Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Social Security

Social Security Turned 85 – We Must Secure Its Future

Aug 14, 2020 | Social Security

For Immediate Release

Today marks the 85th anniversary of the Social Security program, America’s largest and most successful income support program. Social Security provides important benefits to 64 million retirees, workers with disabilities, and their family members, but it is financially unprepared to continue paying full benefits into the future. According to our recent analysis, Social Security’s trust funds will run out of reserves by 2031, at which point all beneficiaries will face sharp benefit cuts unless Congress takes action. Below is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, to protect citizens from the “hazards and vicissitudes of life.” But the security that workers and seniors have come to rely on is undermined by the threat of a 23 percent benefit cut early next decade.

It’s not enough to celebrate Social Security’s 85 years of success – we need to make sure it’s around for another 85 years. But under current law, the trust fund won’t even last until its 100, and most people on the program today won’t receive their full benefits.

It’s time for policymakers to stop kicking the can down the road and start identifying the revenue and benefits changes needed to put the program on sound footing. Tens of millions of seniors and disabled workers rely on these benefits. 

One solution to break the political gridlock would be to pass the bipartisan TRUST Act. The TRUST Act would establish a bipartisan rescue committee for Social Security; it doesn’t dictate what the specific changes should be, but starts a bipartisan conversation that should have started years ago.

Once the coronavirus pandemic is under control and the economy has stabilized, putting Social Security’s finances on stable footing should be at the top of the legislative agenda.


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