Advocates of Social Security expansion have declared their intention to move the “Social Security 2100 Act” through the House of Representatives quickly. The bill, introduced by Rep. John Larson (D., Conn.), has more than 200 co-sponsors. Its sponsors deserve credit for putting forth a comprehensive Social Security plan that is specific, scored by the Social Security Administration Chief Actuary, and doesn’t shy away from difficult policy and political choices. Rather than debate the subjective value judgments made in the legislation, this article presents key facts and figures that highlight some of its problematic features.
- Low-income workers’ payroll tax burdens would rise 19%
- Real (inflation-adjusted) benefits for high-income workers would be 66% higher by mid-century
- Total Social Security payroll tax burdens would rise by over 40%
- Retirement benefits for the lowest-income quintile of workers would exceed 95% of their prior earnings
- Social Security payroll tax burdens for high-income workers would be multiplied 2.4 times
- Errors under the bill’s proposed method for measuring price inflation would cause benefit overpayments of over 10% relative to accurate calculations, mostly benefiting higher-income people who live longer
- Typical beneficiaries in mid-century would spend over 37% of their adult lives collecting Social Security benefits
- Young workers’ lifetime income would be reduced by more than 2% of their career earnings because of Social Security
You can find the full explanations from the Manhattan Institute here.