For those upset over the push for the Social Security retirement age to be raised, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Heather McGhee may have provided you a refreshing defense.
In a segment about the Deficit Commission on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes Saturday morning, the congressman and the director of D.C. progressive think tank Demos pushed back on the growing chorus — including former New York governor Elliot Spitzer — of those highlighting that American citizens living longer as a reason for the current age of 65 to be raised.
“I wish this weren’t so dire, but for wealthier white men, absolute longevity and healthiness has increased,” McGhee said. “For working class women, it has decreased. So you have to look at the equality issues.”
Schakowsky added: “The very idea that we would raise the retirement age as Heather said for poor woman, that longevity has actually gone down. The other question is, where are the jobs? You’re going to go out at age 65 and go find yourself a job? Where are those jobs? How are you going to have income? 10 percent of people rely on Social Security for 100 percent of their income.
“I think the idea right now of raising the age, which is a benefit reduction, is just ridiculous. At some point maybe we can consider it, when there are jobs for older people and when people are actually all living longer, not just rich white men.”
Schakowsky and McGhee are indeed correct in stating that affluent individuals are causing the average life expectancy age to go up rapidly. And New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has also been vocal in defending the current retirement age, calling all attacks “nonsense.”
WATCH: Video from MSNBC, which was broadcasted on October 29, 2011.