SIXTY-FIVE WAS THE AGE that many working Americans retired to start enjoying the “golden years” of their lives. With years spent carefully planning and saving for that time along with the money they would receive from Social Security retirees could spend their days enjoying life by doing all of those things there was no time for when they working. As of today that has all changed!
Over the years several member of the Democratic & Republican camps began whispering loudly that Social Security was a government entitlement similar to Welfare. Those who are now living off of SSI (Social Security Income) are doing so by virtue of the money they had been paying into the “system” from the day they started working. Welfare is a government-run entitlement program that assists people in need of assistance irrespective if they have worked or not.
A Bi-Partisan Bill that was just enacted days ago will have devastating financial effects on those who depend on this income. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 billion dollars was removed from The Social Security Trust Fund. Laurence Kotlikoff who has a dearth of experience and knowledge of economics (and whose facts I relied on for this article)reported that in Section 831 of this bill within six months, benefits now being received by spouses, divorced spouses or children on the work record of a spouse, ex-spouse or parent who has suspended his or her benefits will be eliminated until the worker restarts his/her retirement benefit.
In essence what this bill also does is eliminate benefits from those who are already collecting them. This action will cost millions of households tens of thousands of dollars. The bill will also include those who suspended their benefits in order to collect higher benefits until they reach the age of 70 will now be forced to restart their benefits at permanently lower levels
Since Social Security only pays the larger of the two of either your retirement benefit or your spousal benefits you will automatically lose one benefit. The loss of lifetime benefits can be even greater. As a further consequence of this bill according to the research done by Mr. Kotlikoff will make retirement a very precarious situation for millions of low-and middle –income seniors.
Households with disabled children will also be subject to great harm. The way the law is presently constituted a worker can obtain child benefits for his or her disabled child once he or she reaches age 62 if he or she files for his or her retirement benefit. Under the proposed new law, if the worker suspends his or her benefit at full retirement age and restarts at 70, the benefits to the disabled child and the spouse are lost for several years.
Yet another complication this bill creates is female work incentives for married or divorced women who earned far less than their husbands or ex-husbands. Previously by waiting until they reached 70 years of age to collect their own retirement benefits, they had the opportunity for their retirement benefits that would have exceeded those of their spouse that would have allowed their extra contributions to lead to higher benefits. This bill eliminated that option as well.
Our government in a nutshell drastically cuts Social Security Benefits for a substantial number of people who are already collecting benefits along with those who were about to collect. Those who have been steadily paying over 12% of their income to Social Security in exchange for a variety of hard-earned benefits, the government is now going back on their promise that many households could have amounted to $50,000 in lifetime benefits which in of itself is still not nearly enough to live comfortably in retirement.
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee along with Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul (and candidate for the Presidency of The United States) including 34 other Senators are feverishly working to muster enough support to defeat this bill which was voted on in the middle of the night that will eliminate the financial security our seniors so richly deserve. They are urging all Americans to join their fight to reform our government that has been broken for years and reversing these cuts. The enactment of this bill was a desperate and despicable attempt to allow the unsupportable free spending that is laden with waste while allowing for special interests to influence how our tax dollars are spent to continue.