Yes, Multimillionaire Jeb Bush Wants To Raise The Retirement Age For Working People To "68 Or 70"
New York's 24th Congressional District-- basically Syracuse plus a chunk of central New York from Oswego to the Finger Lakes to Rochester's eastern suburbs-- turned blue in the '90s. The PVI is D+5 and Obama beat McCain 56-42% and then beat Romney by an even greater margin, 57-41%. The Democratic congressman, Dan Maffei, was a wishy-washy New Dem who never embraced core progressive values and tended to vote with the GOP on crucial roll calls too frequently for grassroots Dems to countenance. After electing him in 2008, they abandoned him in 2010, allowing a crackpot teabagger to win the seat, and then reelected him against the crackpot teabagger in 2012 and abandoned him again in 2014, this time for a self-described (but dubious) moderate Republican, John Katko. Katko beat him 112,979 (59.9%) to 75,690 (40.1%), a symbol of both DCCC incompetence and New Dem unsuitability.
Yesterday's Syracuse Post-Standard scooped the Beltway "journalists" who get all their information spoon-fed to them by the DCCC, announcing the likelihood of a run by Social Security Work co-founder Eric Kingson, a professor at Syracuse University. Kingston is a brilliant, values-driven progressive, not a mealy-mouthed Wall Street-owned New Dem. "I'm thinking about it very, very seriously," Kingson said in an interview Monday with syracuse.com. "I'm not a professional politician, so I hope that's an advantage."
I can't think of a better-equipped or more ardent defender of Social Security than Kingson. After viewing the Jeb Bush video above, advocating raising the retirement age for Social Security recipients, Kingson told us: "A one-year increase in Social Security's full retirement age translates into a 6-7 percent benefit cut. Jeb Bush just told every American worker that he thinks the Social Security benefits they are earning should be cut by as much as 20%. He doesn't get that two-thirds of today's working Americans will not be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement. He should be talking about expanding benefits, not taking money out of the pockets of future retirees." The Post-Standard lauded his activism on behalf of working families.
He co-founded the national group Social Security Works, and started the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, a coalition of more than 300 national and state organizations that want to strengthen and expand Social Security.The DCCC and EMILY's List are actively trying to recruit a more conservative, Big Business-oriented Democrat to run against Kingson. It's what they do.
"I have spent a lot of time working to protect our Social Security system," Kingson said. "And I'm both frustrated and concerned about the lack of balance in our economy today. I'm angry that people can work hard and they can't get a fair shake in our economy."
He said it's alarming that two-thirds of working Americans are heading into retirement unable to maintain their standard of living.
Kingson, a professor of social work at SU for 17 years, is a widely published author of books and journal articles about the politics and economics of population aging, Social Security policy, cross-generational obligations and retirement income security.
As Social Security Works pointed out this morning, "America is facing a $7.7 trillion retirement income deficit."
What does that mean? For the first time in our country’s history, Americans are preparing for a lower standard of living in retirement than their parents. As a result, retirement insecurity has quickly become a pressing issue in American politics. Traditional pension plans have all-but disappeared, and with Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments not keeping up with retirees’ actual expenses, it is time for a solution that ensures a decent standard of living for all retirees.If the DCCC wants to screw around and kick progressive and populist ideas to the curb on behalf of their Wall Street patrons, there are at least some Republicans who recognize an opportunity. Here's a presidential candidate who has changed his tune in a way the DCCC types better not ignore:
...In order to maintain one’s standard of living and dignity in retirement, we need a decent guaranteed monthly retirement income. This means an expanded Social Security system that asks the very wealthy to pay their fair share. This means an adequate and secure pension system to supplement their Social Security benefits. This means that Congress must act NOW to ensure that no one in America retires into poverty after a lifetime of hard work. Call on Congress to address the retirement security crisis by expanding Social Security and ensuring adequate and secure pensions for workers. With 15% of seniors living in poverty, we need to move away from risky 401ks that bet secure retirements on the stock market to enrich Wall Street millionaires. We need real retirement protections that we know we can count on-- an expanded Social Security system.
UPDATE: Bernie Responds To Jeb
"At a time," said Senator Sanders, "when more than half of the American people have less than $10,000 in savings, it would be a disaster to cut Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age. It is unacceptable to ask construction workers, truck drivers, nurses and other working-class Americans to work until they are 68 to 70 years old before qualifying for full Social Security benefits. Jeb Bush's plan to raise the retirement age is just a continuation of the war that is being waged by the Republicans against working-class Americans in order to reward billionaires on Wall Street. When the average Social Security benefit is just $1,328 a month, and more than one-third of our senior citizens rely on Social Security for virtually all of their income, our job must be to expand benefits, not cut them. The way to do that is to eliminate the cap on all income above $250,000 so that millionaires and billionaires pay the same percentage of their income into Social Security as middle-class Americans. I have introduced legislation to do just that."