Ever since FDR introduced Social Security, the program has had its detractors. However, they have never had much of an opportunity to work out ways to dismantle or alter Social Security, which is very popular with the American public. Now, with the election of reality star Donald Trump, all of that has changed. In stealthy ways, Republicans are now greasing the wheels to do away with the tenets of this program.
It all started back on December 8, when Sam Johnson, a Texas Republican, put forward a new bill. Called “The Social Security Reform Act of 2016”, the plan seeks to raise the retirement age. If the bill passes, citizens will be required to wait until the age of 69 to begin collecting their Social Security check. For those who have paid into the system for years—and especially older people who have jobs that require manual labor—this possible extension of the retirement age may be quite alarming. However, that’s not all that Sam Johnson intends to do with Social Security.
The bill also calls for a reduction of the total funds received by each citizen, in addition to lowering the amount of funds generated by granting tax incentives to wealthy people. For those who are hoping to collect benefits from a deceased family member’s account, these may also be reduced by this new program through an “average wages” method. Especially in relation to the data available, it certainly seems as though these methods are extreme.
Although the Republicans frequently state that Social Security is bankrupt, the evidence suggests otherwise. Many are suggesting that these reforms, which would prove disastrous to many Americans, are just another way for Republicans to fund their own programs without having to pay anything back. For those who are on the brink of retirement, staying in touch with your local representatives—and letting them know how you feel—will be the best way to avoid unsavory changes to Social Security.