By Rosemary Hoyt

Meeting was very useful


August 16, 2017

Thanks to all the people who attended the program, “Social Security: Today and Tomorrow”. Shane Banbeater, manager of The Dalles Social Security Office and Tim Burns, representing Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA) were interesting and engaging. Dave Sauter was a skillful moderator. Sandra DeMent was the organizer. Co-sponsors were the Goldendale Sentinel, Aging in the Gorge, and the Klickitat County Democratic Party.

Mr. Banbeater presented extremely interesting facts about social security in Klickitat County: about 6,800 residents receive just under 7.8 million dollars per month! This has a huge economic impact on our local businesses.

Mr. Burns explained social security was intended to be a part of a comprehensive retirement plan. The other major sources of retirement income were intended to be pensions and savings. Yet 75 percent say social security is their major income and unfortunately 40 percent say it is their only income. Many pensions have become unreliable or vanished.

Discussion around the future of social security brought up some unsettling facts. It was brought up that the math doomed social security and the minimum retirement age should be increased to seventy because people are living longer. That works well for members of congress who sit on the hill and work forever. In the world of hard labor, it is generally not possible to do that. Another solution was to “scrap the cap” which would level the playing field by making all wages taxable not just the first $127,200 which is the current cap.

During his campaign, Donald Trump stated several times. “It is my absolute intention to leave Social Security the way it is.” Let’s see if he keeps that promise. Cuts to Social Security will have a tremendous impact on Klickitat County and its residents.


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