Social Security Research Paper

The reductions of roughly 20 percent on average are just a starting point.

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Unless Congress and the White House reach an agreement before the trust funds are emptied, most Americans will face hard choices: delaying retirement and working longer if they can, or simply surviving on less.

The Social Security mess already complicates some commonly accepted retirement-planning wisdom — such as the advice to delay claiming benefits until age 70.

That has been unthinkable in America — and I don’t think it will really happen in the end this time, because it’s just too horrible,” said Alicia Munnell, the director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

“But action has to be taken to prevent it.”While the issue is certain to be politically contentious, it is barely being talked about in Washington and at 2020 campaign events.

Unless a political solution is reached, Social Security’s so-called trust funds are expected to be depleted within about 15 years.

Then, something that has been unimaginable for decades would be required under current law: Benefit checks for retirees would be cut by about 20 percent across the board.“Old people not getting the Social Security checks they have been promised?

“I just hadn’t thought through the impact of making it effective immediately,” Mr.

Stockman observed ruefully in his 1986 book, “The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.”A nimble politician, Reagan rejected Mr.

“This needn’t happen and it shouldn’t happen, but we’ve known about these problems for a long time and they haven’t been solved.

They’re getting closer.”Social Security has a long-known basic math problem: more money will be going out than coming in.

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