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Senior Citizens Act: a poor fix

January 17, 1995



The editorial ``The `Contract': Day 2,'' Jan. 5, describes the Senior Citizens Fairness Act as a sweet deal. The act is simply a rejection of the raw deal given retirees by the Clinton administration, and will return that which was recently taken away from them by a president who forgot that he promised not to tamper with Social Security.

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As for the gloom and doom forecast for the future of Social Security, a simple fix will put the system on a pay-as-you-go basis that will provide future retirees with a financially sound system far into the next century. This fix is merely to stop retiring people at an ever younger age relative to the average life span, which is what the present system attempts to do. With our constantly increasing life span, which now extends well into the 70s, keeping the retirement age at 65 will clearly overburden the younger generations.

Eventually, however, the retirement age must be linked to the average life span. Once this correction is made and the system is put on a permanent pay-as-you-go basis, the Social Security trust fund surplus becomes irrelevant. It can be used to help pay off the national debt without adding new taxes or making cuts in Social Security benefits now or in the future. Dick Whitehead, Merritt Island, Fla.

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