Universal Social Security Benefit in the News - cnbc.com; AMAC
An article posted recently on cnbc.com highlighted the issue of a “universal benefit plan” as an alternative future for Social Security as we know it today, including a framework developed by Heritage Foundation that would accomplish the objective of equal benefits while reducing the tax burden on workers. The Motley Fool’s Maurie Backman picks up the thought on this concept with a post on theindependent.com that further explores the idea, leading with this thought: “It’s an interesting idea — but could it really work?”
Ms. Backman’s article, which you can access here, first addresses the basic method used to determine benefits, and introduces the likely disapproval from those who contributed larger sums to the program only to realize the “same retirement benefit as their counterparts who pay a lot less.” Although the Social Security benefit calculation is already progressive, the current system still allows higher earners to receive a higher benefit. She also includes comments about the impending solvency issue Social Security faces, as well as the very real fact that current lower earning beneficiaries–those who rely much more heavily on these benefits–are continuing to see their buying power erode due to the program’s flawed cost-of-living adjustment process.
Researchers at the AMAC Foundation have examined this concept extensively, concluding that the universal Social Security flat-benefit concept has gained traction largely because most congressional approaches to Social Security’s financial dilemma include raising the payroll tax burden on American workers. Most currently proposed legislation tackles the issue of a steadily increasing number of Social Security beneficiaries by increasing SS revenue via higher taxes to support a larger number of recipients. That approach, flat-benefit proponents say, will eventually become unsustainable.
No matter how you cut it, Social Security reform is a big–and very important–deal affecting a major segment of the U.S. population. It’s not a new issue, either. In fact, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) has been advocating for Social Security reform for nearly a decade, and has put forth a comprehensive proposal designed to preserve this important program for current and near retirees and to also modernize it for successive generations. Click here to review the AMAC proposal.