Bi-Partisans In DC Having Wrong Conversation On Social Security

A majority of Americans, especially women and people of color, will spend their final years living in poverty in coming decades unless Social Security is improved and expanded—not cut back as Republicans and President Obama seek—and there are many fair ways to accomplish that, experts told a congressional briefing last week. “Don’t listen to anyone inside the Beltway,” said longtime Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. She said she’s surveyed voters in every state and found Americans take a completely different view than Washington’s political leadership. “Real people are wildly in favor of Social Security, wildly supportive of it. And this is a voting issue in 2014.” “There is a retirement income crisis. It’s huge. Two-thirds of working Americans cannot maintain their standard of living in retirement—and that assumes they work until 65,” said Syracuse University’s Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works, which convened the day-long session with Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. “Somewhere in the discussion about Social Security we forget that its purpose is to assist the American people… The end is the kind of society we want; the kind of support we want.” Kingson and dozen other experts presented detailed plans on how Social Security can be modernized to better reflect real costs of living for the people it’s intended to help, from tens of millions of seniors, to students who lose a parent while in school.

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