Is Biden Looking at Social Security Reform as a Legacy? - CNBC.com

At least one prominent voice has raised the possibility that Social Security might evolve as a legacy of Joe Biden’s presidential tenure. Although Social Security reform is not high on the early priority list for the new administration, action on several important fronts appears to be gathering momentum, with legislative initiatives like Rep. John Larson’s (D-Conn.) Social Security 2100 proposal and Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) Social Security Expansion Act seem to be bulding visibility. Since both measures place emphasis on benefit increases funded by tax increases, it’s clear that the necessary bipartisan cooperation could be obstacle-ridden as deliberations unfold.

In any event, action on Social Security’s looming insolvency make it imperative that corrective action be taken, and soon. Most know that the latest Social Security Trustees Report projected the year 2034 as the point where the program’s cash reserves become fully depleted and an across-the-board benefit reduction becomes a reality, but many informed sources are also noting that the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic devastation will likely bring this point years closer. In other words, time is steadily running out for a corrective move. It’s not a self-correcting situation, and the longer action is delayed, the more severe the consequences could be.

Jason Fichtner, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and former Social Security Administration official, recognizes both the criticality of the problem and the opportunity Joe Biden has at hand. In a post on CNBC.com by personal finance reporter Lorie Konish, Fichtner offers this suggestion, ““I am hoping that President Biden might look at least after the midterms in 2022, going into 2023, of trying to secure a legacy for himself and that would be Social Security reform.” Read Ms. Konish’s post here…

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