Social Security: $39 Billion Deficit in 2014, Insolvent by 2035

Social Security ran a $39 billion deficit in 2014, closing out five years of consecutive cash-flow deficits as the program’s revenues from the payroll tax and the taxation of benefits are falling short of benefit payments. Absent reform, Social Security benefits will be cut across the board by 23 percent in 2035. Action should be taken today to protect Social Security’s most vulnerable beneficiaries from such drastic cuts without burdening younger generations with massive tax increases or unsustainable debt. Lawmakers should immediately replace the current cost-of-living adjustment with the more accurate chained consumer price index; raise the early and full retirement ages gradually and predictably; phase in a universal, flat benefit; focus Social Security benefits on those who need them most; and enable more Americans to save their money in private retirement accounts.

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