It can be quite difficult to effectively address the issues surrounding Social Security funding, with different parties having their own conflicting ideas on the best solution. The GOP (Grand Old Party) is no exception, recently coming under fire for proposed fixes that some have deemed misguided and potentially damaging for some taxpayers.
The proposal in question — put forward by a GOP think tank called the National Commission to Ensure Social Security Solvency — suggests avoiding any payroll-tax increase and instead look at cutting back on the amount of money that beneficiaries can receive, as well as reducing their annual cost-of-living increases.
Critics of the proposal have warned that it would have a detrimental effect on a broad range of taxpayers. This includes those who are already near retirement age, receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or who are disabled. In addition, the proposed decrease in COLAs, which are meant to keep pace with inflation, could mean that the value of Social Security payments end up significantly shrinking over time.
Such a proposal also goes against the wishes of President Biden. At a press conference, Biden made clear that any efforts to reduce Social Security benefits are just simply not on the table. He even promised to increase benefits substantially by pushing for the passage of an expansive Social Security reform package.
There’s no denying that the Social Security system needs fixing. Social Security benefits have not kept up with capita growth, and the system is on the brink of insolvency unless the incoming president can get Congress to pass funding increases and reforms. But any such reforms should be undertaken with the utmost care and consideration, with the primary concern being the preservation of an already fragile safety net. Reducing benefits and COLAs, as suggested by the GOP think tank, is likely not the best way forward.