There are two aspects to Social Security reform. There is the needed updating to keep it solvent and improvements in the system to make it a better friend of society. As of the writing of this essay, there is a proposal on the table by senators Warren and Sanders that will take care of most of this. They propose removing the cap on the social security payroll tax and increasing the benefits for all by $200 per month. The removal of the cap will make the system solvent for thirty years while effecting only a small portion of the population. The $200 boost will help those who need it most, those receiving a minimal amount from Social Security. In the interest of disclosure, 80% of what I currently live on is from Social Security and the $200 boost would have a significant impact on me.
There are some other “tweaks” I would like to see. Currently, the payroll tax is 6.2%. I would like to see this increased to 6.5%. For example, an individual making $100K per year, getting paid every two weeks would see their payroll tax increase by less than $12 per check. A small price to pay for increased solvency of the system and the benefit of society. I would like to see benefits extended to all who lack the capacity to earn a sufficient income to live. I’m not sure how to judge this, but we should be able to come up with a method. With this safety net, many who currently are not contributing members of society will be able to become one. Lastly, a review of the solvency over time is currently done periodically. This should continue to be done annually. If the forecast falls below 30 years, a deposit from general income tax revenues should be made to the Social Security trust fund to bring it up to 30 years.
I know these will be hard choices, but it is fair and progress toward a better world, which we do have the capacity to fulfill.