I read with excitement Lisa Gerstner's piece, “Fixing Social Security,” published in the hardcopy of the Chicago Tribune on March 1, 2021 because I thought she might have some good ideas about shoring up the system that millions of our seniors count on and even more taxpayers fund.
The piece started well by pointing out the need to do something sooner rather than later so there would be more time “to spread out tax increases or benefits changes, potentially easing the burden on younger generations who will shoulder most of the load.”
Congress has not figured out where the money will come from to pay $44 trillion worth of promised Social Security benefits over the next 75 years. In other words, the Social Security program has a long-term cash shortage, which can only be fixed one of two ways: bring more money in or take less money out.
But Gerstner does not suggest any fixes that would do either one of these. In fact, her piece highlights bipartisan support for fixes that would put Social Security deeper in the hole.
Boosting benefits, while politically popular, takes more money out of a system that doesn’t have enough money to pay for the benefits already promised.
We need financial experts to help us to figure out ways to really fix Social Security.