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The big Pale Blue guy has an online column on USA Today.

Here's the scoop:

We need an across the board increase in Social Security retirement benefits of 20% or more. We need it to happen right now, even if that means raising taxes on high incomes or removing the salary cap in Social Security taxes.


The 401(k) experiment has been a disaster, a disaster which threatens to doom millions to economic misery during the later years of their lives. Proposals to improve our system of private retirement savings -- even good ones -- will offer little to no help for the baby boomers who are currently nearing retirement, and are also unlikely to be of sufficient help for current younger workers. We need to increase Social Security benefits, now and in the future. It's the only realistic way to provide people with guaranteed economic security and comfort post-retirement.

I agree.

As Atrios notes, the median size of a retirement account savings per household is $120,000. This seems like a bizarrely large amount of money for me -- and likely most of my peers in the "laid off" generation -- who have had to dip into or liquidate their retirement savings over and over again as we were laid off from our jobs during the course of a career. But even this stupendous sum only amounts to a paltry $1,000 per month per retired household to supplement Social Security -- and even less if the retirees survive more than ten years after retiring.

And on top of that:

A third of workers don't have retirement savings accounts at all.

How will these retirees afford shelter, food and medical care?

It's time to do the right thing for older Americans: Increase Social Security benefits and (I think) lower the benefits eligibility age.

Originally posted to bink on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:40 PM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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