House Minority Leader John Boehner reignited the debate over Social Security this week by saying that the retirement age, now 65, will have to be raised to 70 to save the system. Boehner, who will be in a position to drive Congress' agenda as House speaker if Republicans take control in November, also said benefits should be reduced or eliminated for retirees with significant income. Democrats seized on the comments as evidence that Republicans don't care about the problems of average Americans. Should the retirement age be 70? (Watch Boehner's remarks)
If Republicans win they'll "gut" Social Security: John Boehner has just made it clear what's at stake in November, says Jed Lewison in Daily Kos. If the GOP wins control of the House, they'll make gutting Social Security the focus of their fiscal policy. Boehner's not talking about trimming benefits here and there — he's pushing the "truly radical notion" that some people who have paid for Social Security all their lives shouldn't get a penny back if they continue to make a little money after they retire.
"GOP vs. Social Security"
Boehner deserves praise for his honesty: Raising the retirement age to 70 is "a start," says Allahpundit in Hot Air, but John Boehner's proposal would "only put a dent of 30 percent in the Social Security shortfall over the next 75 years." The truth is we've got to make even more drastic changes to fix Social Security's finances. Even though "in a sane world" the only debate would be how high to raise the retirement age, Boehner knew he'd catch flak from the Democrats for this — he deserves credit for telling it like it is.
"Boehner: A Republican Congress might try to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70 for some people"
There's nothing new in what Boehner said: The liberal blogosphere is going nuts, say Jake Sherman and Simmi Aujla in Politico, "but the reality is that Boehner’s comments are hardly out of line with what his own party has said" for years about reforming Social Security. The backlash against Boehner just proves that Social Security is still "the third rail of American politics."
"GOP shrugs over Boehner comment"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- Girls on Film: Belle is one of the most groundbreaking, joyous movies of the summer
- 10 things you need to know today: August 30, 2014
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week