This week on the podcast, I examine Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan to reform Social Security, with the help of economist Richard Johnson of the Urban Institute.
Rich is the co-author of a new Urban Institute report on Biden’s plans for both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, which provides cash benefits to low-income older adults and people with disabilities. The report relies on DYNASIM, a sophisticated economic model that the Urban Institute has been using since the 1970s to projects the size and characteristics of the U.S. population 75 years into the future.
Why focus only on the Biden plan, and not President Trump’s? You could well ask that about Johnson’s analysis – or about this podcast. And the answer is simple – there is no Trump campaign plan for Social Security. So before we get into the Biden plan, I want to offer a few thoughts on what it’s been like to cover retirement policy in what I think it’s fair to call a very asymmetrical election year.
The Trump campaign hasn’t offered up detailed policy ideas on Social Security, or really, much of anything else. There’s no GOP platform either – something that typically comes out of a political party’s convention. We do know the history of Republican legislative proposals on Social Security. They typically call for restoring the program’s long-range financial balance by cutting benefits via higher retirement ages, less generous cost of living adjustments. But there’s nothing on the table right now to consider.