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Raise the Retirement Age for Social Security?

One candidate for NH's 1st Congressional District tells forum, 'It should be on the table.'

U.S. Rep. , R-NH, sparred with Democratic challenger during a forum in Exeter Tuesday that became more of a one-on-one debate between the pair.

At one point, the 1st District candidates were asked to give a "yes" or "no" answer to whether the retirement age to receive Social Security benefits shold be raised.

Shea-Porter said, "No," while Guinta said, "It should be on the table."

Shea-Porter pressed Guinta for a "Yes" or "No," but Guinta repeated his response.

Tuesday's forum was held in front of about 200 senior citizens at the senior community. All four candidates attended, though the bickering between Shea-Porter and Guinta took center stage.

Guinta is up against former commercial fisherman/marine engineer , of Wolfeboro, and registered nurse , of Dover, in .

On the Democratic side, Shea-Porter is running unopposed. Guinta beat Shea-Porter to take her congressional seat in 2010.

Shea-Porter went on the offensive early, claiming Guinta has been part of a "do-nothing" Congress that has pursued harmful cuts to the federal budget.

Guinta tried to avoid direct attacks on Shea-Porter, instead focusing on his work in Congress over the last two years. He said he helped House lawmakers pass dozens of bi-partisan bills aimed at spurring job growth.

"I work with people on both sides of the aisle," Guinta said.

The pair argued over the merits of President Obama's health care law, which Guinta has tried to repeal and Shea-Porter said has reduced waste and provided health insurance to millions of people who would not have had access to it.

A recent University of New Hampshire survey showed Guinta has more name recognition and resources than his two challengers combined heading into the primary on Sept. 11.

Parent said the country needs to reform entitlement programs, and said he never would have voted to raise the country's debt ceiling a few months ago.

Clough said, if elected, he would hold town hall-style forums with his constituents after every major vote.

Steve From NH September 04, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I'll go for a raise in the retirement age if the wealthy agree to a raise in their taxes - how about it, Frank? Shared sacrifice, or are people like me expected to make all of the sacrifices? Huh? Oh wait, you answer to Grover Norquist, so your answer is yes, I and those like me are expected to make all of the sacrifice. Thanks a lot.
Dennis Taylor September 04, 2012 at 10:04 PM
What funding problem? Just have Santa Claus Bernanke run the printing presses a little faster.
Dennis Taylor September 04, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Which fat politician will be losing part of their pension? How will my SS taxes be cut so as to reflect the reduced value of my SS pension? Will the current retirees also see a cut in benefits so as to spread this pain around? Why are seniors not viewed worthy of the printing press, but Obama's vacations are? We peasants will need a lot of convincing that we need to sacrifice more so that today's government can stay in power. It is the government insiders against the general public once again, and can anyone guess who will lose this time?
Sean Perdew September 05, 2012 at 02:15 PM
No pension or healthcare plan will work if it does not follow one rule - each person must make sufficient contributions to it during their working years to fund their benefits in their retirement years. This is true whether it is the employee paying or the company paying - there is absolutely no difference except in the tax code. The cost of labor includes salary and benefits, so it is silly to think that your employer is giving you retirement or healthcare "for free". The universal problem with the social security, medicare and federal/state/local retirement plans is that they are not funded out by the workers who will later draw from them, rather the current workers are directly funding the retired workers. No private employer could get away with this, there are strict regulations around private pensions to ensure that they are more than just empty promises. No government can promise guaranteed benefits for future retirees based on the contributions of future workers.
Dennis Taylor September 07, 2012 at 09:21 PM
When will the 18-62 year old peasant in this country get a break? How are we to support the old and the illegals from Mexico and points south? How can we save for our kids' college education and at the same time, be sure to get out of the way for illegals who want that precious seat in the colleges we peasants support? Raise the age for SS today, and the thugs in charge will want to raise it again next week. We all need to vote for a responsible government that will provide decent benefits for retirees, renegotiate our national debt, slash our entitlement promises, stop diluting our currency, and defend our borders and jobs from corrupt employers and illegals who lower the market wages. Neither the Democrats nor Republicans offer any real solution to these problems. Seniors, vote for an independant party candidate, and maybe, just maybe, your voices will finally be heard. Otherwise, try screaming in Spanish. That may get the attention of both parties.

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