“I just hadn’t thought through the impact of making it effective immediately,” Mr.
Stockman observed ruefully in his 1986 book, “The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.”A nimble politician, Reagan rejected Mr.
With the program facing a solvency crisis, he proposed immediate reductions in retirees’ benefits.
Older Americans rebelled, and members of Congress listened to them.
The reductions of roughly 20 percent on average are just a starting point.
If current laws are unchanged and current economic projections remain intact, the cuts would rise to 25 percent in later years, a New York Times analysis of Social Security data indicates.
People who do so are entitled to an 8 percent annual increase in benefits.
That makes Social Security “the best annuity that money could buy,” said Wade Pfau, a professor of retirement income at the American College of Financial Services, in a 2015 report.
Unless Congress and the White House reach an agreement before the trust funds are emptied, most Americans will face hard choices: delaying retirement and working longer if they can, or simply surviving on less.
The Social Security mess already complicates some commonly accepted retirement-planning wisdom — such as the advice to delay claiming benefits until age 70.