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Even the good ones don't get it!  They urgently need to hear from us, asap.  

I talked to my senator this weekend in line at a political picnic, and was horrified.  He is one of the really good ones;  he is principled and willing to take a stand.  No privatization, but he didn't see why raising the age of retirement should be a problem.  It's been done before, after all.  He didn't know what was meant by the Cat Food Commission.  He didn't see it as a benefits cut (15% - 19%).  I hope I made a beginning in at least getting him to think harder about this, and I will keep phoning and emailing.  But!!!  

Please call/email your senators and congresspeople asap about the hardship and injustice of an increase in the Social Security retirement age!  Tell them that it is actually a 15% - 19% benefits cut.  Please call and email them now - and repeatedly.

This morning, I sent my senator a printout of Paul Krugman's 8/15/10 article, Attacking Social Security ( http://www.nytimes.com/... ) with some additional notes at the bottom:

Look at all the old people already working at McDonald’s and Walmart, in what used to be jobs for high school kids.  Would you keep them there, shuffling around ontheir walkers, until they drop?  Or until they just starve in a doorway?  Nobody will hire anyone over 40 these days, not for real jobs.

Is it fair to finance the Wall Street crooks that way?  On the backs of our elderly?

As Krugman says, it is only possible to do this out of "ignorance or indifference to the realities of life for many Americans."

Please let them know how hard this would be for many many people.  Please make them think about the cruelty and injustice of that proposal.  They have to hear from us.

Originally posted to Sunspots on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM PDT.

Poll

Will Congress raise the SS age of retirement again?

78%32 votes
21%9 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I can't retire until age 66 1/2 (0+ / 0-)

    and my wife and brother until 67. And if I have to work another six months or a year to keep the system solvent, so be it. Better that than to cut benefits.

    •  Raising the retirement age is a benefit cut nt. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, WV Democrat, JesseCW, Sunspots

      "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth". Albert Einstein

      by Sydserious on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:20:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is a benefit cut, and your assumption that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WV Democrat, huttotex, Sunspots

      you'll be able to keep working that extra time may work out well for you, but as blue-collar men can only expect to live to 70.1 anyway, it's crippling cut for them that turns SS into a lottery rather than an insurance program.

      It's a massive and extremely regressive cut, one which will hit lower income people proportionately much harder since we don't live as long.

      Social Security flat-out doesn't need to be fucked with, but if they intend to fuck with it rather than force the rich to pay back what they were given in tax cuts, then they should fuck with it by increasing witholding.

      Not fucking the poor out of a year or two of rest at the end of our days.

      the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

      by JesseCW on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agree. I think we are being "played". All this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, WV Democrat, JesseCW, Sunspots

    talk about not letting the republicans privatize the program is a distraction - the raise in the retirement age supposedly won't seem as bad is what they are thinking.  

    We need to fight this now.

    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth". Albert Einstein

    by Sydserious on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:14:28 AM PDT

  •  thank you Sunspots - it's insidious (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Sydserious, JesseCW, Sunspots

    have seen arguments in favor of raising the age (and people are living longer bs) sprouting up everywhere, including DKos diaries/comments

    As an aside, if deficit-hawks were serious about linking retirement benefits to longevity or cutting back worker investments, they would also be talking about increasing ERISA's statutorily defined retirement age, which is still set at age 65, and increasing the age at which taxpayers can withdraw private retirement funds from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)s without penalty, which remains at 59.5. But they are not, which sheds a light on their true motives: not strengthening retirement, but cutting Social Security and forcing workers into private retirement plans that benefit Wall Street.

    take a whole five minutes on behalf of your own future and read: "Raising The Retirement Age Is Dangerous" at this resource site

    http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/...

  •  I'm not going to take this shit (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, MrWebster, Sydserious, Sunspots

    Message to Congress:  The new retirement age will be 60.  And if they tell me they don't have the money, then go get it somewhere!  Go to Wall Street--those motherfuckers have billions.

    Democracy. Let's give it a try.

    by RockyLabor on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:49:40 AM PDT

  •  Uncap the SS taxes and it doesn't need to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, WV Democrat, Sunspots

    change.

  •  Lower the retirement age & cut unemployment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, WV Democrat, huttotex
  •  What if they raise the age only for those w/ AGI (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, WV Democrat

    greater than, say, $250,000?

  •  'Means testing' is what scares me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    huttotex, maryabein, JesseCW, Sunspots

    The moment SS payments are tailored to recipients wealth, the program becomes doomed. Got to fight this one.

    •  The DLC and the Republicans are (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, MrWebster, huttotex, Sunspots

      in agreement that they want the program eventually fully privatized.

      The DLC prefers to keep raising the retirement about one year every decade, untill it's so high that anyone with two extra dimes to rub together will be putting them in a retirement account.

      The Republicans, of course, just want to raid the fuck out of it next tuesday and hand it all to their banker chums.

      the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

      by JesseCW on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:33:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The reason Means Testing is so toxic (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, MrWebster, huttotex, JesseCW, Sunspots

      is that it divides and conquers; just like dividing the
      people close to retiring from those below the cutoff
      point.  This program has been so successful because it
      applies to all.  Social Security is NOT in trouble, at
      least until 2037.  Once the economy gets out of the
      recession, this date will go further out.  The biggest
      lie that has been circulated for 30 or so years is that
      social security "won't be around for me".  Why is this
      issue even being addressed while there are so many
      other problems, both inside and outside of this
      country?  

      •  The argument that's being made is that we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots

        need to suffer an average (much higher for lower income earners) cut of 15-19%, in order to avoid a 22-28% shortfall...

        When we could -

        Fiddle with the cap

        Raise witholding across the board

        Wait and see (don't laugh, under Clinton we were supposed to face this problem in 2032...now it's 2037)

        the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

        by JesseCW on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:54:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yes ! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, Sunspots

      am worried means testing and raising the retirement age will be the suggestions of the "good cop" (WH/DNC) vs "bad cop" (Peterson, Simpson, et al) suggesting privatization and dog knows what else.

    •  Isn't it already kind of means tested? (0+ / 0-)

      In that if you make over a certain amount while you are drawing it you get less from Social Security? Or am I remembering that wrong?

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 01:12:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only if you retire early, and only untill (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby

        you reach full retirement age.

        the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

        by JesseCW on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 03:02:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. I should have remembered that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          I'll be starting it at 62 and have scant prospects for making much so no worries.

          Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

          by billmosby on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 03:33:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even if something comes along (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billmosby

            after 14k, they take one dollar for every two dollars you earn.

            Here's the good part - they increase your payment once you hit full retirement age to reflect that.  So, for the sake of argument, if you earned enough that they took a grand a year for four years, your check would go up by something like 60 bucks a month when you hit "full retirement age".

            My dad is without internet access currently so I just had to look up all this stuff for him the other day and tell him over the phone :)

            the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

            by JesseCW on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 04:00:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  You got it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, Sunspots, RockyLabor

    I will be calling them for sure.  I will also be calling one of my Dem senator's who supports the concept of a filibuster and ask him to use it to stop the cuts.  I will be calling them every month for remind them until the very undemocratic vote occurs (neither part of Congress can alter the proposals--up or down vote).

    Also, if my Dem House rep. votes for it using phoney excuses like "other cuts were needed", then I will seek out other people to see how we can support a primary challenge.  Have enough time to organize.

    This is going to get very very ugly politically and here on Dailykos.  This commission and its makeup is the work of the President.  No need to tell you the shit that will be thrown.  I personally think this fight will in the end marginalize this website--but another story.

    Here is a wake up video I saw that was just utter political bullshit and utter cowardice from a leading Democrat of all people.  It really forces one to define what it means to be a Democrat anymore.  Watch the ending and don't throw at shoes at the monitor.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    •  I have never voted for anyone who voted for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrWebster, Sunspots

      Bush's idiotic invasion of Iraq.

      I never will.

      I will also never vote for anyone who votes for or fails to veto legislation that will deprive me, in all likelyhood, of nearly my entire SS benefit.

      They're going to tie this up with the repeal of the Bush tax cuts.  Then they're going to insist that all of us who want to preserve Social Security are "Republican trolls who just want to maintain Bush's tax cuts" and "Purist Firebagger extremists who don't understand the value of making human sacrifices during a recession to appease the angry Bond Gods whose will is unknowable but whose wrath is great"

      the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

      by JesseCW on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:58:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Sunspots

        You may be right.  "Here is some sugar on the log of turd we want to feed you.  See be happy now."

        There is no excuse anybody can give to accept what they will try to do to Social Security given the other available options and solutions to any preceived problems.

  •  they know it's a benefits cut. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrWebster, JesseCW, Sunspots

    that's why they're proposing it.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 01:11:02 PM PDT

  •  I started my benefits at age 62 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots

    even though my "retirement age" is 66. Yes, my benefits are lower, but I didn't calculate how much lower. I don't know what "16–19% lower" means. My retirement age was raised from 65 to 66 at some point, and I don't know what difference that made either.

    I needed the money, and it was there for me at age 62. I turn 66 next month, and I would have been destitute without my benefits.

    Just sayin'.

    I'm stopped cold when I realize that those who control our destiny would let us die for their profit, or even for their convenience.

    by JG in MD on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 01:45:03 PM PDT

    •  Let's say they raise it another 2 years. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JG in MD, Sunspots

      You get about 70% of what you would have gotten at 66.

      If the retirement age was hiked two more years, to 69, someone my age retiring when they reached 62 would only get 50% of full benefit.

      Look at your check, and ask how you'd get by on 20% less.

      the policy elite...are... demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods ~ Paul Krugman

      by JesseCW on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 03:05:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As you say (0+ / 0-)

        I looked it up, and I lost 25% of my benefit by starting at 62. I have 50 years of work experience, so I still get a good amount, but I wish I didn't know that number.

        BTW, I have freelance work so I'm paying FICA—double! I wish that would raise my benefit amount, but I guess not. Ironic ... I'm so not going to calculate the net of this vicious circle.

        And then there are the COLAs we aren't getting because "there isn't any inflation." Feh!

        I'm stopped cold when I realize that those who control our destiny would let us die for their profit, or even for their convenience.

        by JG in MD on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:32:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Followed up info suggestions here, emailed DC: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WV Democrat

    Raising the Social Security retirement age would be a truly evil thing to do.  It is a 19% benefit cut.  In 2009, 45% of workers aged 58-69 had jobs with physical demands.  

    Life expectancy is tied to income levels.  Lower income women have seen DECLINES in life expectancy.  Age discrimination is also now at record levels, so working longer may not be a realistic option, even if they are able.  

    30% of retirees depend on Social Security for more than 90% of their income. Average SS provides an older woman with only 56% of the income needed for economic security.  40% of older women do rely on SS alone.

    Don't drive our elderly back to the days when they were forced to subsist on cat food. Don't sacrifice them for bonuses for the Wall Street crooks.

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