These changes could easily balance the program for the next 75 years. But reaching consensus on the mix of reforms is the real challenge.
Social Security likely will move back to center stage after this week’s elections. The program’s finances have eroded bit by bit for years, drawing calls for change every year. But nothing has been done. Now Congress could continue kicking this can down the road. Or it could decide to actually tackle the problem and change things, most likely as part of a broader look that also includes Medicare and Medicaid.
With favorable prospects for a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, stories already abound about raising the retirement age, changing the annual cost-of-living adjustment or raising the ceiling on earnings subject to the payroll tax.