The Republicans Rethink Social Security Reform

With enthusiasm for the President’s plan to privatize Social Security nonexistent, the Republican Party leadership has decided to take a new tack in their effort to dismantle the most successful social program in American history. Up until now discussions around retirement always referred to Social Security as one leg in a three legged stool. But in a hilarious bit of word play, the Republican Policy Committee has decided to add a fourth leg to this stool – working during your “retirement.” The executive summary of a document entitled “A Broader Perspective on Social Security Reform” (PDF) dated May 16, 2005 reads like this:

Retirement-Income Security: Reducing the Disincentives for Working in Retirement (read convincing you not to retire)

  • At its inception, Social Security was viewed as one leg of a “three-legged stool,” with personal savings and pension benefits making up the vast majority of retirement income. Today, it is the primary source of retirement income for two-thirds of beneficiaries.
  • With more Americans choosing to continue working past retirement age in recent years, a new “fourth” leg of that stool has emerged…income from working past retirement age.

Let me rephrase that for those of you who are a little slow on the uptake. The Republican Policy Committee’s plan for shoring up retirement is…preventing Americans from actually retiring. Wow, that is going to be very popular, sign me up! Forget about that house on the beach, we can all just buy RV’s and live in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Hat tip to The Majority Report.

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