Means Testing for Social Security…Where do the Republican Candidates Stand?

By now, anyone who’s been paying attention to Social Security’s steadily deteriorating financial position is keenly aware of the long-term implications of Congress taking no corrective action. Many suggestions for program restructuring have been put forth by a number of reptuable contributors, but so far the issue hasn’t really advanced on the legislative priority list. And yet, as is equally well known, the countdown to full depletion of Social Security’s trust fund reserves is picking up steam toward a catastrophe less than a decade from now.

So, given the magnitude of the impending calamity–the 20% across-the-board reduction in benefits (some say 23%, some say 25%)–where do the 2024 presidential candidates stand? Most have taken a “hands off” stance, saying Social Security won’t be touched. This, of course, is a de facto endorsement of the benefit cut scheduled to take place absent corrective measures, but some candidates have addressed specific adjustments that could be made. For example, in last Wednesday’s Republican debate, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hinted at two specific target areas for modification—means testing to limit or exclude benefits for “the wealthy” and the potential for raising the full retirement age for certain age groupings. These positions are recapped in a post by GoBankingRate’s Yael Bizouti-Kennedy, which you can read in full here.

There are, of course, many viewpoints on these two issues, as well as many other suggested legislative changes that would affect Social Security financing. Stay tuned to this website in the coming months as the Social Security debate continues to simmer.

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