So Jeb Bush Wants to Follow in Ronald Reagan’s Footsteps and Raise the Retirement Age?

by Mark E Andersen –

ronald reagan

In the words of my late father, “That asshole.” / attribution: Michael Evans/National Archives and Records Administration

H.R. 1900, a bill that Ronald Reagan signed on April 20, 1983, raised the retirement age for anyone born after 1960 to 67 years. I was born in 1967. I never had a say in this, and no one born after November 4, 1962, had anything to say about this. None of us was old enough to vote in the 1980 presidential election. Our working lives were extended by two years, without our input.On April 20, 1983, I was six days away from being 16 years old, and I was well aware of what raising the retirement age meant for me and my generation. What I could not predict was the combination of increased productivity and decreased compensation my generation would see.

Raising the retirement age was not the only thing that changed for my generation.Guaranteed pensions started to go the way of the dodo, and the lie of the 401(k) came onto the scene. Invest your money we were told, and we would be millionaires when we retired.

More below.

You might be tempted to ask “what went wrong,” but a better question might be “why did we ever expect this to work at all?” It’s not, after all, like we weren’t warned. As early as 1986, only a few years after the widespread debut of the 401(k) and the idea that American workers should self-fund their own retirement accounts based on savings and stock market gains, Karen Ferguson who was then, as she is now, the head of the Pension Rights Center, warned in an op-ed published in the New York Times, “Rank-and-file workers have nothing to spare from their paychecks to put into a voluntary plan.”

Our wages have not kept up with productivity, and they have been stagnant for decades:

But after adjusting for inflation, today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power as it did in 1979, following a long slide in the 1980s and early 1990s and bumpy, inconsistent growth since then. In fact, in real terms the average wage peaked more than 40 years ago: The $4.03-an-hour rate recorded in January 1973 has the same purchasing power as $22.41 would today.

When you have to put every dime you have into everyday living expenses, how can you possibly even think of saving for retirement? When food, shelter, utilities, and the other miscellaneous expenses that come from just living and having a family take every single penny you earn, it becomes impossible to plan for the next day, let alone for retirement.Now Jeb! Bush, Republican presidential candidate, comes along with a plan to save Social Security. His plan? Screw my son’s generation out of their retirement:

“We need to look over the horizon and begin to phase in, over an extended period of time, going from 65 to 68 or 70,” he added. “And that, by itself, will help sustain the retirement system for anybody under the age of 40.”

Well, Jeb! I have this to say to you: Excuse my french, but fuck you buddy boy! Ronald fucking Reagan ALREADY screwed my generation over by raising the retirement age to 67 … when I was 16 and unable to vote.You want to fix the American retirement system? Here is how: Remove the cap on earnings, do away with all these BS 401(k) plans that do nothing to actually help the American worker, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (indexed to inflation), and lower the retirement age to 62. Get people retiring, free up some jobs, and provide every American a guaranteed retirement income.

I am sick and tired of sanctimonious assholes, who have NEVER worked a day in their lives, telling the American people what they think the retirement age should be.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

 

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Posted By: Keith

Writer, political junkie, rabid rock music fan, amateur gardener, astronomer and ornithologist, cook extraordinaire, sipper of fine wine and, more than once, the funniest guy in the room.

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