By Jared Bernstein
I very much appreciate Paul K, Sens Harkin and Warren, and others who are putting an expansion of Social Security on the table. Relative to fighting about cuts to the stalwart retirement program, that’s called “playing offense,” and given that Social Security is the most solid leg of the three-legged retirement stool (Soc Sec, pensions, savings), strengthening the program makes a lot of sense.
But I wanted to elaborate one point from Paul’s oped this AM. He points out that one argument against expanding benefits is that the elderly poverty rate in already relative low, at about 9%. But his argument here is that measured correctly, the elderly poverty rate is actually about 15%, and as pensions continue to deteriorate, it will go higher.