Social Security’s unstable future has been no secret on Capitol Hill for many years. Despite Congress’ repeated tabling of the issue, officials on both sides of the aisle have introduced and reintroduced several bills to close the funding gap and boost benefits for retirees.
Most recently, House Representative John Larson (D-CT) reintroduced the Social Security 2100 Act, a bill calling for more accurate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), increased benefits, raising the taxable earnings cap, and gradually increasing the payroll tax. The bill already has 200 original cosponsors—a truly remarkable start for any Social Security reform package.
But the bill is almost entirely championed by Democrats. While the bill’s introduction takes advantage of an energized Democrat House majority, it would assuredly encounter rocky terrain if sent to the Republican Senate for consideration and approval.
A large part of Congress’ inability to make progress on Social Security is the deep chasm between what Democrats and Republicans feel is the “right” way to fix Social Security. It’s not that the parties can’t or don’t bring legislation to the table—it’s that they’re unwilling to come to an agreement on a set of policies that would represent the ideas and principles of each group.
Devin Carroll is a financial planner who specializes in retirement planning and policy. He operates a blog, podcast, has written two books on Social Security, and has been featured in major news outlets like Forbes and USA Today.
In these two short videos, Carroll explains what both parties are looking for in a Social Security reform package—and why it’s so difficult for them to reach a compromise.