Comprehensive Social Security Reform
Long-term solvency of the Social Security program is essential. In 2010, due largely to the economic downturn and a stagnant recovery, the Social Security Trustees estimated that the trust funds ran a cash deficit of $41 billion and had to begin redeeming the U.S. government bonds held in the trust funds. Although the Social Security Trustees predict the trust funds will remain solvent, and that benefits can be paid in full until 2037, that assumes an unprecedented level of transfers from the general revenues. Leading economists, in the U.S. and worldwide, have said that the level of debt this would require risks undermining the stability of our economy.
Because of these risks, action will be required well before 2037 and the costs associated with delaying action grow each year. While TSCL understands that changes are needed to the Social Security system and some small changes are likely, harsh benefit cuts should not be tolerated.
In addition, if any efforts to transition to private accounts based Social Security succeed TSCL fears that, among other things, a new Notch could be created in the transition. Also, TSCL members generally believe that such approaches could further drain the Social Security Trust Fund. Finally, it is thought that a private accounts venture would be at least partially financed by cutting the benefits of current or soon-to-be retirees. Because TSCL believes that Social Security was developed and implemented to be a safety net, insurance and pension system, it strongly opposes changes to the current system which entail private accounts.