Outside the Box: Don’t cut or privatize Social Security — lawmakers must act responsibly on behalf of all Americans

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Stock Market

It was inevitable that after the 2022 Social Security Trustees report came out that we would see plenty of conservative commentary insisting that the program is headed for “bankruptcy” and “disaster.”  The Trustees projected that Social Security’s combined trust funds would become depleted in 2035, after which the program still could pay 80% of scheduled benefits — if Congress takes no pre-emptive action. In response, some conservatives insist that somehow the only way to keep Social Security financially strong is to cut benefits and privatize the program.

This threadbare narrative is bumping up against reality in 2022, because not only did the Trustees push back the insolvency date of the Social Security trust fund by one year because of an unexpectedly robust economy, but there is legislation pending in Congress right now to strengthen the program without benefit cuts.       Many fiscal conservatives have opposed Social Security from the beginning, though today they mouth platitudes about supporting the program. Never mind that their “reform” proposals would undermine it at the very core. For decades, Social Security has provided working Americans and their families with basic financial security. Thanks to the dwindling availability of pensions and the increase in wealth inequality, some 90% of retirees rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. Projections indicate that today’s young adults will depend on Social Security even more than previous generations as they age.       In the face of these realities, conse …

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