‘Let’s Raise Social Security Retirement Age to 69,’ Says Senator Hutchison

Jun 17, 2011 | Social Security Benefits

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On Thursday Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced a proposal that she says would save $146 billion over the next decade and reduce the public debt by $7.2 trillion by 2085. Called the Defend and Save Social Security Act, Hutchison’s proposal seeks to change Social Security’s full retirement age to 69 and to cut beneficiaries’ cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) by one percent.

Hutchison is urging Vice President Joe Biden to consider her proposal as he works with a bipartisan committee to weigh options now that the federal debt ceiling has been reached.

“We cannot address our soaring deficits without reforming our broken entitlement programs,” Hutchison wrote in a letter to Biden that accompanied her proposal. “Social Security’s $6.5 trillion unfunded obligation must be resolved, and I strongly encourage you to focus on Social Security’s impending fiscal problems.”

Hutchison also suggests changing the early retirement age to 64 by 2023.

Earlier this year, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Utah Senator Mike Lee, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham also issued a proposal to reform Social Security. Their plan would change Social Security’s full retirement age to 70 and early retirement age to 64, thereby reducing the public debt to $6.2 trillion by 2085.

Hutchison says she herself plans to retire from the Senate at the end of next year.

Hutchison’s proposal has already met with some fierce disapproval. Representative Xavier Becerra said in a statement yesterday, “Social Security has never added a dime to the deficits but Senator Hutchison’s plan would force massive benefit cuts on retired Americans in an effort to reduce the deficits … This plan to rip off Social Security to pay for the deficits on the backs of our seniors is reckless and irresponsible.”

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Do you the think the Social Security retirement age should be changed to 69? If not, what age do you you think it should be?

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