People’s Choice – Here’s What Common Folks Think Should Be Done to Fix Social Security

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It’s apparent that Congress can’t come to agreement on what to do to fix Social Security and shore up its dwindling trust fund. New projections show that money could run out by 2035, at which time there will be no choice other than to cut benefits. No one wants to see that happen!

CNBC shared the results of a new survey by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation that discovered that while lawmakers tend to side with party lines, voters actually agree more often than not, regardless of their party affiliation.

Scrap the Cap

The survey asked voters for their opinions on different solutions to resolve Social Security’s shortfall. One proposal that received overwhelming bipartisan support was to increase the level on income at which Social Security payroll taxes are applied.  

Currently, workers only pay taxes on the first $147,000 of income. There have been numerous calls to reapply payroll taxes for people with wages over $400,000. If this happens, it could eliminate 61% of the shortfall.

The Seniors Trust is in total agreement. We believe the best bet to shore up Social Security is for lawmakers to enact the Social Security Expansion Act which calls for lifting the cap on Social Security taxes to ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay a fairer amount in relation to their income.

Fairer COLA

The survey respondents also supported changing the way the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is determined. Both Republicans and Democrats want to see the formula changed to better reflect the goods and services older adults buy.

Once again, The Seniors Trust fully supports this solution. It’s just one more reason why we want Congress to enact the Social Security Expansion Act. It will establish a fairer cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) instead of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W) used currently. The CPI-E takes the unique spending habits of seniors into account — particularly regarding the cost of healthcare — and offers a more realistic COLA for retirees.