Power Breakfast: Social Insecurity Part Two | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Power Breakfast: Social Insecurity Part Two

Play associated audio

This week, Graham and fellow Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky will bring forth a plan to overhaul the 75-year-old social safety net.

"We're going to have a Social Security Solvency bill that deals with age adjustments and means testing" Graham says.

In other words: we're talking about working longer, retiring later; and reducing benefits for well-off Americans. For their part, Democrats -- including Sherrod Brown of Ohio --have already begun to circle the wagons.

"We want to make sure what doesn't happen - and what doesn't happen is a privatization of social security or a cutting of benefits," he says.

Nor is this senator from a rust-belt state down with the idea of upping the retirement age.

"There are an awful lot of Ohioans, an awful lot of Americans who are on a shop floor all day or work in construction or work in a diner. Their bodies don't work until they're 70 in most cases. So raising the retirement age, reducing benefits, is just off the table as far as I'm concerned," Brown says.

The mere facts of longer life-expectancy and an aging baby-boom generation make for inevitable questions about the long-term financial stability of the program. Social Security has long been known as a dreaded "third rail" in American electoral politics -- as in, touch it and you can kiss your sweet office goodbye. Graham seems to think times have changed.

"I think the third rail now for American political leaders is to not do the things that need to be done to save America from financial ruin," he says.

As of now, Graham's approach doesn't have the votes in the Senate. His would-be co-reformer, Paul, is undeterred.

"There are votes you win and there are votes you put out there to try to show what we would do if we had a majority," he says.

NPR

WWI Diaries Of Poet Siegfried Sassoon Go Public For First Time

Nearly a dozen notebooks and journals by the author, who fought in the British Army during the war, are being released to coincide with the centenary of the start of the conflict.
NPR

Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget

A Canadian scholar was unimpressed with the cookbooks available for people on food stamps in the U.S. So she decided to come up with her own set of tips and recipes for eating well on $4 a day.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Defense Zeroes In On Star Witness' Credibility

Defense attorney William Burck is focusing on inconsistencies in what Jonnie Williams told investigators as well as his stock dealings.
NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.