Social Security has been the greatest social insurance program in the world. I say that, not because it is the best organized or funded, but because it has kept more people out of poverty for longer. It has been in effect for 84 years, so most Americans have no concept of a world without it. But it is in trouble. The current $2.9 Trillion "trust finds" will be depleted by 2035. About its 100th birthday.What the 2019 Trusteesí Report Shows About Social Security
(Center Budget Priorities).
How did this happen?
Elizabeth Warrenís plan to expand Social Security, explained
the program is also not actuarially sound. A combination of growing life expectancy, slowing population growth, and slowing wage growth have created a situation where the program is scheduled to run out of money in 2035.
(Vox). So, the answers to fix it are pretty straightforward: fix the actuarial basis, cut benefits, or boost the tax base.
Since the first one smacks of a Soylent Green
solution, let's concentrate on the second two. (Although one proposal, Promoting Economic Growth through Social Security Reform
, does address the actuarial side of the equation by encouraging delayed applications.) Cuts have actually already been tried, unsuccessfully. The COLA formula was changed, and benefits have been delayed. Not only is this unpopular, but it hasn't fixed the problem.
There are several plans already out there, including the two I've already referenced. Half the Democratic field have proposals. They should be considered, tweaked, and implemented. Editorial: Donít delay reforms to shore up Social Security
discussion and consideration of the available options should begin now. The Social Security Act should be able to celebrate its centennial in 2035 by providing fully for retired Americans, the disabled and families who have lost their primary breadwinner and by adding to the nationís economic strength.
Like universal healthcare, Social Security can be a fundamental factor to strengthen
our economy, rather than being a burden. People need to understand that.