November 27, 2014

CONSEQUENCES OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ‘DO NOTHING' PLAN MUST BE ADDRESSED BY CHANGES IN CURRENT LAW

WASHINGTON -- As the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security approved a final set of recommendations today, The Concord Coalition reminded Congress and the Bush Administration that those who support no immediate change in law are in effect supporting the generationally inequitable consequences of the “Do Nothing Plan.”

According to the Social Security Administration, the impact of the Do Nothing Plan, which is currently co-sponsored by 500 members of Congress, is either a 30 percent reduction in benefits for 120 million Americans under the age of 40 or a 40 percent increase in the payroll taxes of their children.

 “The demographic and fiscal challenges facing Social Security in the years ahead are well known. Failure to alter current law amounts to an endorsement of a deep benefit cut for today's 25 year olds, or a steep payroll tax increase. It is understandable that political leaders will disagree on the details of any reform plan. But it would be inexcusable if the President and Congress put another commission report on the shelf without making any effort to craft a legislative proposal that achieves true fiscal sustainability,” said Concord Coalition President Peter G. Peterson.

“The real and substantial consequences of the “Do Nothing Plan” are lost in the Social Security reform debate about which plan is best. As long as the press and voters do not hold supporters of the Do Nothing Plan accountable for proposing either deep cuts in benefits or dramatic increases in taxes, it is unlikely the law will be changed anytime soon.  There is simply no political incentive for an elective representative to propose specific changes now even if their reduction in benefits and/or increases in taxes are smaller than the Do Nothing Plan,” said former U.S. Senator and Concord Coalition Board member J. Robert Kerrey (D-NE).