Save Social Security
By: Ted Beust
In 2034, Social Security is expected to become insolvent.
Americans are initially eligible to receive Social Security benefits at the age of 62. President Donald Trump announced he is going to increase the benefits in 2019 by a rate of 2.8 percent, while at the same time increasing the taxable maximum by 3.5 percent.
In 2016, Social Security brought millions of people out of poverty. This program’s funding has been reduced throughout the years, which has many Americans worried.
Millions of Americans have benefitted from this program since it was first introduced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt through the New Deal, so it is only natural that many are in favor of preserving the program.
There are politicians who are in favor of saving Social Security, and there are those who aim to cut funding as part of the “entitlement reform” or “helping to reduce the deficit.”
One of the more fervent supporters of the program is current Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders (D).
Sanders has even gone as far as expressing that he is in favor of expanding Social Security.
In 2014, Sanders helped introduce legislation called the Keeping Social Security Promises that would ensure that Social Security would still be giving out full benefits.
“This legislation will strengthen Social Security for the next 75 years by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share into Social Security” Sanders said regarding the bill. “The Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration has projected that doing this will ensure that Social Security can pay out all benefits for the next 75 years”. “In fairness I can’t take credit for this legislation. It is exactly what Barack Obama proposed to do when he campaigned for president back in 2008.”
In his tax plan the Vermont senator also proposed to get rid of the taxable maximum so everyone has to pay the Social Security tax on their paycheck.
A local supporter of the program is Wright State University graduate and Central Committee
Member of the Ohio Democratic Party Peter Viera.
“I think if it wasn’t for Social Security that seniors would have an even harder time paying for daily needs,” Viera said. “I already see seniors having a hard time paying bills as it is. Social Security is not much to live on, but it’s at least something. I think we need to put more money into Social Security.”
Another supporter of Social Security is current Wright State University student Derek Rabe.
“I think everyone should have it when people get old and if they have worked a certain amount of years. The more years, the bigger the benefits in my belief,” Rabe said. “Our Congress should work and get it done for Millennials when they reach that age.”
There are multiple Republicans who have expressed serious interest in cutting Social Security benefits. Those Republicans are former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Christie has gone as far as resorting to means-testing for Social Security benefits. This means that the more someone earns the less benefits they receive from the program.
While he was running for President, Christie unveiled his plan for “saving” Social Security.
His plan involved reducing benefits for seniors making more than $80,000 per year, and completely denying benefits for those making more than $200,000 per year.
Christie has also expressed strong interest in raising the retirement age, the governor’s proposed age of retirement is 69, instead of the current retirement age of retirement of 66.
Another Republican who wants to cut funding for the program is McConnell.
He placed the blame for the rising deficit on “entitlement” programs such as Social Security.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” said McConnell. “I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it’s a shame.”
Quinnipiac University graduate Michael Schreiber is a libertarian who is in favor of completely discontinuing funding.
“It’s an unstable ponzi scheme that is showing the stress it faces as more people retire at a larger rate that can’t be sustained by currently employed people. It diverts economic development in unknown ways as money is taken from one set of the populace and given to another, both of which May and probably do, have different consumption patterns.” Schreiber said. “It is not the job of the federal government to plan for Americans’ retirement on their behalf.”
Several polls on the issue of whether Congress should cut funding to Social Security or pump more money into it. The Republicans and Democrats have found common ground on the issue of Social Security: they do not want to do anything to it that will end up hindering the benefits Americans will receive out of the program.
A Pew Research poll shows that both Republicans and Democrats and Republicans are in favor of either maintaining or increasing funding for the program. Eighty-six percent of Republicans want to keep or increase funding for Social Security, while 95 percent of Democrats want to do the same thing.
A poll from Marist/NPR/PBS shows that Americans are satisfied with Social Security.
According to that poll, only a little over one-fifth (21 percent) of Americans would want to make cuts to programs such as Social Security.
Americans are also doubtful of whether they will be old enough to see if they will be recipients of the benefits from Social Security. A poll from Gallup shows that 51 percent of Americans doubt they will receive benefits when they reach the age of retirement.