As the debt limit negotiations near resolution, the specter of a default recedes. But the lesson is that both sides were willing to play chicken with the train.
The politics of the status quo creates the illusion of action, fostering the image that Social Security is a hot topic that has captured the attention of Washington.
Social Security applies a substantially higher penalty on people subject to GPO for claiming widow(er) and spousal benefits prior to normal retirement age.
The Social Security benefit formula is short-changing a select group of retirees, and the losses are apt to exceed $25,000 over a lifetime. There is no effort to fix the flaw, so the concern is on-going.
The message from two new pieces of proposed Social Security legislation is clear: We have passed the point where we can expand benefits.
Social Security’s shortfall grew by a record 18% in the last year. That $3 trillion increase means that it is more likely beneficiaries will face reduced benefits in the future, and the longer we wait the harder it will be to solve the problem.