MY VIEW: Ed Lorenzen January 2014

Over the past few months, the subject of Social Security has been hotly debated, centering  Recently, Jane White authored an article in the Huffington Post supporting Senator Warren, and mischaracterized CRFB's position toward Social Security. On Thursday, Ed Lorenzen weighed in on the facts about Social Security in a Huffington Post article.

In the article, Lorenzen sets the record straight on CRFB's position on Social Security:

While CRFB has not endorsed a specific Social Security reform plan, we have commented favorably on a variety of plans which rely on a mix of reductions in promised benefits, increased revenues and targeted benefit enhancements. We have also developed an online tool, the Social Security Reformer, which allows individuals to view the options for changes in benefits and revenues and design their own plan to restore solvency.

Additionally, Lorenzen lists five facts to know about Social Security.

  1. Benefits will be cut by over 23 percent in twenty years if no changes are made.
  2. Social Security benefits will increase in real terms for future retirees even with changes in benefits to restore solvency.
  3. The Social Security Shortfall cannot be closed solely through increased taxes on upper income taxpayers.
  4. Delaying action will make the options for restoring solvency more painful. Not only does waiting to act mean any tax increases or benefit cuts will be steeper, it literally means they will need to be bigger.
  5. The major Social Security plans that rely on a combination of benefit changes and increased revenues to restore solvency include targeted benefit enhancements for vulnerable populations at greatest risk of poverty.

Lorenzen ends the article acknowledging the need for real discussion about Social Security, before our options are limited.

The future of the Social Security program is a serious issue that deserves a serious debate that honestly acknowledges the challenges facing the program and trade-offs involved in addressing the problem. Absolutist positions ruling out options before even considering them does a disservice to the debate.

Click here to read the full op-ed.

"My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the committee.