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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Bush on SS

Press reports from Bush's CNBC interview on Social Security are hitting the wires.

A few quick reactions to his comments:

"Telling younger workers they have to save money in a 1930s retirement system is like telling them they have to use a cell phone with a rotary dial," Bush said.

Great rhetorical flourish, and about right.

He praised in particular South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham for a proposal to raise the cap on Social Security taxes paid by high-income earners. Conservatives have called that a tax increase.

Since SS benefits are tax consumption, taking back benefits is not a tax increase, IMO.

Bush also cited a proposal to further raise the retirement age, which is currently 65 and already being increased so that people born in 1960 or after will be able to receive full benefits at 67. Later, in an interview with CNBC, Bush was asked whether the retirement age should be raised to about 70. "Certainly one of the options.

Honest, and probably should happen. Far preferable to FICA increases. Early retirement benefits would apparently remain in tact.

In his South Carolina speech, Bush mentioned proposals to tie Social Security benefits to prices rather than wages to slow their growth, and to have a progressive way of structuring benefits that will be more generous to low-income workers.

On its face, sensible. Wages (and productivity) tend to increase faster than prices.

The only option Bush ruled out is raising the payroll tax, which is currently 12.4 percent. "That'll hurt the economy and cost jobs," he said

Best news I've heard in a long time. He should be held to this one!

-Robert Capozzi



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