Will Joe Biden Cut Social Security?

News & Politics
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Damir Mujezinovic

The Social Security trust fund will run out of money by 2033, a year earlier than previously projected, according to an annual government report that was published this week.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economy, contributing to a jump in retirements and causing a contraction in the size of the U.S. labor force.

Most Americans rely on the Social Security trust fund for their retirement, and any reduction of benefits would throw millions into poverty.

What are President Joe Biden and Congress doing to save the Social Security trust fund?

Social Security Trust Fund

As CNBC reported, if Congress doesn't act by 2033, benefits checks for retirees would be cut by 20 percent across the board.

Given how incredibly popular Social Security is, politicians from both parties have been reluctant to make any changes to it, seemingly kicking the can down the road and refusing to increase taxes to finance the program.

With the number of Americans 65 or older steadily increasing and the birth rate remaining low, how can the Social Security trust remain solvent?

Biden Administration

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In a statement released Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the Biden administration is committed to "safeguarding" both Social Security and Medicare.

"Having strong Social Security and Medicare programs is essential in order to ensure a secure retirement for all Americans, especially for our most vulnerable populations. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to safeguarding these programs and ensuring they continue to deliver economic security and health care to older Americans."

But will the administration really be able to deliver, especially if Democrats lose control of Congress in 2022?

Cutting Social Security

During the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, Biden's past remarks about Social Security were scrutinized, with progressives predicting he would cut the program if elected.

The Intercept reported at the time that Biden "has been advocating for cuts to Social Security for roughly 40 years."

When he was a senator, Biden consistently advocated for budget austerity and cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

However, Biden appears to have changed his mind. During the 2020 race, he repeatedly vowed to make Social Security benefits more generous.

Bills To Save Social Security Trust Fund

According to CNBC, Democrats have introduced a number of bills that aim to save the Social Security trust fund.

The Social Security Enhancement and Protection Act introduced by Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin would update the special minimum benefit, increase monthly checks for all beneficiaries by five percent, and gradually phase out the Social Security payroll tax cap.

According to Moore, the proposal "would help us ensure that Social Security does what it was intended to do: protect all older Americans from spending their retirement living in deep poverty."