The Alliance for Retired Americans have placed ads in six key districts across the country, attacking what they describe as Republican plans to raise the retirement age for Social Security benefits. There’s a residual benefit to this as well – it’s a warning shot against Democrats who would like to do the same.
The spot takes a satirical look at the recourse for senior citizens if the retirement age increases to 70, which John Boehner, at least, has supported. It shows seniors having to work difficult jobs in manufacturing, construction and the service sector, at their advanced ages. The spots have been distributed in support of Raúl Grijalva, Bruce Braley, John Boccieri, Chris Carney, Mark Critz and Joe Sestak.
The extra punch from this ad comes when you realize that both House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn have floated an increase in the retirement age as part of a solution to Social Security’s small long-term funding gap. If Democrats run – and win – on their position on Social Security against cuts or increases in the retirement age, that puts pressure on Hoyer and Clyburn if they decide to act upon deficit commission recommendations that could include such things.
This effort is not the only one on Social Security during this campaign season. Sestak has made it a focus of his campaign, and just today, Rep. Alan Grayson attacked his opponent for proposing a $1,000 annual cut to Social Security benefits.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the cat food commission has been moving away from focusing on Social Security, but only in the short-term. It’s entirely possible a long-term “fix” that exempts current or near-retirees could be adopted.