Guide to Social Security: The 2008 Presidential Election

Social Security is the single largest government program. In 2007, the program cost $585 billion and provided benefits for roughly 50 million retirees, dependents, survivors, and disabled workers. Yet the Social Security Trustees have repeatedly warned that the program is on an unsustainable path and that the system will begin running cash deficits in 2017, and no longer be able to pay full benefits by 2041. Although neither candidate has offered a comprehensive fix for Social Security, both John McCain and Barack Obama recognize the need to address its unfunded obligations.

US Budget Watch's report, Guide to Social Security: The 2008 Presidential Election, will help voters to understand where the candidates stand on Social Security. It will offer them insights as to what the candidates have proposed, how important a priority Social Security reform is, and where there might be room for compromise. The guide is not intended to express a view for or against either candidate or any specific policy proposal.