Letter to the editor: How to keep programs solvent

| 31 May 2023 | 11:16

    Dear Letters Editor:

    A recent Social Security Insurance report predicts that the trust fund used to pay full benefits will be broke by 2034. Medicare will do the same by 2031. After those dates are reached, benefits under both SSI and Medicare recipients may have to be cut.

    The report suggests immediately increasing the combined payroll tax withholdings for both employees and employers by 3.4%, from the current 12.4% to 15.84%. This would be a disaster for both employees and employers given the current rate of inflation.

    Here is a better alternative to keep both SSI and Medicare solvent for decades more: Raise retirement age eligibility by one month each year starting in 2024 over 12 years. In 2036, you would have to be 63 years old to start collecting, 67 1/2 for full benefits or 73 for maximum benefits.

    The current payroll withholding tax is 6.2% each for employees and employers for a total of 12.4 %. Starting in 2024, raise each by .05%. Within 10 years, the total payroll withholdings will be 13.4%.

    Both actions should preserve financial solvency for SSI and Medicare. As a majority of Americans continue to live longer, this is the best deal for all.


    Larry Penner