Social Security is one of the most important benefits programs the federal government has ever put into place. It's also very popular.
For years, however, lawmakers have been talking of making reforms to the entitlement program to shore up its financial situation. That's because the program's trust fund is slated to run dry in 2034, which could necessitate a 22% automatic cut to benefits.
For those concerned about the future of Social Security, it's important to understand the White House's position on it. And the best way to do that is to read this quote that sheds light on President Joe Biden's attitude toward Social Security.
This Joe Biden quote on Social Security says it all
If you're worried about the future of Social Security, here's the key Joe Biden quote you need to read. The quote comes from a town hall organized by CNN in New Hampshire before the 2020 New Hampshire presidential primary, which took place on February 5, 2020.
At that town hall, when asked how he would protect Social Security, Biden said "There's two pieces to the protection. Number one, I'm going to make sure that we are able to have Social Security for the students here when their time comes. Number two, I'm going to make sure that those folks who lost a spouse, or Social Security payment was reduced, or they're outliving way beyond their coverage, that they can have it raised."
This quote is important because it reflects Biden's commitment to both strengthening Social Security benefits now and preserving them for the future. The president also followed up his words by publishing some detailed plans on his campaign website, including plans to do the following:
- Provide a uniform increase to the standard benefit for some of the oldest retirees. This benefits increase would go into effect 20 years after benefit eligibility. It's necessary because Cost of Living Adjustments meant to help ensure benefits keep pace with inflation haven't done their job, and Social Security benefits have lost buying power.
- Offer more survivor benefits for people who ended up losing close to half of their household income upon the death of a spouse. This is necessary because in dual earner households where both spouses earned close to the same income, each spouse would have similar Social Security benefits -- one of which would end when the first spouse passed.
- Charge payroll taxes on people with income above $400,000 to shore up Social Security's trust fund. Currently, people pay Social Security tax on wages only up to the wage base limit, which will be $147,000 in 2022. By charging taxes on income above $400,000, Biden would ask some of the wealthiest Americans to provide more money to help preserve Social Security's future.
It remains to be seen if President Biden is able to get any of these ideas into legislation that can pass Congress. But the president's quote shows that he is committed to solving problems with Social Security, and is doing so by expanding benefits rather than reducing them.
His clear support for offering broader benefits and protecting the program's future should be comforting to anyone who is afraid that retirement benefits won't be there for them -- or won't do enough for them in their later years.