Social Security Reform Must Be “On the Table” - CNBC

Often referred to as “the third rail of American politics,” reform of the nation’s Social Security program has been elusive for decades, largely because Congress has been unable to muster the bipartisan spirit needed to make needed changes. Simply put, the 1983 reforms which bought us nearly 4 decades of Social Security solvency have run their course, and the program is now slated to be unable to pay full benefits as early as 2033. Changing population demographics are the cause – people are living longer and collecting benefits longer these days, while the ratio of workers-contributing to people-collecting is shrinking. Something needs to be done, and soon, or everyone’s SS benefits will be shaved by about 23% if the Social Security Trust Funds run dry in 2033.

Reform, by necessity, will likely mean less generous benefits for future retirees, which most on the liberal side of the Congressional aisle would call “cuts.” Raising payroll taxes on American workers is frequently proposed too but, without accompanying changes to deal with demographic changes, a tax increase would be, at most, only a short term “thumb in the dike” solution. Analyses show that completely eliminating the payroll tax cap would only buy little more than a decade of full solvency. So what needs to be done? Congress needs to put partisanship aside and do what is right for American seniors – form a bipartisan commission, as was done in 1983, to make recommendations on changes necessary to restore Social Security to full solvency for generations. This CNBC article by Lori Konish describes the current situation, and the urgent need for a bipartisanship commission as a first step toward needed reform.

For its part, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) has been at the forefront trying to strengthen Social Security by developing and proposing its Social Security Guarantee which restores the program to solvency without raising payroll taxes.  AMAC has been discussing and continues to discuss this common-sense solution with Congressional Representatives in its efforts to protect America’s senior citizens who rely on Social Security.  

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