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Raising the Retirement Age

June 28, 1988

As a tax-paying baby boomer I am deeply concerned at the attitude being expressed by Charles Krauthammer. The Social Security system has been an albatross around the necks of the so-called baby boomers since they were old enough to work. The weak argument made by proponents of the system that they paid into the system all their lives and are entitled to the money is bogus. I pay more money into the system in five years than most current retirees paid in a lifetime and now Krauthammer wants me to work to the age of 71 plus pay off the deficit.

It is time for the politicians to summon up the courage to call Social Security the tax that it is and make it a program based on need and not on some fiction about paying back what was paid in.

The truth is the baby boomers would gladly forgo any future Social Security benefits for the pleasure of being released from the burden of paying into the system now. The ability to invest that money now would in the future bring me a higher income than the government could ever afford to pay to me.

His allegations that the "Me Generation" is responsible for our current budgetary problems is at a minimum debatable. To quote, "After six decades of excess, the 'Me Generation' would finally get serious and pay off its debts." I do not know when the term "Me Generation" was coined but it was probably in the '70s, which would hardly make it possible for them (whoever they are) to be responsible for 60 years of budgetary excess.

ROBERT A. ZWISSLER

Manhattan Beach

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