As the presidential campaigns shift into full throttle, many analysts will be looking at tax policies offered by John McCain and Barack Obama. Another piece of the candidates’ fiscal plans that will also come under scrutiny is their proposals for how to treat — or save — social security.
We all know that social security is running into problems. A smaller workforce supporting a larger retiree population is causing problems, as is the fact that the government keeps “borrowing” from the social security trust to make up for budget shortfalls. Which means that the problem is compounded. A quick look at what the presidential candidates will do in terms of social security:
John McCain and Social Security
McCain favors using individual investment accounts to supplement social security. However, he would not divert payroll taxes in order to fund the accounts (so no “privatized” Social Security). This means that his solution is more likely to move along the lines of cutting social security benefits to everyone.
Barack Obama and Social Security
Would have “very high-income” workers pay more in payroll taxes to fund social security. (But would they also get more benefits? Obama hasn’t said.) He does not favor cutting benefits or increasing the retirement age. He does not favor individual accounts for social security.
For the most part, both plans appear to be in line with the status quo. McCain likely would not be able to get Congress to agree with drastic cuts to social security benefits, and Obama’s plan would find plenty of opposition as well — it is rather unfair to ask more from the wealthy and not give them more. In the end, very little is likely to change in the social security situation.