Did Biden Open the Door to Compromise on Social Security? - CNBC; AMAC

In the midst of the slowly dissipating haze surrounding the midterm elections, President Biden pledged an openness to compromise with the incoming Congress on work to be done. In a somewhat mixed message, though, he reinforced his administration’s stance that “…fundamental changes to Social Security and Medicare are off the negotiating table.” What remains to be seen, then, is how open the current administration will be to corrective measures on Social Security–measures that are desperately needed to stave off insolvency now slated to be a reality a decade from now. After all, he did make the comment, “I’m open to any good ideas.” CNBC White House Reporter Emma Kinery recaps yesterday’s remarks by Biden in a post on cnbc.com.

The ambiguities of terms like “fundamental changes” and “good ideas” will need to be resolved as quickly as possible if meaningful Social Security reform can occur in a manner that does not cause major disruption to a program facing substantial challenges. As anyone who has studied Social Security’s steadily emerging long-term solvency problem knows, the cause is attributable primarily to population demographics developing over many decades. The “solutions,” many of which have been advanced repeatedly and unsuccessfully in congressional sessions through the years, generally take the form of either increasing the program’s income (taxes) or changing the benefit structure, both of which could likely fall under the definition of “fundamental changes.”

So, what falls into the category of a “good idea?” Soon after the 118th Congress convenes in January 2023, we’ll likely see a host of bills intended to address Social Security’s solvency issue. Some will be good ideas, others maybe not. The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), for example, believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized.  This can be achieved with no tax increases by changing cost of living adjustments, the retirement age, and delayed credits.  AMAC advocates for a bipartisan compromise, “The Social Security Guarantee Act,” taking selected portions of bills introduced by the late Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and current Rep. John Larson (D-CT) and merging them with the Association’s own research.  One component is Social Security PLUS, a voluntary plan to allow all earners to have more income at retirement.  This component is intended to appeal especially to younger workers.  AMAC is resolute in its mission that Social Security be preserved and modernized and has gotten the attention of lawmakers in DC, meeting with a great many congressional offices and their staffs over the past several years.  Read AMAC’s plan here.

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