In an article in the Concord Monitor, Stephen Gorin, former Chairman of the New Hampshire State Committee on Aging, criticizes the proposals to make changes to Social Security posed by Republican Congressional candidate, Marilinda Garcia. Her proposals include means testing, and raising the retirement age. His argument? “Many people have argued that increasing life expectancy justifies an increase in the retirement age. This is misleading.” Seeing as how the average life expectancy was approximately 59 at has increased some 18 years since Social Security’s inception in 1935, while the age you reach full Social Security benefits has increased only 2 years, I fail to see how her position is ‘misguided’. It’s pretty obvious that Social Security hasn’t kept pace with those changes, either Gorin doesn’t see it, or doesn’t want to admit this.
As for her position on means testing, he writes; “Garcia’s proposals would hurt Social Security beneficiaries. If Social Security were means tested, many people who have paid into the program, usually with the expectation they would receive it, would lose their eligibility for benefits.”
That’s the point of means testing! Because when billionaires still receive Social Security checks, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that money would be better spent among the people who actually need it each month. I personally don’t think Garcia goes far enough. Allowing everyone the chance to opt-out of Social Security is the optimal proposal.