Stop in­still­ing fear

Antelope Valley Press - - OPINION -

There is ab­so­lutely no good rea­son for politi­cians (mostly con­ser­va­tive-Repub­li­cans) to scare our se­nior cit­i­zens and threaten to cut So­cial Se­cu­rity re­tire­ment ben­e­fits.

There is no “cri­sis.” Vir­tu­ally ev­ery se­ri­ous, non-bi­ased study has con­cluded that the So­cial Se­cu­rity Trust Fund is fully sol­vent through 2034. Af­ter that, it will be able to pro­vide 76%-79% of ben­e­fits for the next 60 years be­yond 2034. Does it need to be fixed? Of course it does. But it does not have to be done to­day. And there is no need to cut any­one’s ben­e­fits.

One of the many rel­a­tively sim­ple “re­forms” that can be made was of­fered by Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Chris Christie in 2015.

I lit­er­ally sat in the same car as Ari­zona Gov­er­nor and pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bruce Bab­bitt in 1987 when he said that what we should do is to “Mean­sTest” So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits.

For ex­am­ple, we can make So­cial Se­cu­rity fully sol­vent well be­yond 2034 by re­duc­ing the ben­e­fits of those with a yearly in­come of, say, $80,000/year and higher by a cer­tain per­cent­age. As Bab­bitt said to me, “Do multi-mil­lion­aires re­ally need the same So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits as a poor se­nior cit­i­zen?”

I call upon all Repub­li­can Party US Sen­a­tors and Con­gress­peo­ple to stop scar­ing our se­nior cit­i­zens.

Ste­wart B. Ep­stein Rochester, New York

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