There is little to argue with in the following position, but of course, the devil may be in the details or the interpretation. I have highlighted a few areas that appear fine, but could be in conflict with the ideas of Sen Sanders and his followers who would see the program not equitably funded by all workers, but converted into a welfare program.
The goal for Social Security should not be solvency, but sustainability which means we don’t fix it for a few decades, but fix it so it doesn’t have to be fixed again and again.
Aside from the fiscal issues facing Social Security, the basic problem we face is that too many people do not see the program as a foundation for their retirement, but rather the entire structure. Unfortunately we have lost the employer pension (to the extent it existed) and personal pension savings are poor. The bottom line; too much reliance on Social Security and an unwillingness to recognize what it will take to fund the new expectations for the program.
The AARPs position on Social Security
Social Security is a contract with American workers that must not be broken. AARP will continue its fight to ensure that current and future generations get the benefits they’ve earned. We have always opposed — and always will oppose — turning Social Security into risky private accounts.
These are the principles that will guide us once there is a legislative debate about the future of this vital program.
Achieve long-term solvency and adequacy. Social Security should be sufficiently financed to ensure solvency for the long-term. Solvency proposals must ensure meaningful benefits for future generations.
Reaffirm Social Security’s fundamental character. Social Security should continue to provide a stable foundation for retirement income.
It should remain a partnership among individuals, employers and the federal government.
It should also maintain its role in providing protection for workers and families affected by death or disability.
All covered workers should contribute equitably to the program and receive benefits.
Ensure protections for those most in need. Reforms should take into account the needs of those most reliant on Social Security and those who have difficulty postponing retirement.
Recognize the value of Social Security’s core elements. Social Security should continue to reward work. The key elements of Social Security’s successful program structure should be preserved: progressive, defined benefits that cannot be outlived; inflation protection; and benefits related to earnings.
Make improvements to reflect today’s workforce. An updated Social Security program must address the economic and demographic changes over the last 80 years to be able to respond to the needs of future beneficiaries and their families.
Ensure fairness. Changes to the program should be implemented gradually and should protect current beneficiaries and near retirees.