Millions of our seniors cannot afford to retire and we must expand Social Security so that they can live with dignity
I was delighted to debate South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham two weeks ago on some of the most urgent crises facing our country. The debate was sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston and broadcast on Fox News.
Sen. Graham and I, with moderator Bret Baier, covered a lot of territory, but one of the most important issues we discussed was the future of Social Security – one of the most popular and successful government programs in American history.
Today, while many people take Social Security for granted, let us remember. Before Social Security was created in 1935 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, about half of our seniors were living in poverty. Today, though still too high ,the senior poverty rate is just 8.9%.
Sen. Graham was very honest about his approach to Social Security and the direction in which Republicans should go. His view is that we should raise the retirement age and adopt a plan similar to what Alan Simpson (a former Republican senator from Wyoming) and Erskine Bowles (a former Democratic Wall Street investment banker) proposed nearly a decade ago.