Add Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to the list of Republican lawmakers unsatisfied with the party's reluctance to back Social Security cuts.
The longtime Senator, who will retire at the end of her term in 2012, called on both parties to include the program in debt ceiling talks on Tuesday in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. She's releasing her own legislation to spur talks, a bill that would raise the retirement age gradually to 69 and reduce benefits by trillions over the next several decades by pegging the annual cost-of-living- adjustment (COLA) to one percent below inflation every year.
I hear guys in my old union bad mouth "both parties" on Social Security, but it's really only Republicans who want to "save" the program by raising the retirement age and reducing the COLAs. But this isn't surprising. Al Gore wanted to protect Social Security in a "lock box", but he's fat. George W Bush wanted to give Social Security to Wall Street, and we see how that would have worked out.
But there's something bigger here: people who get paid a lot of money to sit on their asses are essentially saying to all the Americans who bust their asses for a living that they should have to keep up the back-breaking work for a few more years, and then get less money when they do retire. I say make Kay Bailey Hutchison work with a shovel or a hammer for a year and then see what she thinks about raising the retirement age.
Maybe then she could use her calloused hands to sign on to a deal that removes the income cap on Social Security taxes (income over $107,000 a year is not taxed).