Raising Social Security Age Is 'Cruel' Idea
Paul Krugman says advocates miss key point on rising life expectancy
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2012 12:13 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – One idea that gets floated by both parties in the conversation about reforming Social Security and Medicare is to raise the eligibility age for both. After all, life expectancy is rising, so it's only logical, right? Wrong, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. In fact, "it's a cruel, foolish idea," he argues. Yes, overall life expectancy is rising, but what's relevant here is only the life expectancy of current seniors—and, generally speaking, that figure is rising only among the affluent.

"This means that any further rise in the retirement age would be a harsh blow to Americans in the bottom half of the income distribution, who aren’t living much longer, and who, in many cases, have jobs requiring physical effort that’s difficult even for healthy seniors," writes Krugman. "And these are precisely the people who depend most on Social Security." What to do instead? Get serious, finally, about reining in "bloated" health care costs. Read his full column here.

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Showing 3 of 71 comments
TessTalks
Nov 17, 2012 11:40 PM CST
Just in case you don't know, Social Security has already made an under-the-radar tweak. Previously seniors could actually retire at 65, but now you have to live out your entire 65th year before you get a check. Which means you're actually retiring at 66!
Writefromwrong
Nov 17, 2012 10:27 AM CST
Do you know that the government has been taking the social security money and using it for debt reduction when in fact using it to make war as an excuse to steal money that is ours, and was not to be touched by any government program except SS benefits. What do they give in return? raise the age limit and take the poor into the grave, then take the money and give back an IOU which is worth zilch, Nada, heck toilet paper is worth more. What do you idiots do for a living? You can't be too bright if you don't see the big picture. All government is against the elderly and disabled, and using fraud as an excuse to cut people off from SS benefits like they are the big drain on taxes. Actually the drain on taxes are from the Federal Reserve who get your taxes, or didn't you know? Sure they collect the taxes from you and I to pay for the interest on money they get to print anytime they like that is not worth the paper it's written on, the very same money the government claims they need to borrow on money the treasury should be printing up without the interest. But instead giving interest on our own money back to the Federal Reserve who by the way Is part of the world bank system and the UN, not our government in any way. They don't even pay taxes to our government for the interest and money borrowed. Are you people stupid? All we have to do is demand that the government throw out the FED and print our own money once again as the constitution demands without interest and that my friend, no one wants to talk about, because the Government let the Fed clean us out of gold and other precious metals from the Fort Knox vault, and when we hit the limit of gold they brought in the Fed to hide the thefts. I am an eighth grade dropout from 1969 and I can figure this out? Oh I forgot the Government also started to dumb down the school system by introducing false information in the History books and stopped teaching how the banking system works, so the new generation would not have the brains to figure it all out. I will take anyone reading this to prove that I am wrong, and no BS either, I mean hard proof that what I say is not true. And College? don't even get me started there. They are taking your money to learn what exactly? Learn how to be an idiot in finance, and you get to pay for it. Go flip your hamburgers and stop complaining, there are no jobs that you are going to school for, their only taking your money, go learn something useful like a skill that you need to survive, because all the high paying jobs are taken by you friendly Political parties. They took a vacation in China and never came back. My proof? Well when they let the Federal Reserve in most of the people didn't have much education to see that the Fed was a pyramid scheme, that a lot of our parents did not have the educated background for. The government knew this but did not tell the people, because it was in their favor. Use you common sense and see the scam this Government is running on you all, I can't fight this myself, there has to be others with the brains to see how we are being controlled to do exactly what the government wants us to do, all manipulation. The Government works for the PEOPLE not the other way around. WE THE PEOPLE OWN EVERYTHING not the government say they do. The Government say they own everything hoping that we wont catch on to the fact. The property that the government claims they own belongs to us, The people of the UNITED STATES. READ YOUR CONSTITUTION!
trailmix
Nov 16, 2012 10:13 PM CST
How about, Congress figure out a way to pay back Social Security, lower the retirement age and that will open up more jobs for those entering the work force.