3:00 PM EST, December 18, 2012
It seems to me that House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama can close the deal and avoid the "fiscal cliff" ("Progress elusive in fiscal talks," Dec. 14). The Republicans need to agree to increase the taxes for the wealthiest 2 percent while the Democrats need to agree to increase the age for Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67 — perhaps by three months a year beginning in 2015. The early retirement age for Social Security also needs to be increased from 62 to 65 — also by three months a year beginning in 2016. This will give anyone thinking about taking early retirement three years to plan.
Meanwhile, the normal retirement age for Social Security needs to be increased from 67 to 68. This additional year increase needs to be done much quicker than the current law. Let's say over six years starting in 2028 the year after the current law reaches normal retirement age. The debt ceiling needs to be increased enough to carry us at least through June 30, 2014.
Since the Republicans want to cut spending and have suggested that federal employees have their wages frozen for five years, let them be leaders and pass a bill that freezes their salaries for five years, too. Once their wages are unfrozen, any increase should only be for the current year and not a massive catch up. While they are at it, let's reduce the cost of running Congress by 10 percent through reduced staff, travel costs, etc.
By the way, I'm a small business man who also happens to be on Social Security and Medicare and although I'm not in the top 2 percent, I do have to pay an additional fee for the Medicare Plans B and D. As I told my financial advisor years ago, I don't mind paying taxes because that means I'm making money.
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