Rubio and Retirement

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Ever since President Bush failed to get his version of Social Security reform through Congress, Republicans have mostly gone silent on it. Senator Rubio is taking the issue of retirement security head on. He proposes several steps. Most controversially, he would raise the retirement age and scale back the growth of initial benefits levels: The upper-income seniors of the future would get the same Social Security benefits as today’s retirees, plus an inflation adjustment–but no more than that. Rubio would also cut taxes (and implicit taxes) on seniors’ earnings, so as to stop pushing them out of the labor force. And he would let people who do not have access to employer-sponsored savings plan put away money in the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees.

Experts haven’t weighed in on Rubio’s plan, but these all strike me as good ideas.