Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican considering a 2016 presidential run, made headlines this spring by proposing a five-point, Social Security-focused reform plan.
The last time Congress made changes to Social Security was 30 years ago, so Rubio’s plan helped to fuel an emotional and complex national debate, although nothing he proposed is viewed as exactly breakthrough.
Despite his conservative credentials, Rubio’s plan also ran into trouble in the employee benefits industry. Some called his plan a “gimmick,” while others noted it would do nothing to help replenish the Social Security Trust Fund.
This is one of those notions that many view as inevitable, based on people’s increasing longevity.
In the early days of Social Security, a 65-year-old was expected to live 14 years beyond retirement. Someone who’s 65 today can expect to live 20 more years. Over the years, Congress has increased Social Security’s full retirement age by only two years, from 65 to 67.
This idea also unsurprisingly drew fire from Barber, though mostly because it lacked details. “Simply cutting the COLAs for wealthier Americans is basically lip-service as the (Rubio) proposal does not define ‘wealthier,’” he complained.