6 November 2013
Salvaging Social Security
Since passed by Congress in 1935, Social Security has been considered by Americans to be one of the most beneficial and supported government programs, providing benefits to society and the elderly. Despite its widespread popularity, the program faces major funding issues, making the future of Social Security seem unpromising. In the 2013 annual report by the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees, the Social Security program is estimated to be drained by 2033, after which it would be able to fund only seventy-five percent of promised benefits (“Social Security, Present and Future”). This projected downfall of Social Security has many people wondering if the program will still be around for them by the time of their retirement. Due to Social Security’s inability to change with the economy over the past eighty years, the federal government program will not survive without a combination of benefit reducing, income increasing, and income redistributing reforms to the foundation of the system. Although the current program shares the same founding purpose as the original Social Security Act of 1935, to provide security for workers, the design of Social Security has changed drastically over the past eighty years. Originally, the Social Security program provided only two types of benefits: monthly old-age benefits for retirees and lump-sum death benefits for workers (Moore). Since then, the lump-sum death benefit has been replaced with two new benefit categories: benefits for the families of retired workers and benefits for widows, surviving dependent children, and surviving dependent parents (Moore). In addition to the change in benefits offered, the limitations on the workforces covered by Social Securities have changed. Only fifty-six percent of the workforce was covered by Social Security originally, however the current system covers roughly ninety-six percent of...
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Moore, Kathryn L., “The Future of Social Security: Principles to Guide Reform.” The John
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