Social Security: The Nexus Between the 2024 Election’s Outcome and Its Impact on Social Security Benefits

Social Security: The Nexus

The 2024 Presidential Election’s Impact on Social Security and the American People

Amidst the tempestuous tenor of political discourse in the United States preceding the 2024 presidential election, it is facile to overlook the verity that certain concerns will cast their influence universally upon the American populace, irrespective of political affiliation. A case in point is Social Security — an issue wherein the outcome of the 2024 election may wield a substantial sway over the program’s trajectory and the beneficiaries thereof.

The Looming Depletion of the Social Security OASI Trust Fund and its Consequences

The spotlight will largely train itself upon an impending dearth of funds encompassing the Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund. Projections suggest that this fund will find itself bereft of funds in approximately a decade’s time. In such an eventuality, the stream of payroll taxes shall merely suffice to underwrite a meager 77% of extant benefits — precipitating a formidable contraction in the benefits dispensed to certain retirees.

Social Security’s Impending Financial Crisis and the 2024 Election Agenda

A report unveiled on August 8th by the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has projected that upon the insolvent state of the OASI fund, an eventuality anticipated by 2033, the annual allotments shall be subject to a decrement of $17,400 for a paradigmatic couple embarking upon retirement with dual income streams. A solitary-income family shall confront an annual curtailment of $13,100. These reductions have thrust Social Security into the focal point of policy debates in the lead-up to the 2024 election. A smorgasbord of propositions has emerged from candidates, encompassing across-the-board abatements, advocacy for privatization, and the advocacy for augmented payroll taxes.

The Power of 50+ Voters in the 2024 Election and the Social Security Agenda

According to an AARP survey gauging 1,200 prospective voters in fiercely contested Congressional districts, the demographic of voters aged 50 and above shall wield a determinant influence in the 2024 election. Forecasts posit that this demographic shall constitute the majority in pivotal districts during the forthcoming year. Adding weight to this, AARP asseverates that the 50-plus cohort evinces a markedly augmented propensity to partake in the electoral process. Well in advance of the electoral maelstrom, the foremost aspirants for the presidential mantle have already enunciated their strategies vis-à-vis Social Security, contingent upon their occupancy of the Oval Office.

President Joe Biden, who seeks re-election in 2024, has unveiled a four-pronged blueprint aimed at rectifying the quandaries besetting Social Security. This blueprint, in essence, encompasses:

Imposing levies on earned income surpassing $400,000, sparing wages ranging from $160,200 to $400,000 from the ambit of taxation. The present tax regimen exempts wages beyond $160,200.
Effecting a revision in the computation method for annual adjustments to the Social Security cost of living, severing its linkage with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Biden favors tethering the adjustment to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).
Amplifying the quantum of the primary insurance amount (PIA) dictating the extent of pecuniary entitlements within the ambit of Social Security.
Augmenting the special minimum benefit for individuals toiling in low-wage capacities over the course of their working lives, elevating it to 125% of the federal poverty threshold vis-à-vis beneficiaries of Social Security.
Former President Donald Trump, positioned as the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, has left no room for equivocation regarding his stance on curtailing Social Security benefits.

Republican Perspectives on Social Security and Medicare

“To entertain the notion of truncating even a solitary cent from the coffers of Medicare or Social Security would be anathema to Republican principles,” proclaimed Trump in a video release this past January. “Prune the excesses of waste, fraud, and abuse wherever they may be discerned, and the terrain is amply fertile. However, the entitlements that our seniors have accrued through toil and contribution ought not to be subjected to the scythe. Salvage Social Security; eschew its obliteration.”

Diverse paradigms have surfaced from other contenders within the Republican echelon. As chronicled by The Washington Post, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, another Republican contender, has tabled a proposition involving curtailments for the younger demographic, while extending reprieve to those currently or imminently poised to assert claims upon Social Security.

Republican Approaches to Social Security Reform

“When aspersions are cast upon our intentions to implement detriment upon the elderly, such accusations are starkly divorced from veracity,” articulated DeSantis during a recent dialogue on Fox News. “Discussion centers on recalibrations germane to individuals in their third and fourth decades of life, imbuing the program with sustainability — a proposition that shall doubtlessly warrant extensive discourse.”

Former vice president and 2024 GOP candidate Mike Pence advances the notion of endowing younger Americans with the prerogative to allocate a segment of their Social Security withholdings into a private nest egg — a form of privatization for the Social Security regimen.

In the interim, the Republican aspirant and erstwhile Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, presents the proposition of elevating the age for attaining full Social Security retirement benefits for individuals in their twenties, alongside a constriction of Social Security and Medicare entitlements vis-à-vis the affluent.

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