December 25, 2013
HAVING SCREWED UP THE ECONOMY SO THAT FEWER PEOPLE CAN SAVE FOR RETIREMENT, some Dems now want higher Social Security benefits.
Ms. Warren gave voice to this new phase when she took to the Senate floor recently with a speech calling head-on for higher Social Security benefits. “Seniors have worked their entire lives and have paid into the system, but right now, more people than ever are on the edge of financial disaster once they retire—and the numbers continue to get worse,” she said. “That is why we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits—not cutting them.”
As that reference to retirees on the “edge of financial disaster” indicates, one force driving the argument is the fact that a lot of baby boomers saw their retirement cushions deflated by the financial shock of 2007 and 2008. Research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that the share of workers saving for retirement has declined to 57% now from 64% in 2008—and that the share of workers who have more than $25,000 set aside has declined over the same period to 43% from 51%.
What could go wrong?