In an article for The Daily Beast, economist James K. Galbraith makes the case against cutting Social Security and for expanding it, leveraging the fiscally sound retirement insurance program to help alleviate the jobs crisis:
Cutting Social Security would simply create more poor elderly—those who could not turn to their children—and more stressed working families—those with parents in need … In fact, the right response to the crisis is to expand, not cut, both Social Security and Medicare.
The reality is, we are never going to make up good new jobs for everyone who has been hit [in this deep recession.] … There are many older workers who’ve already worked hard jobs for many years. They would love to retire. But they don’t, because early retirement on Social Security is very costly: you lose benefits every month over your entire future life, unless you hang on to the regular retirement age. We should give these people a break, and lower, not raise, the full-benefit Social Security retirement age—say, to 62 for the next three years…
…Encouraging early retirements would mean that young people … would get the jobs they need now … Meanwhile, the retirees, supported by Social Security and Medicare, would provide a continuing stable support to total demand, creating jobs for others as they get older.
Yet much of the Beltway chatter, fueled by some of the members of the White House debt commission and leading members of Congress, has been on raising the retirement age, which even proponents admit is simply a way to cut benefits.
It’s up to us to send Washington office holders and office seekers a message: No increase in the retirement age. No privatization. No Social Security cuts.
If you go to ourfuture.org/nosocialsecuritycuts, you can do just that.