Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty stated that limiting Social Security payments to wealthier Americans could help the country lower its growing national deficit. Pawlenty, a potential 2010 presidential candidate, told an audience in the state of New Hampshire that annual increases in payments to wealthier Americans might be scaled. Pawlenty also stated that wealthier Americans do not rely on cost-of-living adjustments.
In 2009, the Social Security program paid out $700 in various benefits to more than 53 million Americans. The program faces a $5.3 trillion financial shortfall over the next 75 years as the nation ages and fewer Americans pay in workers taxes.
Current recipients of Social Security benefits have not seen an increase in payments during the last two years. Pawlenty suggested those with adequate income should have their payments curbed while others should receive payment increases.
Pawlenty also believes the nation should consider raising the retirement age.