A Social Security News blog article, “Republican Candidates On Social Security — I’m Noticing A Wedge Issue” , summarizes each of the 16 candidates stance on Social Security. Only two candidates, Trump & Huckabee, do not favor changing Social Security. Ten candidates mentioned that they support changing the retirement age to 69 or 70. Five support privatizing Social Security. Others would cut benefits.
There are numerous reasons that both of those responses are undesirable.
Yes, Americans are living longer. But consider the hard working laborers who began working just out of high school, worked 40-some years, and planned to retire at 65. Now tell them they need to work 5 more years before they can received the funds they had deducted from their wages.
Lower earning workers have a shorter life span. Persons with higher incomes live longer than those with lower incomes. “As an example, for those born in 1960, life expectancy at age 50 was 28.3 years for those in the lowest 20% of income but 41.9 years for those in the highest 20% of income.” (from Social Security News article “The Wealthy Get More Out of Social Security”). Also, since those who were born in 1960 and later now need to work to 67 to receive full retirement benefits instead of 65, we are realizing that we lose between six and seven percent of our benefits per year our retirement is delayed. If the retirement age is changed to 70, we don’t pay less into Social Security, we just receive less.
Privatize Social Security? An unregulated Wall Street would love to get a hold of our pay-roll deductions to invest. The Social Security Administration runs our current system with a less than 2% overhead. It is very transparent–they post monthly data on line and reports yearly to Congress (which can also be found on line). They analyze how proposed changes would affect the system for the next 75 years. Our current system is much safer and more efficient than the for profit bankers the GOP leaders are proposing to run it.
The Republican candidates do not represent the Republican public. The polling shows 62% of Republicans in favor of increasing Social Security benefits and 74% of Republicans willing to preserve Social Security even if it means raising taxes. Only 26% of Republicans favor increasing full retirement age to 70. Why are the Republican Presidential Candidates not listening to their rank-and-file party members? It is because they are working for the donors, not the voters.