Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Republicans take a stand against freedom

As a baby boomer, I've had a lot of conversations with my peers about the whole concept of "retirement." Many of us are questioning when to retire and what exactly retirement means. The freedom to answer those questions in a way that works best for each of us as individuals is a blessing that many who came before us weren't afforded (and too many still don't experience).

One of the ways this whole conversation has been altered is with the introduction of Obamacare. For people who are too young to be eligible for Medicare, many of us HAD to work in order to be able to afford health insurance. Both the elimination of denials for pre-existing conditions and the affordability of comprehensive coverage on the exchanges have opened up options that were not available previously.

In his debate last night with Allison Lundergan Grimes, Senator Mitch McConnell said that was a bad thing. He lied about misrepresented a CBO report saying that Obamacare would cost the country 2.5 million jobs when in actuality it said that the law will empower 2.5 million Americans to leave the workforce if they want to.

We're also hearing conservatives decry this freedom when they talk about the economy and our recovery from the Great Recession. I'll grant them this...it gets harder every day to criticize President Obama on this front. To keep up the rhetoric, they have pretty slim pickin's to choose from.

What we're seeing is that one of the only remaining refuges for complaint comes from the recent drop in the labor force participation rate. Over the last few years that number has gone from 66% to 63%. Republicans would have you believe that is totally the fault of President Obama's weak recovery. But economists will tell you that 2% of that 3-point drop is the result of the retirement of aging baby-boomers.

All of this leads me to suggest that perhaps its time for baby-boomers to ask Republicans why they have a problem with our freedom to chose when/how to retire.

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