Social Security – It’s approaching CRISIS
“Tomorrow is here.” So says Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and Senior Policy Director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, writing this op-ed in The Hill. What was once a concern and then a challenge is close to becoming a crisis. Each passing day limits the options and will further the pain needed to rescue the Social Security program from insolvency. Goldwein draws on the alarming Trustees report of April 22nd that stated all benefits would be cut 20% or more across-the-board in just over a decade without congressional action before insolvency. He dismisses proposals like “scrapping the cap,” which would subject all income to payroll tax and eliminating benefits for new enrollees as insufficient to secure the trust fund even temporarily and prevent across-the-board benefit cuts. More drastic action is needed. What can be done then? Goldwein mentions three proposals that do have merit:
- Social Security Subcommittee Chair John Larson’s (D-CT) Social Security 2100 Act plan to raise some taxes.
- former Chair Sam Johnson’s (R-TX) Social Security Reform Act to slow benefit growth (benefit & retirement age changes).
- the Conrad-Lockhart plan from the Bipartisan Policy Center would save the program by doing both.
All three plans demonstrate we are well past the point of adjustments phased in gradually over the course of an adult lifetime, as proposed in Simpson-Bowles in 2010. Goldwein notes we’re also past the point of taxing the rich to make any meaningful difference. Read full op-ed here.
The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized. This can be achieved by making modest changes in cost of living adjustments and the retirement age, with no additional taxes on workers. AMAC advocates for a bipartisan compromise, “The Social Security Guarantee Act,” taking selected portions of bills introduced by former Rep. Johnson and Rep. Larson and merging them with the Association’s own well researched ideas. One component is Social Security PLUS, a new yet voluntary early retirement plan that would allow all earners to have more income available 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 legislative staffs over the past several years. Read AMAC’s plan here.