Today, the Social Security Subcommittee held a hearing, chaired by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) to examine the 2016 Social Security Trustees Report. This annual report – released 82 days late – reviews the financial health of the Social Security program, a vital source of support for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.
The 2016 Trustees Report revealed that if Social Security continues along the same path, it would not be able to pay full benefits starting in 2034. At that point, beneficiaries would receive only 79 percent of their scheduled benefits unless action is taken.
As Subcommittee Chairman Johnson said at the start of the hearing:
“We all know Social Security is in trouble. And the first step to solving a problem is to know what you are up against.
“The longer we wait, the tougher it will get to fix Social Security. So the sooner we act – the better.”
Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Steve Goss agreed. He again encouraged acting soon to address Social Security’s solvency challenges:
“The Trustees have consistently advised that enacting changes soon, even if with delayed effective dates, will allow more options to be considered, more advance warning for those affected, and a more gradual phase-in of adjustments.”
It’s clear action must be taken in order to ensure Social Security’s solvency for future generations. But as Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) highlighted, President Obama has no real plan.
In fact, the President’s latest “fix” is to simply “[ask] the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more.” Another tax increase won’t make Social Security solvent. And as Chairman Johnson said:
“We can’t tax our way to solvency.”
As Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said this morning:
“If the Obama Administration continues its irresponsible inaction, Social Security and Medicare will fail to serve our children and grandchildren in the future. The Administration has a responsibility to work with us on serious solutions that preserve and strengthen these programs.”
For more information about today’s hearing, click here.