If you missed
Face the Nation
on Sunday, you missed Jeb Bush proving yet again he's not ready for prime time
. In this case, following up on his idea that Social Security has to be cut in order to save it.
"But we need to look over the horizon and begin to phase in over an extended period of time going from 65 to 68 or 70. And that by itself will help sustain the retirement system for anybody under the age of 40."
Jeb Bush, who would be president of the United States, doesn't know that the retirement age already has been raised
and that it isn't 65 for anyone retiring anymore. Right now the age is 66. For people born in 1959 and later, it's 67. What RJ Eskow says
: "The retirement age is a fundamental part of American working life. If you're running for president and don't know what it is, you're privileged and out of touch."
Here's the detail Jeb seems to have missed: The Social Security retirement age was already increased, as part of a package of changes passed in 1983. That was a major sacrifice for working people, and it has become even greater with the passage of time. Why?
Since 1983, rising wealth inequality has left the middle class with stagnating wages and financial insecurity.
Since 1983, the ultra-rich have become even wealthier, with income that soars above the cap on the payroll tax which funds Social Security.
Since 1983, corporations have gutted the employee pension plans which used to provide some measure of financial security for millions of retired Americans.
And yet, through it all, the retirement age has kept on rising as scheduled—a fact which somehow escaped Jeb Bush's attention.
It's not a mystery how it's escaped his attention—he is
privileged and out of touch. He's never going to have to worry about a secure retirement and neither are any of his children or grandchildren. That's part of being a Bush, along with genetically tortured syntax. And he's never had to spend 40 hours a week doing backbreaking work that makes working until 70 an absolute impossibility.
The ignorance of actual, existing policy is bad enough for someone who would be president. The total lack of awareness of people's real lives is worse.
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