Texas representative ready to touch the “third rail” of politics – Social Security

Photo: Social Security Administration

WASHINGTON (KOTA and AP) – As the congressional session came to a close earlier this month, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) introduced legislation to overhaul the Social Security system.

At its current funding, Social Security is estimated to start running in the red in 2034, according to the Social Security Board of Trustees. At that time Social Security taxes will not keep up with the funds being paid out. This means retires could see a 21 percent cut in benefits.

Johnson says his legislation “will permanently save Social Security, ensuring this vital program continues to work for today’s workers and beneficiaries and future generations. “

Currently, 60 million people (42 million of them retirees and their families) get Social Security benefits.

By tweaking things such as retirement age and calculating retirement benefits differently, Johnson believes he can make the system solvent for the 21st century.

These tweaks include raising the retirement age for full benefits from 67 to 69 for people born in 1968 and later. People born earlier would still have their current retirement dates.

The early retirement option of 62 won’t be changed but if you opt for that, your benefits would be cut.

Some benefits for people with lower incomes would be increased, while benefits for high-income earners and their families would be limited.

You can view the actual Social Security Reform Act bill here.

Johnson believes now is the time to push for Social Security reform but there is no guarantee that his plan won’t meet the same fate as previous attempts.

President-elect Donald Trump has in the past said he won’t mess with Social Security and a Pew Research poll earlier this year overwhelmingly (seven out of 10 people polled) showed the public is not a fan of change.