Top Republican leaders in the House offered a fairly strong signal on Sunday that they would favor a down-the-road raising of the Social Security retirement age as part of an effort to revamp the entitlement program.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it was time "for the American people to have an adult conversation about the problems that we face" with respect to Social Security's solvency.
"We also know these programs are unsustainable in their current form," said the Ohio Republican. Asked specifically if he supports raising the retirement age to, say, 70, Boehner replied: "There are a lot of options on how you solve these, but I don't want to put the cart before the horse."Hey I have an alternative for you. Let's get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. And what about cutting some of the money we give Big Oil. But that is not what Republians want, but they just don't want to come out and say it..
Indeed, a platform of raising of the retirement age presents tricky politics for Republicans. Later during the "Meet the Press" program, Boehner's deputy, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind), was asked if he supported the idea. The Indiana Republican stammered around for a bit, echoing the same talking point concerning the need for "an adult conversation about domestic spending and entitlements."
Pinned down by host David Gregory, he ultimately replied: "I am for reforming our public entitlements for Americans who are far away from retirement. We need to keep promises to seniors that have been made, make sure that people who are counting on Medicare, Social Security have the benefits that they have. But for younger Americans, absolutely yes, we ought to bring real reform for the sake of future generations of Americans to get spending under control."Want another way to address the issue? One simple, obvious solution is to remove, or drastically raise, the ceiling on annual contributions. This year employees who earn more than $106,000 get a tax cut as soon as they cross that amount. For the remainder of the year, they keep the 6.35% that had been deducted from their wages. Think of it. An annual, guaranteed tax cut for highly compensated workers. Most Americans will never see this annual increase in their wages. Heck, most wage earners don't know it exists.
The Republican platform should simply be "Let Them Eat Cake."