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>> I have two words for you:

Inflation and COLA

This is a big part of it. but also, Boomers were entering the workforce in droves in the late 1960s and 1970s. Demographics were looking better in the important taxpayer/recipient ratio. That made it politically feasible to sweeten the pot at the time and promise the moon and stars.

Apparently no one thought to consider that maybe this demographic trend was a short-term anomaly. Just as they never thought to factor increasing life expectancies, except for the one-time adjustment of the full retirement age from 65 to 67.

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