Economic Program | Idea Brief

Saving Social Security

by Jim Kessler and David Kendall

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In 2015, taxes won’t cover Social Security payments. In 2025, total income for Social Security will be less than total outlays. In 2035, Social Security will take in $500 billion less than it pays out. In 2045, the Social Security Trust Funds will be $8 trillion in arrears. In short, without changes, the inter-generational promise of Social Security—our nation’s most important social insurance program—is a false one.

This idea brief summarizes the trouble with Social Security, and proposes a “Savings-Led” Social Security reform plan that actually increases the program’s progressivity. Our plan makes roughly two dollars in benefit reductions for every one dollar in revenue increases, and achieves solvency while enhancing economic growth.

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