The Social Security Trustees project that the trust funds will run out of reserves in just 18 years, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects they will run out in 13 years. Little time remains to enact sensible changes that would avoid deep cuts for nearly all seniors and workers with disabilities.
Yet too little of the discussion in Washington and on the campaign trail is about the types of solutions necessary to fix Social Security, and too much is focused on perpetuating myths that cloud the discussion. In this paper, we identify and debunk nine such myths:
- Myth #1: We don’t need to worry about Social Security for many years.
- Myth #2: Social Security faces only a small funding shortfall.
- Myth #3: Social Security solvency can be achieved solely by making the rich pay the same as everyone else.
- Myth #4: Today’s workers will not receive Social Security benefits.
- Myth #5: Social Security would be fine if we hadn’t “raided the trust fund.”
- Myth #6: Social Security cannot run a deficit.
- Myth #7: Social Security has nothing to do with the rest of the budget.
- Myth #8: Social Security can be saved by ending waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Myth #9: Raising the retirement age hits low-income seniors the hardest.
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