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Social Security

Social Security is the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program. It is a social insurance program that is primarily funded through dedicated payroll taxes. By dollars paid, the U.S. Social Security program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in the federal budget. It is currently estimated to keep roughly 40% of all Americans age 65 or older out of poverty. At present, approximately 56 million Americans receive Social Security benefits.

Romney :

Mr. Romney believes that only two changes are required to the Social Security program in order to maintain it's solvency into the future. He believes that the retirement age should be slowly increased to account for increases in longevity and that benefits should continue to grow, but that the growth rate should be lower for those with higher incomes.

He believes that with just those two steps, and no changes in benefits for those at or near retirement, America can guarantee the preservation of the Social Security system for the foreseeable future.

Obama :

Payments to beneficiaries in 2011 were approximately $733 billion or about 20% of the federal budget. Tax collections for the program totaled approximately $687 billion, representing a $46 billion shortfall. Social Security Trust Funds are projected to run out of money in 2033, which as a result would reduce benefits by about 25% thereafter.

President Obama has recognized that capturing additional revenue is necessary to stabilize the Social Security Trust Funds. He opposes privatization and has been willing to change the inflation formula so that benefits grow more slowly.

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