Fact check: Biden Says Republicans Plan To Cut Social Security Benefits by 13%

In a recent statement, President Joe Biden raised concerns about the Republican party’s intentions towards Social Security, suggesting a potential reduction in benefits. During a White House event on November 27, Biden claimed that the Republicans were revisiting the idea of cutting Social Security benefits, with an average reduction estimated at 13%. This statement comes amidst the backdrop of nearly 67 million Americans relying on Social Security payments, which total approximately $1 trillion annually. These benefits are crucial for many older Americans, covering basic living expenses.

Social Security, funded through payroll taxes, faces potential depletion of its trust funds by 2032, leading to a possible 23% reduction in monthly payments. Despite its critical role and high voter turnout among older Americans, Social Security remains a sensitive political issue, often described as the “third rail of politics.”

Biden’s comments were particularly focused on a budget proposal by the Republican Study Committee, a conservative faction within the House GOP. This proposal suggests modifications to Social Security aimed at preserving its fiscal health, including changes to the benefit formula for higher-income individuals not near retirement and adjustments to the full retirement age to reflect increased life expectancy. The proposal also considers phasing out auxiliary benefits for high earners.

While the Republican Study Committee’s proposal pledges not to affect current or near-retirement seniors, it implies that younger Americans might experience benefit reductions. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group monitoring budget matters, equates an increase in the full retirement age to an across-the-board cut in benefits. For example, raising the full retirement age from 67 to 69 would mean lower monthly payments for those choosing to retire at 67.

The White House cited a table from the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities to support Biden’s 13% cut figure. This table shows a 13.3% reduction in monthly benefits when the retirement age is increased from 67 to 69. However, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget advises caution, noting a lack of comprehensive assessment to determine the average cut under the Republican Study Committee’s plan.

Biden’s assertion that the Republican plan would cut Social Security benefits by an average of 13% is mostly false. The Republican Study Committee’s proposal, representing a significant but not universal faction of House Republicans, does suggest benefit cuts for future beneficiaries. However, the 13% figure is speculative, and the plan’s impact is not fully detailed. Additionally, Biden’s statement overlooks the potential larger reductions under his own policy of maintaining the status quo, which could lead to a 23% cut across the board by the early 2030s due to trust fund depletion.

In conclusion, while Biden’s claim about a 13% cut in Social Security benefits under the Republican plan is mostly false, it highlights the ongoing debate and challenges in ensuring the long-term sustainability of Social Security.

Source: Houston Chronicle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *