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Jan Schakowsky: We Should Consider Raising Retirement Age When It's Not Just Rich White Men Living Longer

On this Saturday's Up With Chris Hayes, Eliot Spitzer found himself getting some push back (thankfully) from his fellow panelist, Demo's Heather McGhee and Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky when he suggested that Democrats should consider
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On this Saturday's Up With Chris Hayes, Eliot Spitzer found himself getting some push back (thankfully) from his fellow panelist, Demo's Heather McGhee and Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky when he suggested that Democrats should consider raising the retirement age gradually for Social Security beneficiaries because Americans are living longer.

MCGHEE: I wish this weren’t so dire, but for wealthier white men, absolute longevity and healthiness has increased.

SPITZER: Yes.

MCGHEE: For working class women, it has decreased.

SPITZER: Over time we can do it.

MCGHEE: So you have to look at the equity issues unfortunately. I wish that weren't the case. [...]

SCHAKOWSKY: The very idea that we would raise the retirement age as Heather said for poor woman... that longevity has actually gone down. Maybe at some point we can do this. The other question is, so then where are the jobs? Are you going to go out at age sixty five and go find yourself a job? Where are those jobs? How are you going to have income? Ten percent of people rely on Social Security for one hundred percent of their income.

And the average Social Security benefit is $12,000; $10,000 for women. This is such a modest benefit. I think the idea right now of raising the age, which is a benefit reduction, is just ridiculous. At some point maybe we can consider it, when there are jobs for older people and when people are actually all living longer, not just rich white men.

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