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January 25, 2005

Social Security Based On Race And Gender?

Rep. Bill Thomas speaking on Meet The Press (via Tempus Fugit).

MR. RUSSERT: Let me show you something else you said at the National Journal Forum that raised some eyebrows: "Women are living longer relative to men today than they were in 1940. Yet, we never ever have debated gender-adjusting Social Security. ...But, at some point if the age difference continues to separate and more women are in the workforce and you have more of an equality of pay structure in the workforce, at some point somebody might want to suggest that we need to take a look at the question of whether or not actuarially we ought to adjust who gets what, when, and how."

A gender adjustment--what does that mean?

REP. THOMAS: Well, it was one of my ways of getting people to focus on the issue of age. To move from 65 to 68, which we did in 1983, was a benefit cut. But it also creates hardships based upon the occupation that you have, and it creates inequities on who you are and how long you live. You could just as easily have a discussion about occupations as to when would be a fair or an unfair time to require. We also need to examine, frankly, Tim, the question of race in terms of how many years of retirement do you get based upon your race?

There is no clearer indication that Social Security is broken then the fact that our politicians are now talking about defining the number of years of "security" you can receive based on your race and/or gender. As a young, white male I can almost feel the screws tightening. If we don't make some radical changes to Social Security, now, myself and people like me are going to get screwed.

I can only hope the Bush administration has enough political clout to keep this issue on the table and put me in charge of my social security fund instead of politicians who would use my race and gender to determine the amount of social security money I get. We certainly can't expect any help from Democrats, who would rather put their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is wrong.

[Cross-posted at Say Anything]

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posted by Ace at 11:22 AM

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