62!

      They also get lots more vacation, full health coverage, and many other perks (lunch subsidies and time off) for their tax dollars.

      •  shhhh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        We're all about dying in the traces here.  Malingering old people must work or die.  After all, you might be one of the lucky holders of a golden ticket!

        So sayeth Saint Ayn!

        www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:59:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  People should be able to work longer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pris from LA

    Many people are able and willing to work longer.  But, realistically few are likely to suceed, because

    1.  Corporations still are reluctant to hire or accommodate older workers and workers with disabilities
    1.  Our still inadequate healthcare system leaves many people too sick to work longer
    1.  Retirement and disability programs (public and private) tend to discourage working part time, which may be as much as some people can handle
    1.  Elder workers have fewer and fewer role models for working late in life because news and marketing media are obsessed with showing and targeting young people.

    As usual, Congress is promoting a policy without giving serious thought to how that policy would play out in the real world.  But, then, few people would accuse Congress of being knowledgeable about the real world.

    Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:17:14 PM PDT

  •  Altman is incorrect (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, docmidwest, ScottDog

    "The correct question is how long people who reach 65 live afterwards?" This is an error by Altman.

    Here are some made-up numbers just to make the error clear, as an example. Suppose the following: * in 1940, 50% of the people reached 65, and then live 13 more years. * in 2010, 80% of the people reach 65, and then live 15 more years.

    Clearly, in the second case, much more social security benefits need to be paid overall, even in the hypothetical case that people would now live LESS years after reaching 65.

  •  actuarial reality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b, Twoflower

    Cutting SS is a bad idea, especially compared to taking in more $ from the rich. The net problems with SS are minor anyway, compared to Medicare. However, I don't think your actuarial claims are right.

    Sure infant deaths are irrelevant to the viability of the system. However, you are treating only the timing of deaths after age 65 as relevant. If a significant number of working people used to die at, say, 64, that would have raised the SS balance without in any way showing up in the conditional life expectancy for 65 year-olds.

    Sorry to sound so cold-blooded, but if we are to argue about these things it's important to get the arguments right.

  •  If the retirement age is raised, how any (0+ / 0-)

    people will file for disability benefits between the ages of 62 to 70?  And how many will take their old age benefits at age 62 through 70?  Until someone runs the numbers to show that raising the retirement age will actually slow the payout of benefits, it's a dumb argument.  Between the ages of 62 at 70 a person has a much lesser burden to establish disbility, and could start drawing disability until age 70 and then be converted to age benefits.

    •  It's even a better deal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WiddieDawg, JesseCW

      because IF you can get on SSDI, then when you reach "full retirement age" you are simply shifted over to the "regular" Social Security program with no change in benefits.

      That's why they try to make it so difficult to get on SSDI.

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:47:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree, but fact is (0+ / 0-)

        the older you are the lesser the burden of proof to establish disability.  Age is a factor that is considered in the disability determination. Even if you have to go all the way through the 5 step sequential process, and get to step five, under the grid system in effect since 1984, for those of advanced age [55 and older] and those closely approaching advanced age [age 50-54], there are 15 scenarios under which a finding of "disability" is mandated.  Also the likely hood that someone will develop a medical condition that meets the requirements of a listed impairment is more likely as people age, and have worsening heart condition, advancing arthritis and orthopedic restrictions, and neurological imparirments secondary to things like stroke and diabetes. So the older you are the easier it is to establish eligibility.

        Also, you get a freeze on your earnings record, so that holds your benefit rate at a higher level.

        That's why someone has to run the numbers to prove that raising the retirement age will actually lower the payout of benefits.

  •  Some years ago... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I asked an economist friend of mine if he knew of anyone studying pensions--publicly or privately provided--of retires who are co-resident with their adult children.  My intuition tells me that larger families with strong filial ties benefit not only from drawing in both employment and retirement income under one roof, but as economic agents have a >1 multiplier effect on economic activity in their reach.

    In other words, there are certain arrangements of retirement that pay real dividends to society in general.

    This, of course, is entirely my intuition.

  •  It's not the "CatFISH Commission" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, JesseCW, ScottDog

    It's the "CatFOOD Commission".

    "Catfish Commission" suggests they are planning to subsidize farm-raised catfish to feed the elderly poor. That's the farthest thing from their so-called minds.

    They're planning to cut benefits to the elderly and/or poor so far that they'll have to fight their cats for the scraps in the catfood dish - or kill and eat their pets, and then starve. And yes they are JUST that sadistically cruel.

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:24:06 PM PDT

  •  "How long you live after 65" is the wrong measure (0+ / 0-)

    Susan's comment that, those who live to 65 don't live that much longer than they  used to, is true.

    However, Susan mistakenly posits the difference being to improvements to child mortality rates.  

    And it's true children are much more likely to grow up to be adults than they used to.

    The problem is that the portion of the population - at any given age - which is expected to reach retirement age has risen.

    People still "die young" of course, but fewer 20-year-olds die, fewer 30-year-olds die, fewer 40-year-olds die, etc. And all of these people are people who used to pay into social security but who never received benefits, therefore subsidizing those who did receive benefits.

    But, of course, nobody would really have a problem with social security if we didn't feel like we'd be paying for other people. "Trust fund" jujitsu aside, the money that current retirees were "Saving" for themselves was spent, during their working lives, on government services for that generation. As they retire, the next generation is going to have to pay off that government debt.

    That's why the system is broken. Retirees believed the lies they told themselves that the money was being saved, while they spend it on themselves. What a fun mess to clean up.

  •  Social Security reform... (0+ / 0-)

    It's every rethug Ahabs Moby Dick- they all want to be the sonvabitch to harpoon their white whale..

    I wish them all to suffer the same fate that Ahab gets in the end.

  •  Who wants to hire an average 66 year old? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, JesseCW

    I would love to have worked full time until 70, but my position was eliminated when I was 66.  I am a scientific writer and have found some part-time work, but after a year of looking for full-time I gave up and collected my social security.  I already had Medicare, thank God! I also know several people between 62-70 that really aren't capable of full time work because of physical or mental disabilities that happened in their 60s. Sure, some in their late 60s are able to work, but many more are not.

  •  Life Expectancy for Social Security (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, Cassandra Waites, JesseCW

    I posted this when Simpson's life-expectancy-lie-video was released. SS was always designed to allow for expanding life spans and this lie was debunked by the Social Security Administration:

    If we look at life expectancy statistics from the 1930s we might come to the conclusion that the Social Security program was designed in such a way that people would work for many years paying in taxes, but would not live long enough to collect benefits. Life expectancy at birth in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65. But life expectancy at birth in the early decades of the 20th century was low due mainly to high infant mortality, and someone who died as a child would never have worked and paid into Social Security. A more appropriate measure is probably life expectancy after attainment of adulthood.

    As Table 1 shows, the majority of Americans who made it to adulthood could expect to live to 65, and those who did live to 65 could look forward to collecting benefits for many years into the future. So we can observe that for men, for example, almost 54% of the them could expect to live to age 65 if they survived to age 21, and men who attained age 65 could expect to collect Social Security benefits for almost 13 years (and the numbers are even higher for women).

    Also, it should be noted that there were already 7.8 million Americans age 65 or older in 1935 (cf. Table 2), so there was a large and growing population of people who could receive Social Security. Indeed, the actuarial estimates used by the Committee on Economic Security (CES) in designing the Social Security program projected that there would be 8.3 million Americans age 65 or older by 1940 (when monthly benefits started). So Social Security was not designed in such a way that few people would collect the benefits.

    As Table 1 indicates, the average life expectancy at age 65 (i.e., the number of years a person could be expected to receive unreduced Social Security retirement benefits) has increased a modest 5 years (on average) since 1940. So, for example, men attaining 65 in 1990 can expect to live for 15.3 years compared to 12.7 years for men attaining 65 back in 1940.

  •  The real issues (0+ / 0-)
    The first is the ability of the very rich to collect SS.

    The second the cap--needs to rise with inflation.

    And the third, of course, is that the real deficit is Medicare. When "doctor hopping" is the chief social activity of seniors, we'll never be solvent.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:30:57 PM PDT

    •  The ability of the very rich to collect SS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      is a total non-issue. There aren't very many very rich people. It's an insignificant amount of money.

      The cap DOES rise with inflation.

      I won't even dignify your last statement with a response.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

      by denise b on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 09:44:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Life expectancy improvement enhances SS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kck, Cassandra Waites, JesseCW

    The more people who spend 40 or 50 years paying into social security before retirement, the better. More people living to adulthood means more workers, more revenue and more stability. Far from being worse now for universal pensions like SS, the situation is far better than it was when infant mortality was higher.

    •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      Yes, you're exactly right. People seem to be assuming that more people retiring ONLY drains the system, not taking into account the fact that there's more people ADDING to the system.

      •  Not to mention all the survivor benefits (0+ / 0-)

        not paid out.

        When a worker dies at 35 with three minor children aged 1, 3, and 5 and a spouse who qualifies for survivor benifits, it costs a whole lot more than paying benefits to same worker for 14 years of retirement.

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 11:59:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ratios (0+ / 0-)

      What counts in the balance is, roughly speaking, the number of years spent contributing to the system divided by the number of years spent drawing out of the system. Adding people who do both (as opposed to dying in childhood) isn't directly relevant to that balance. It's good for other reasons.

  •  this becomes an even bigger problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites

    given the propensity of companies to downsize older workers.  Today anybody over 55 may be first to go, last to find new work and we would add an additional 5 years to his wait to have an income.  This makes absolutely no sense at all.  

    I'm only hard headed when you take me for granite

    by Im a frayed knot on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:33:37 PM PDT

  •  social security trust is 2.5 trillion dollars (8+ / 0-)

    and last year, added another 100 billion dollars.  This is money paid by boomers, in advance, for their retirement costs.   While it may be enough, people shouldn't jump up and down about it and want to change the retirement age.

    What we should be doing is saying: oh, now that this trust fund is quickly going to stop growing, and start shrinking (as boomers retire), it means we have to raise the general income tax rate to pay back those people who put social security money in.

    What bankers don't want to do... is pay social security benefits (even though they borrowed 2.5 trillion from it) from general fund, e.g. taxes that are actually progressive rather than regressive.

    What we've had the last 20 years, is a huge regressive tax (social security at 15% or so) where over 1/2 of it was used for general fund purposes.   This gravy train is about to come to an end, and the very wealthy are getting scared about having progressive taxation kick back in as we are forced to pay back the social security trust fund through general taxes.

    Instead, they want to not pay back the trust fund, by raising the retirement age.... so that it's just a 2.5 trillion dollar regressive tax paid by the middle class.

  •  Just another way to end Social Security (6+ / 0-)

    If they push the age out past probable survival, no more social security!!!  Voila'!!!  They have gotten their wish.

    •  Over the Road truck drivers have a life (0+ / 0-)

      expectancy of 61.  

      Why should they have any desire to pay into what is, for them, a vastly overpriced lottery with lousy returns?

      This, of course, applies to a lot of other stressfull carreers.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 12:03:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Important point that needs to be considered.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, Cassandra Waites, JesseCW

    Older workers are more likely to have disabling injuries that keep them away from work longer.

    Anybody that ignores the workers' compensation implications of raising the retirement age is being disingenuous.

    Why would an Australian funded by a Saudi care about the growth of our nation?

    by Big Nit Attack on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:41:19 PM PDT

  •  they ought to ask (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, JesseCW

    genealogists, who do have that information available.

    That 'people are living longer' argument is not convincing when your view covers more than ten or twenty years, and your information covers a couple of centuries or more.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:42:29 PM PDT

  •  Get back to work Great Grandad (8+ / 0-)

    We're tired of your lazin' away when there's ditches to be dug, and roads to be paved.  Get your ass out of that wheelchair, you lazy son of a bitch.

  •  Social Security is fully-funded until (7+ / 0-)
    1.  That means scheduled benefits can be fully paid until then.  After that, benefits could be paid at 75% of the 2038 level for the next 75 years.

    What's the panic?

    In 2017, the federal government will have to start to payback (the current) 2.5 trillion dollars from the Social Security trust fund that has been used like a parent stealing from their kid's piggybank in every year except for two years under Clinton.

    There's your answer.  When it's time to pay the piper. . . fuck over the little people.  Oh, and attach the great skim to the rest.

    the fact that you're right is nothing more than interesting

    by Egg on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:48:32 PM PDT

  •  But this stat is not complete... (0+ / 0-)

    ... you also need to multiply the increased life expectancy by the number of people hitting retirement age, including those who enter Social Security earlier than 65.

    You have to examine how life expectancy affects the system based on the number of people in the system and expected to enter the system.

  •  Geez... (0+ / 0-)

    Even with all the advances in medicine, we still can't live longer than women.

  •  Just a thought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sngmama, JesseCW
    from a 60 year old who hasn't been able to find a job in over 18 months:

    Where are all the jobs for these people to fill going to come from?

    Come not between a priest and his prey. So what if it's YOUR kid?

    by grada3784 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 02:57:55 PM PDT

  •  time for top 0.1% to pay back 2.5 trillion loan (7+ / 0-)

    Well, you're all missing the elephant in the room.  The social security trust fund.  Back in the 80's the boomers has a choice -- they could limit retirement age for themselves, or they could put more money away. They chose to raise the social security taxes rather than raise the retirement age.  So, it's time to honor this promise.

    They created a social security tax surplus -- a very regressive tax of about 15%, paid without deductions first 70k (in 80's) to 100k (late 2000's).  This surplus was used by the Republicans to purchase debt used in the general fund (48% to military industrial complex). Regan, Bush, Clinton, and then Bush used this huge surplus to hide the exceptionally low taxes enjoyed by the upper class and corporations over the past 20 years.  It was a boom time... on the boomer's backs. General taxes were lowered, with a huge part of the debt being financed by the social security trust fund.

    Why is this a big deal now?  Because within a few years, as designed, the social security trust fund will no longer be running a surplus (it only had 100 billion dollar surplus last year), and will start to sell off U.S. t-bills, ie, national debt it holds, in order to pay benefits. This isn't a bug -- it's a feature.  It's what is suppose to happen.

    The problem with this picture?  To pay for this, we need to raise general fund taxes in a serious, serious way.   It's time for the regressive-tax gravy train created by Regan to end.  They are scared shitless and want to re-negotiate.   They don't want a progressive tax back -- double time, to only only pay off social security debt but to also fund the military industrial complex.   It's pay back time.

    The real deal here?

     The top 0.1% of the country borrowed 2.5 trillion dollars from the middle class... and don't want to pay it off.

    That's the real story here.  

    •  A lot of people here sound like they don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      remember this.

      I remember people at the time warning this would happen.

      "...Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order." FDR

      by wrights on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Analysis is Incomplete (0+ / 0-)

    Actually, the correct question is both.  The thing to recognize is that the first question affects the second.  A quick-though experiment should clarify:

    When social security was introduced, only a subset of the population, let's call them "Group A", made it to retirement.  At the time members of Group A could expect to receive benefits for 12.7 or 14.7 years (male/female respectively).  

    However, advances in life expectancy now mean that in addition, to Group A, another group, let's call them "Group B", also make it to retirement.  This group consists of individuals who wouldn't have quite made it to 65 in 1940, but because of medical advances, are able to today.  Not surprisingly however, this group still isn't as long-lived as group A, and most fail to reach the average pensioner life expectancy (now 15.3 and 19.6 years respectively).  

    The result is that Group B acts to drag down the average life expectancy figures for pensioners.  In reality, Group A's life expectancy has actually improved quite a bit more than the difference in life expectancy figures suggests.  However, the improvements are being masked by the introduction of Group B to the sample.  

    There are certainly some tweaks and additions you could make to this analysis, but it doesn't change the fact that merely looking at the difference in life expectancies almost certainly understates the improved life expectancy of pensioners.  

    •  And to repeat myself ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      More people living to 65 also means more people contributing to the system throughout their working lives.

      •  Clarification of my earlier post (0+ / 0-)

        First, I wanted to thank you, as the original poster, for responding to my comment even though nobody else even saw fit to recommend it (though one other commenter also seemed to take issue with it).  I must confess that I’m actually rather flattered that a poster on a nationally prominent blog would respond to my post, even if it was only to disagree.  One of my favorite things about Kos is that, of any site I’ve seen, it does the best job of promoting posts by its users.  Thus, everything I say from here is meant with all due respect.

        Your main point seemed to be that life expectancy figures paint a misleading portrait of pensioner life expectancy, because much of the improvement in life expectancy between the two time periods is due to improvements in infant mortality.  While I agree that failure to account for declining infant mortality overstates increases in pensioner life expectancy, I feel that simply looking at the change in average life expectancy for those reaching 65 understates it.

        For instance, in 1940 only 53.9% and 60.6% of 21-year-old males and females respectively who could have expected to turn 65 in that year were still alive.  In 1990 the respective figures were 72.3% and 83.6%.  Even though the average life expectancy of males who attained that age jumped from 12.7 to 15.3 years and 14.7 to 19.6 years for females between the respective time periods, those improvements were over a significantly larger sample.  As a result, the increase in average life expectancy for the longest-lived 53.9% of men and the longest-lived 60.6%  women would have jumped a fair amount more than 2.6 and 4.9 years.  

        Actually, looking at these figures we can see that male and female 21-year-olds that turned 65 in 1990 could have expected to live 11.1 years (15.3 years * 72.3%) and 16.4 years (19.6 years * 83.6%) past age 65 respectively, versus 6.8 years (12.7 years * 53.9%) and 9.3 years (14.7 years * 60.6%) respectively for 21-year olds that turned 65 in 1940; improvements of 4.3 and 6.1 years.  That’s a 62% and 81% jump in the number of years social security has to provide for.  Given that today’s 21-year-olds won’t be turning 65 until 2054, it’s hardly unreasonable to think they may enjoy expected retirements a decade longer than those who turned 65 in 1940.  This would require social security to provide payments for a substantially larger number of years.

        Also, while you point out that more people surviving to age 65 means more years of payment into the system, many of those people would have already been paying into the system for much of their working lives anyway, even if they didn't make it to 65 (or at least that will be the case with younger generations whose working years fall after the establishment of social security).  As a result, it seems doubtful that the few extra years that people pay into the system will offset the substantial jump in expected years of benefits (even granted that these later years are apt to be at higher wage rates).  All that said, the picture it paints for social security is quite a bit bleaker.

        Hopefully that all makes sense.

    •  The "Group B Problem" was Anticipated (0+ / 0-)

      and supposedly solved back in '83.  Both Group A AND Group B have been paying significantly greater "contributions" for 30 years specifically to address that problem

      •  Still not enough (0+ / 0-)

        Social security is accounted for off-budget, meaning that total payments into the program are tracked separately from the rest of the budget, as are total expenditures.  The '83 fix may have attempted to solve the problem, but as evidenced by the fact that social security still faces long-term shortfalls, it apparently didn't do enough.  Also, that's after taking into account trust fund surpluses (as well we should).

        Personally, I think we ought to pay the legacy debt of social security (the excess benefits that earlier generations received at the expense of later generations) out of general tax revenues.  It's hardly fair to make current and future workers foot the bill for past government generosity while exempting the wealthy.  That would go a long way toward closing social security's funding gap.

  •  this is how Washington plans to end social (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    security -- just roll back the retirement age until nobody lives long enough to collect the benefits.  it's another typical Washington lie.

  •  Is anyone else in format hell? (0+ / 0-)

    on the mainpage

    If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

    by peacemaker33 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:03:14 PM PDT

  •  Means Testing and Raising the Ceiling - hello? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    Back when Bush was looking to privatize Social Security there was talk that IF we really needed more revenue, then some of the options are to raise the ceiling of 86k a year income after which people don't pay into Social Security anymore.  That should CLEARLY be on the table.

    And if we are going to talk about taking away benefits it makes far more sense to talk about means-testing payouts rather than hurting everyone.

    Lastly, most of the projections for Social Security insolvency don't factor immigration into the mix and thus a proper discussion about immigration policy will actually help show that Social Security is on a fine footing.

    All the talk about ONE particular way to change Social Security is just bunk and the press is marching along with this.  Just look at what you all wrote about just a few years ago.  This is a stupid march to a stupid change.

  •  Simple refutation to this - the shovel test. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akeitz, JesseCW

    Hand a 65 year old man a shovel, and tell him to dig a trench.  Don't keep him doing this very long for obvious medical reasons - a couple of minutes will suffice.  Have a reasonably-healthy 30 year old man digging another trench next to him.  After the couple of minutes, you blow a whistle and tell both men to put their shovels down.  Then you fill the holes with water to measure the volume of dirt each man managed to dig.  You will then have your answer about the 65 year old's fitness for work, which won't be a lot, I can guarantee you that.

    It is not that the 65 year old man might live to see his 80th birthday, it's the fact that he's not much use in the labor force anymore.  Unless you have a relatively easy job for him to do (not likely on a large) scale, it is better and more humane to just let him retire.

    This space intentionally left blank.

    by Steaming Pile on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 03:49:49 PM PDT

  •  I Disagree (0+ / 0-)

    I actually think the retirement age should be raised--not to some arbitrary number, but tied to average lifespan so that it goes up over time--just like cost-of-living raises ought to be, and just like the minimum wage here in WA actually is.

    Social Security isn't about paying ourselves to take leisure. It's about providing a welfare net for the people who really need it. You can't say with a straight face that our entitlement costs are not one of the nation's biggest challenges moving forward. Refusing to give ground on the retirement age opens the door to imposing greater austerity cuts on the people who'd be out on the streets or dead without their monthly checks.

    Also remember that Social Security isn't just for the elderly; it's for the disabled too. This isn't a party fund, and I see it as extremely frivolous and self-indulgent for us to talk about giving benefits to people who don't have a great need for them, at the expense of people who do.

    •  Clarification (0+ / 0-)

      When I say "tied to average lifespan," I don't necessarily mean tied to the average lifespan itself (i.e., you don't get any benefits until you hit the average), but, rather, tied to some number that itself is tied to the average lifespan. It's out of my expertise grade to say whether would do the most good to set the retirement age below, at, or above the average lifespan.

  •  Should be lowering the age (0+ / 0-)

    A person starting work at 18, would have to work 52 years if the age was put at 70. As it is today, a person starting work at 18 has to work 47&48 years by the time they reach 65 and 66.

    All the waste, all the bribery of our politician's, all the money given away with no questions asked, the corporate welfare, certain people in our society get filty rich without working a real job in their lives. But they want the rest of us working until we are close to dropping dead. Some people have physically challenging jobs.

    I'll tell you what, why don't enough of us storm the capital and drag the politicians who want to work us until we are nearly dead, down the steps. To me, raising the age higher is criminal.

    I have my own stats, 110 graduated in my high school class in 1967. Half of them were dead before they reached 60.

    Why are there so many gullible Americans? Not to long ago, one person could support a household and work to age 65, now it's two. That means, mom and dad would have to work to the age of 70. Now our children wages are less then their parents. Now they want them to work until they are 70 on those lower waged jobs.

    Before it's over, our children will have to stay at their parents home with their own family and all will have to work to pay the bills one person use to. All will have to work until they are 70 or older. Greed has no end. They should be working on lowering the age, That would be progress.

  •  Ah... (0+ / 0-)

    if there are no jobs now for those over 50 (and in some cases even younger), how the HELL are folks supposed to find gainful employment until 70?

  •  Working till 70 for white-collar elitists is fine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    but what about construction workers, factory workers, janitors, etc?  That kind of hard physical work wrecks your body.

    These white-collar elitists who favor raising the retirement age seem unaware that not everyone has a cushy job like they do.

  •  The Solution is Simple: Eliminate The Cap! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr

    To the extent that Social Security has a problem at all, it can be solved quite easily by eliminating the "cap": right now, only income under $106000 is taxed for Social Security.

    So, all we have to do is make all income subject to the Social Security tax.  This would make Social Security solvent permanently.

  •  there is no way (0+ / 0-)

    that I would want to work until seventy, that is like working until you are too old to enjoy your life or be able to concentrate on volunteer work to help out younger people or stuff like that.

  •  besides (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrganizedCrime

    Besides, if people can't get their ss at a decent age such as 65, then they won't retire and make room in the labor force for those younger job seekers, no?

  •  Make some of those teabaggers (0+ / 0-)

    start going to work every day so they don't just sit around watching Fox News and bitching about the young people.

  •  Agreed, but this analysis misses... (0+ / 0-)

    ...at least one other factor. That is people who contribute to SS but never collect because they die before 65.

    If this number is smaller today than when SS was instituted, that needs to be factored in as well.

    Someone who died at 40 back then would have paid in perhaps as much as 1/2 their contributions without personally receiving any benefits (although their spouse might).

    If, in the current environment with improved medical care, workplace safety, and safety of cars etc., that person would have survived (or avoided) whatever befell them, that person may end up drawing full benefits while only paying in twice as much (in real dollars) as the guy who died at 40.

    I've got no idea what the magnitude of this factor is and haven't looked to find it.

    •  You forget survivors benefits. (0+ / 0-)

      Imagine our hypothetical 40 year old had three kids.

      Let's say they started contributing to SS at 23 when they graduated from scool.

      So, their 1 year old kid will now get 18 years of survivors benefits.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 12:16:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would have been... (0+ / 0-)

        ...fairly unusual for a working stiff to have three very young kids at the age of 40 when SS was instituted. People have begun to have children later in life in recent decades. Although, the age of majority was, I believe, older back then so I assume that would affect survivor benefits. Of course, I think people are having less kids now to even collect survivor benefits.

        Anyway, no argument that there are many factors to consider -- I was just pointing out that the discussion in the posting was rather simplistic.

        •  It wouldn't have been at all unnusual (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shigeru

          since people often had very large families and there were many people who did not use birth control.

          When SS was instituted, it wasn't at all uncommon for people to have 8 or 10 kids.

          Back then, benefits actually ran untill the age of 22 if you remained a full time student.  

          It was under Reagan that benefits were cut back to 18, or up to 19 if you were still in high school and making satisfactory progress.

          There really wasn't any savings from people dying younger, since they ussually still had dependants who got survivors benefits.

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 12:59:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is the third time I've ever bookmarked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxschell

    a Story or Diary here.

    Information rich, on target, avoided the political soap opera and hammered the facts.

    This is one of those times I wish front page stories could be Rec'd.

    "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

    by JesseCW on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 07:23:07 PM PDT

  •  Very interesting diary (0+ / 0-)

    This is a current debate here in western Europe too.  Most political parties seem to agree that we'll have to work longer in order to maintain our already (relatively) generous retirement plans.  It's interesting to see additional (and concrete) arguments against prolonging work time being put forward.  I'll look for Atlman's book.

  •  a tactical point (0+ / 0-)

    One tactical point that keeps coming up in arguments about the deficit is that inflation is a form of sovereign default (i.e. If a government pays off debt with money that it has devalued by half, then it has effectively defaulted on half its debt). A similar argument could (and I would argue, should) be made about raising the retirement age.

    Rhetorically, it would be wise for progressives to talk about raising the retirement age as its own kind of "sovereign default." To put it the most bluntly: since a percentage of people will certainly die between the age of 65 and 70, raising the S.S. retirement age to 70 would effectively default on the government's entire S.S. commitment to those people.

    "Sovereign default." That phrase needs to be adopted as a club defending more than just bond holders.

    The idea is a truncheon that should be shaped carefully and applied liberally.

  •  Check life expectancy if you make it to 60 (0+ / 0-)

    Not much different 1940 to 2010, and then there were more hazardous jobs..
    http://www.infoplease.com/...

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