The Obama administration would rather not talk about it, but the fact is that Social Security needs to undergo major changes in the form of reasonable adjustments to the program. Doing nothing to change Social Security as it currently is would be a horrible decision, as well as a costly one.
The current system cannot keep up with growing costs; for the first time since 1983, the costs of benefits will be greater than revenues coming into the program. This means that Social Security is now in the red and will continue this trend into the foreseeable future.
According to a Gallup poll earlier this year, most Americans believe that the costs of Medicare and Social Security are creating a crisis now or will sometime in the next 10 years. If we continue in this direction the Social Security trust fund will become exhausted and there will not be anything left for younger generations: our generation, which is something no one wants to see happen.
We cannot afford to stick our heads in the ground and pretend there is not a problem.
The best way to make the needed adjustments to Social Security is to enact reasonable reductions to benefits, such as raising the retirement age to reflect the rise of life expectancy. These changes would not affect those who are already receiving benefits from Social Security. Other options include decreasing benefits for higher-income Americans who tend to have more retirement savings and who will not need the same level of benefits as the average American. This is fair because it reflects a person’s lifetime earnings.
Changing Social Security would not be throwing Grandma under the bus despite what some critics might say. Reducing benefits is not an attempt to strip these social programs; they are an attempt to preserve Social Security for later generations.
If the Obama administration is really open to restructuring and revamping programs like Medicare and Social Security, then they should consider more reasonable measures, not writing IOU’s and sticking their heads in the ground.