The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 10, 2013

To be honest, old folks are doing OK

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The fact is that the over-65 population is, on average, much better off financially than younger groups, for a number of reasons. They get discounts everywhere they go, on everything from cups of coffee to admission to movies, museums, amusement parks and more.

They may have less in raw income, but have more left over at the end of the month, since a majority has paid off their mortgage and their kids are out of college. They don’t have the expenses that those in their 30s and 40s do.

Add to that the findings of a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis – that the young and middle-aged were hit much harder by the financial crisis than elders. Income for those younger population groups dropped about 12 percent, while for older Americans it increased by 12-15 percent.

Finally, any honest conversation about sustaining Social Security has to deal with the reality that elders are living much longer than when Social Security began. Then, the average was about three years. Now it is 13 and growing. Pushing the age to collect to 70 or even 72 would not harm the vast majority of elders, and would preserve the program for future generations.

And please, no bogus claims that elders are just, “getting back what they paid in.” That’s not how it works. President George W. Bush tried to make it that way and got smacked down by Democrats.

None of this has to hurt truly poor, sick and dependent elders. That’s why we have welfare, Medicaid and Medicare.

The president and his followers obsess about everybody “paying their fair share.” In this case, a large population group is receiving more than its fair share. That has to end.

Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014