You know I’ve been on a kick lately for ways we older people can economize and make the most of our money, and today’s show digs into the question: How can the government help?
Yeah, yeah, I know the old joke: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help. Ronald Reagan said those were the nine most terrifying words in the English language.
But are they really? At age 62, I am already looking forward to a little help from Medicare and especially, Social Security. I mean, after all, a good bit was taken out of my paycheck over the years to pay for those programs, so why shouldn’t I get my money back.
Well, it turns out there is more than one answer to that question, and here to talk about one side of the debate on Social Security is Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works and chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition.
Ms. Altman has a forty-year background in the areas of Social Security and private pensions. She was appointed by Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi to sit on the seven-personSocial Security Advisory Board — a bipartisan, independent federal government agency that advises the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security.
Ms. Altman is the author of The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble, and The Truth About Social Security: The Founders’ Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies, and Common Misunderstandings. She is also co-author of Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All.
Ms. Altman was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and taught courses on private pensions and Social Security at the Harvard Law School. She was also Alan Greenspan’s assistant during the years he led the developed the 1983 Social Security amendments.
I’m exceedingly fortunate to have Nancy on the show, because she has shared her Social Security expertise on numerous other television and radio shows, including PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, and FOX News. She has published op-eds in dozens of newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
So for some expertise and valuable insights on a program that affects every American, please welcome Ms. Nancy J. Altman to Dance Past Sunset.
What you will learn from Nancy Altman:
- Why Social Security is not an entitlement program, but rather an insurance program with earned benefits
- The myth and challenge of planning for an “end” you cannot possibly predict
- How boomers are not well prepared for retirement, and their children even less so
- Why some things, like the military (and Social Security) are better done as a Nation…together…and not as individuals
- Why immigrants are good, and having babies will help Social Security
- What keeps her up at night
- Why Medicare for all is not Obamacare
Questions I asked Nancy Altman:
- How well prepared is the average boomer for retirement?
- What kind of help can we presently expect from Social Security?
- What are some of the myths surrounding Social Security, and how would you debunk them?
- Specifically, what changes do you believe need to take place for Social Security to be a better program?
- Who are its critics, and why do you believe they are wrong?
- Why isn’t Social Security just a matter of math?
- How would you respond to Senator Alan Simpson, who referred to senior citizens as the Greediest Generation, and compared “Social Security ” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats?
- Is it true that if we keep 100% of our promises to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, there will be $0 leftover for anything else…the military, schools, infrastructure etc? In other words, as some claim, is the US going broke from “entitlement” programs?
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