Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Social Security & The Presidential Election

Raising the retirement age for Social Security has an obvious impact on those seeking disability benefits

The Republican position is to increase the retirement age. Mitt Romney stated that the retirement age should be “slowly increased to account for increases in longevity,” while Paul Ryan said we should, “Slowly raise the retirement age over time.”  Minority Leader, John Boehner said that A Republican-held Congress would look to raise the retirement age to 70, and the Heritage Foundation, a research and educational institution whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies, believes that the retirement ages must be increased. While giving a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, another conservative think tank, Chris Christie said, “You are going to have to raise the retirement age for Social Security! Whoa! I just said it and I am still standing here. I did not vaporize into the carpeting.” 

Barack Obama said he is opposed to raising the retirement age. Previously, Barack Obama said he favored applying the Social Security payroll tax to wages above $250,000, which is now limited to wages below $110,100. 

Becoming disabled is neither a Democratic or Republican problem, nor a Conservative or Liberal problem. Disability crosses all party lines. Nonetheless, there was little attention paid to the issue during the debates. Regardless of whether you favor raising the retirement age, increasing taxes or cutting benefits in order shore up the Social Security program, insist that candidates explain how they intend to stabilize Social Security to ensure that benefits will be there when you need them.

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