According to Reuters, President Obama did not lay out a specific reform plan for Social Security in his speech on the deficit. The President did say he wants to strengthen the program for our future generations without putting current retirees at risk, or slashing the benefits.
Some experts say that strengthening the Social Security program can come from raising the retirement age. More people are living longer, thanks to advances in our every day lives, technology, and medicine. The President’s own Natinal Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform even suggested changing the retirement age for future Social Security applicants.
The commission said raising the retirement age is fair and a benefit to everyone seeking other Social Security benefits, such as disability. Longevity gains allow users to find gainful employment while the Social Security program has enough funds to continue paying out in the long term.
The Social Security program’s biggest problem is that its huge surplus will be depleted around 2035, absent any other changes. The program itself is not the cause of the nation’s deficit, but depleting the surplus could affect disabled Americans who have no ability to gain employment and rely on monthly disability benefits to pay for their bills and every day care. Even in 2035, Social Security would be able to fund 76 percent of benefits from current revenue, but more people apply for disability benefits each year, which places the program in a further uncertainty when it comes to its long-term survival.