Hearing Puts Focus on Need for Social Security Reform

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A hearing by the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee last week drew attention to the impending insolvency of the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund in 2016.

The hearing featured testimony from Charles Blahous, a public trustee for Social Security, Ed Lorenzen of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and Webster Phillips from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

All three agreed that legislation reallocating payroll tax revenue would be required to avert draconian DI benefit cuts. However, Blahous and Lorenzen said structural reforms were also needed to strengthen the long-term solvency of Social Security as a whole.

Subcommittee members agreed that further action should be taken. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) pointed out that Social Security’s unfunded liabilities have doubled over the last decade, while Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) argued that ordinary citizens could likely come to a consensus on how to fix the program.

“The Concord Coalition’s experience hosting interactive budget exercises across the country lends support to Rep. Blumenauer’s statement,” Concord Coalition Outreach Director Ben Ritz says in a new blog post. “Hopefully this Congress, facing a deadline to act on Social Security, will do the same.”

External links:
Witness Testimony

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