Sane Conservative Ideas Watch, Ctd

Andrew Samwick sides with Biggs:

The core program is for Old Age and Survivors Insurance.  None of the ages being discussed – 62, 65, 67, even 70 when all age-related aspects of the program max out – constitute old age.  What matters for the effectiveness of Social Security as an insurance program is whether it keeps the truly old – think age 85 and almost certainly unable to work – out of poverty. 

Another important point:

Social Security includes not just the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance but a Disability Insurance program as well.  The DI program enables workers to leave the workforce and claim benefits immediately and without the reductions to benefits that are applied for early eligibility.  The DI rolls have been increasing over the past couple of decades.  The counterpart to DI in many Western European countries already serves as a de facto early retirement program.  And the pressures on DI are likely to increase as the new health care law becomes operational – particularly, the parts of that law that make health insurance more widely available for older workers outside of employment relationships.  If you trust the DI application process to get unreduced benefits to those who are unable to work (and not to those who are able), then you should be less concerned about raising the [Social Security Earliest Eligibility Age (EEA)].