Brace yourselves, working class citizens, the Republicans are looking at deficits and debt and they have our Social Security in the cross hairs. Their reasoning is twofold. They argue that Social Security is going to run out of money and so, we need to cut back on payouts. Cutting back on payouts is only one of two solutions to the crisis. The other is to increase revenue. Increasing or eliminating Social Security’s cap on taxable wages, now $118,500 a year, would be a great solution to all of us not making more than $128,700 a year, which happens to be most of us.
Republican (and sadly, some Democrats) then argue that “Americans are living longer!” – to which I say, so what? Am I, as a working class American to be only valued as some cog in a machine that pumps out cash for the wealthiest nation in the world, and if I live longer, that only means I have to work more? The American working class already works more than any other working class in the developed world. The qualifying age used to be 65. Now it’s 67. Republicans want to raise that to 70, and once they get that, it’s onward to 75, and why not? Democrats seem to not want to get in the way. Of course, there is this: U.S. life expectancy just fell for the second straight year. If you think that the Republicans will use this data to argue to lower the age of eligibility, well, you’re an idiot.
Democrats need to stand for the working class on this issue and stand hard. There are good, sound, moral reasons to lower the age of eligibility for Social Security. Our working class is the most productive work force of all the major nations on earth. American workers deserve a fair share of that bounty and not be expected to work into their golden years just to survive. Democrats need to stand to lower the age of eligibility back to 65 and then back again after that.