Hey, guys, guess you didn’t want to touch that third rail?
While President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney sparred over domestic issues, they said precious little about the future of Social Security for younger generations.
I know. I took notes. (Yes, I’m that kind of crazy.)
President Obama kicked off the discussion on entitlements by saying that both he and Romney agreed that Social Security was “structurally sound” and only needed “tweaks.” Such as…?
Neither incumbent nor challenger got more specific than that. Instead, they launched into a spirited discussion of Medicare, another highly combustible issue.
So I did a little research. On Romney’s website, he says that retirees and near-retirees will see no changes in their Social Security benefits. For those whose retirement is farther off in the future, he proposes “slowly” raising the retirement age to account for increased lifespans. Which age would that be? 68? 72? 95? He doesn’t say.
If those future retirees have “higher incomes”again, no numbers specifiedthen their benefits would be lower, or so Romney proposes.
The White House website has a long entry on seniors and Social Security. In it, President Obama emphasizes his wish to cobble together a “bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations,” keep benefits intact and not leave the program “to the fluctuations of the financial markets.” It further mentions efforts to expand access to workplace retirement plans.
I’m not writing to endorse either candidate or their plans (which to me seem vague at best). What shocked me was how little was mentioned during the debate about this important program, one that many people, now and in the future, will rely upon for their retirement income.
Long-term future shaky