Yarmuth disagrees with Democratic leadership for bailing on raising retirment age

03/21/2011 06:16 PM

Congress must consider all options in cutting down the nation’s long term debt, including raising the retirement age, one Kentucky congressman said.

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville said he was disappointed Democratic congressional leaders balked at the suggestion by the president’s bipartisan commission on the nation’s long-term debt in December to raise the retirement age for Social Security.

“My leadership disagrees with me on this, but I think the idea that we would not consider changing the age in which you receive full benefits from Social Security to 70 years old in 2075 is irresponsible,” he said. “… Our leadership took that off the table. I think that’s irresponsible.”

He also said President Barack Obama must be a major player in any meaningful debate.

“What the president has been unwilling to do so far is to take the lead on it,” Yarmuth said.

Last week, a group of 60 Senators — both Republicans and Democrats — sent a letter to the president asking him to join them in Social Security reform.

“That seems to me to be the opening to say, ‘If you’re willing to step out on this plank, we’re going to walk with you,” he said.

Yarmuth also discussed the bill he co-sponsored last week that would raise the highest tax brackets for the ultra-rich.

Those making more than $1 million would be taxed on a sliding scale of between 46% and 49% with the top rate reserved for those who earn $1 billion or more a year.

- Ryan Alessi

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