Social Security currently funds benefits partly from its trust fund reserves, which are projected to run out sometime in the early 2030s. Rather than close the gap between payroll tax revenue and Social Security costs immediately, virtually all Social Security reform plans suggest gradual changes that stretch out the withdrawal of those reserves to fund the transition to a sustainable system, accruing interest along the way.
Sadly, the candidates currently running for U.S. president have yet to offer viable ideas to bring Social Security’s finances back into balance. And as recently warned by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, every year that passes makes it “more difficult to secure the Social Security programs for current and future generations with thoughtful changes instead of abrupt benefit cuts or tax increases.”
Instead of talking about the annual deficit and the national debt, which are set to rise to $1.343 trillion and 85.6 percent of the size of the economy in 10 years, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget blogged that Obama's suggestion for expanding Social Security was ill-conceived.
People 65 and over are less likely than the general public to live in poverty — and only half as likely to live in poverty as children under 18, according to the Census Bureau. They have higher average income (from all sources) than their counterparts in all but one other industrialized democracy, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said that although Mr. Obama didn’t outline the size of tax hikes or benefit increases, “broad-based benefit increases would not be the best use of resources and would put the cart before the horse in terms of ensuring solvency.”
In May, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget surveyed the presidential contenders and declared Hillary Clinton the most fiscally conservative. Clinton is largely pro-trade, pro-immigration, and pro-infrastructure, all priorities for big business. She's also pro-environment, pro-LGBTQ rights, and pro-diversity, and thus in tune with the social concerns of well-off cosmopolitans.
And Trump has his own vulnerabilities on healthcare. He has tacked between different positions on issues. An analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget also found that his plan would lead to 21 million people losing their health insurance because it would repeal the coverage gains from ObamaCare.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) estimates that eliminating all waste and fraud would save approximately 0.6% in costs, only extending Social Security’s solvency by four months. Trump seems to expect economic growth under his administration to take care of the rest of the gap.
More interesting, though, was the justification for the Clinton approach, expressed byMarc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: “There’s some inevitable trade-off here between cost and simplicity. Put me down for, ‘Let’s spend our scarce resources more carefully, even if it means more complexity.’ ”
Economists are split on Sanders’ plan, which is more radical than the other candidates’: One analysis found that median household income would be up to $82,200 by 2026 with Sanders’ as President, far above the $59,300 projected by the Congressional Budget Office. However the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget also found that aspects of Sanders’ plan to fund his schemes would fall short of at least $3 trillion.