The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has a calculator where you can enter a combination of revenue and benefit changes and instantly see the impact on the SS trust’s solvency.
You probably recall the rhetoric about taxing incomes above $400,000 or changing to the CPI-E, among others.
There are several routes to long-term solvency. I put in these changes:
- Increase the payroll tax by 3%
- Apply the payroll tax to all payroll earning.
The result was this: Under your plan Social Security will be sustainably solvent for the next 75 years and beyond.
On the other hand, if you enter some of the political proposal to improve benefits like using the CPI-E for the COLA and providing a minimum benefit of 125% of the poverty level you get: “Social Security remains insolvent. The trust fund will run out in 2033 at which point all beneficiaries will face a sudden 23% benefit cut.”
There is no painless solution no matter the rhetoric implying otherwise. There is no way to increase benefits without making the trust less solvent. BUT ONE THING IS CERTAIN. The longer Congress avoids its responsibility to fix the problem real solutions will be more painful