tv Social Security Solvency CSPAN June 8, 2018 11:23pm-12:38am EDT
mackey thinks that church needs to change various ways and particularly i think around the issues related to the sexual revolution, marriage, divorce, so on where prior people said these are the changes the church can't make so there are places where he has clashed with cardinals and bishops and theologians over just how far he can push the church to change and what the church can change without undercutting its own traditions or breaking faith with the new testament of the gospel of jesus christ.
>> good morning everybody. nice to see everybody thank you for joining us thanks to people here and our guest on c-span i believe we are streaming mess we have a good group ready to focus on a productive discussion talk about the future imbalances i'm glad to see we are joined by two bipartisan members of congress and the panel of experts. social security reform probably will not happen in the election year but that doesn't mean it shouldn't we
have known about this for so long as it continues to get close with choices that we face it is more difficult one thing i have thought working on this issue when you look at the numbers, we should be able to agree we should be talking about how to fix social security perfectly legitimate government can disagree how that is a discussion we should be having it is so important to the lives that depend on the program. years from now it officially cannot pay benefits that is a short amount of time and today 51-year-old will reach normal retirement age as the trust fund cannot pay for benefits and this is the first year the program will not pay full benefits and then face deficits internally.
and to and that you can plug in the age when those benefit cuts could be coming and how much and more productively on how to fix the program there are many issues by members of congress to put together and it is important to engage people around the country what they think is the smartest perform so in that vein i am pleased to be joined by those members of congress who will kick off the panel. and the ranking member the subcommittee on social security and then listening to him with a proposal that he
has they found inspiring out there talking about the issue and then to start the discussion and the recipient of the fiscal hero award i comes from leaders and so this will be great to have a discussion from the people that are stuck in the political arena where it is a contentious issue but true to the numbers and how important it is we get started. so congressman larson, thank you. [applause] >> so thank you very much an honor to be here with my good
friend and colleague tom rice i didn't realize you got that award tom, and to travel around the country with the issue of social security so one is the actuarial report proposal that i will review in a second but also the starbucks coffee latte we will call it and how that comes into play so obvious to everyone and to become eligible for social security 3,000,360 per year that sense of urgency i am pleased to
work on the ways and means committee was sam johnson to see if debate no big -- with the actuary before congress but to do that by cuts of raising the age and because i really feel and i believe in the organization, mark who said for those to put away the talking points with that solution that does right by the grandchildren and the current retirees and the clock is ticking. and he is right about that so
we have to focus on this. one of my contentions to have this discussion with maia, social security is not an entitlement is the insurance that they pay towards. they just have to look at their paycheck to see fica federal insurance contribution. whose? yours. so the citizens of our country understand they are making these insurance premiums. so now i ask you, often times government is criticized for not being run more like a business. since this is an insurance program and a federal insurance program, social security, shouldn't be run more like a business? we think so but when is the last time the premiums were adjusted in
social security? tip o'neill was the speaker ronald reagan was president but they came together bipartisan to come up with a solution. the problem is they did not index enough as they were projecting going forward but they did solve the problem initially by coming together to come up with a solution. understanding that this is an actuarial problem at its corporate have any of your insurance premiums gone up since 1983? three? think about that for a moment. there has not been an adjustment in social security but yet people consistently pay in and we have reserves but not as we learned from the report yesterday, enough to sustain us for the 75 year period that social security should be.
our proposal does that. we make sure first and foremost, don't trust me, take it from the actuary that we extend social security beyond the 75 year year deadline but also recognize we have to enhance the program. primarily because we have far too many people in our country most notably women and women of color who are retiring with social security as their only source of income and into poverty. in the wealthiest country in the world were all you have to do is make an actuarial or insurance adjustment doesn't make common sense we would make that adjustment on behalf of people especially women who are out of the workforce so they could rear the children and raise them it also while they were in the workforce earning 77 cents to the male counterparts dollar. so this equity adjustment has to take place to make sure the
new door is 125% of the poverty level. we also expand benefits across the board by 2%. we also incorporate into that thinking aarp concept that is cpi consumer price index. that stands for the elderly in the actual cost they will incur in old age so rather than having it alkylated on the cpi alone to focus on the actual cost of seniors as opposed to change cpi that came out of some symbols that would hurt seniors going forward to give them less money the longer they live. i don't know how that makes sense but that was the proposal. but also we want to provide a tax cut. how? because back in 1983 we did
not index appropriately so if you earn more than $24000 if you are single and 32000 married couple social security becomes taxed by moving that at 50,100,011,000,000 seniors currently would receive a tax break on social security. and with many of them still wanting to work to be productive or out of necessity this is an important proposal. so how do you pay for this? simple doing what actuaries would do if you take a look to realize you have not made an adjustment since 1983, we need to make an adjustment to make everybody contribute an additional 1% both the employer and employee. but that contribution even at 1% represents a lot of money
so that is phased in over 25 years to come out .05% or, to make it easier to understand if you make $50000 a year, it would cost 50 cents a week to fix social security. that is where starbucks comes in i was in broward county and said how much do you think the starbucks latte cost? every senior new is $4.50. or nine weeks of social security payments. we can enhance a program to lift the caps on people of incomes over $400,000. so even at $400,000 what we are proposing for social security, it cost you more per week to buy starbucks latte fan to fix social security program with all enhanced
benefits that we just laid out. why is that important? especially here you know because we don't increase the national debt. we pay for it. it is an insurance program that needs to be actuarially adjuste adjusted. if you do so in the incremental fashion, you can expand the benefit and provide not only current recipients that future generations. so how do we know? because the actuaries have taken a look and yesterday under testimony and with every aspect of the program that we put in there we assert under oath they are actuarially sound and beyond the 75 year requirement. that is what what i believe we owed the citizens of this country and was pointed out the opportunity to drop the
acrimony on both sides and roll up our sleeves like ronald reagan and tip o'neill and come to a solution on something that should be quite resolved. what i am out talking to people and they say why hasn't congress acted on this? and quite frankly there is the ideological divide. some feel very strongly that social security is the entitlement program. it is not. it is an insurance program it is an insurance program easily fixed by just making sure and we also scrap the cap making over $400,000 every year through 2044 that cap will increase until we get to 400,000 but it does give a little window of a break for those in the middle class. that is why we inserted both
of those as it is actuarially assailed, gets the job done and it will be there not only for current generations for future generations as well. thank you for the opportunity to be here and we look forward to listen to your comments as well. [applause] >> thank you to everybody for having me and with the nation's debt problems it is so very important and it is fundamental to every aspect. social security is one of the drivers of the debt.
yesterday i was asked to be on foxbusiness news interview and some full fear commented to me about the interview i just want to focus on that for a second the interviewer was speaking with the cohost and said do you think you'll ever see one social security benefit he said no what you have done with social security is like what bernie made off did and he is in prison now. as it that they what he said to me. so growing up really not focusing on that but two. focus on retirement i wasn't really sure i would get social security because it was already negative about the
prospects of course once i got older and studied it and got here to look at the state of that i can tell you without a doubt i have a lot of seniors in my district everybody from his district retires to my district. [laughter] i can absolutely assure you that social security is a promise that will be kept. it is golden. right now the social security trust fund will expire that is scary but it's not that hard to fix it and it will get fixed politically it is inconvenient which is why we have not dealt with it. it isn't so much about ideological divide i don't thin think. i think it is more whatever you do you will affect one group or another. and when i looked at this two years ago coming up with a plan i wanted to come up with my own plan to plans that
exist right now there are two plans to fix it one cuts benefits and raises the retirement age, cuts the initial benefit by spreading out the number of years and it does change pi that was one of the proposals that came out of some symbols how to figure out social security but the only proposal that i know that was made to try to fix social security but it is one of the variables. there is a limited number of variables too much money going out and higher than the money coming in. get it from one source or the other. it's not that complicated. i don't think sam's johnson proposal about the money going out is politically feasible
but in the end everybody has a little skin in the game. and that is what ronald reagan and tip o'neill dead. when i first started practicing law i was a tax lawyer and accountant so the numbers are near and dear to my heart. in 1982 i believe the maximum wage in which social security was upheld was around $20000 but today when you say it isn't indexed it kind of is because today the maximum wage is 135,000 or roughly that. ask times as much it is indexed and every year it goes up based on the inflation rate. when i first started looking at this, i knew for anything
that we did, to be politically feasible to have broad consortiums so the first people i call is aarp they will be mad when i tell you the story. they sent folks to my office and i had a computer program set up with the variables that you could use to fix the cap on the payroll tax the amount of payroll tax change api or the adjustment of cola and i said let's look at these variables to see if we can come up with something you are willing to help with because you represent the biggest group young people don't think they will ever get it. i said i need your help because if you're not on board and they said we don't do that. you come up with a plan and will comment on it. so this was june or july 2
years ago right during the process of the primaries just at the beginning. and then about two months later they started to run commercials that said tell your candidate to take a stand and ask them how they will fix social security. they wouldn't take a stand. this is a politically difficult issue and the math is not that hard. it is one of the easier issues to solve. every presidential candidate says okay every actuary who knows it is not fine but every candidate says is fine because they want to get elected but the president knows it is not fine barack obama knew that it wasn't fine i was surprised he didn't come up with more solutions in his second term i suspect that is what will happen with donald trump i
suspect he will participate to try to fix like ronald reagan did but it will be two years from now speaking politically. so to speak to the trustees report yesterday people were talking and i was pleasantly surprised it was better than i thought it would be. there are exceptions and they did not change from year to year. but what did change was the disability portion. with the stimulus behind the economy it is outperforming their projections. right now, if it outperforms the security gets more revenue than it lives longer. if the economy outperforms unless they are on disability they go back to work then it
lives longer so at that discretion to project our economy will be at 2.4% for the next ten years but when i first got to congress in 2013 cbo said it was 2.8% next year year they lowered at 2.5 now and 2.2 they had it at 1.9 in fact in fact i asked the director of the cbo on the budget committee they said were not really sure. they think it was a burden of the regulations put on businesses and those have been lifted now the stimulus behind it is moving up cbo tells us this year they expect the economy will grow 3.2%. that is substantially higher than what the trustees have projected. this year the trustee moves projections with the
exhaustion of the disability fund for more years. people are continuing to drop off of the disability rules two years ago they peeped at 9 million active people and today it is 8.5 million there is more jobs available to people to take them. if we can continue to entice people to get off of disability and back into the workforce that makes the problem easier to solve. if we can continue to have gdp outperform it give social security more money so yesterday if you think about it it was much better and we thought it would be. right now it is expecting 4% plus for the rest of the year
with growth in gdp and if that happens all these problems get easier to solve. so again, i thank you for coming, thank you for having me and with that we will take questions. now what do we do? [applause] >> i would like to invite the panel to come up and join us. >> good morning. i am with the pbs news hour i cover congress and have done lengthy reports most often at night because normally every
hour we have our breaking story these days. thank you for coming. i am thrilled to be moderating what i think is an important panel and i was actually thinking about the year 2002, 16 years ago. one of the biggest movies was lord of the rings my personal favorite that you towers and in that movie obviously has come to dominate cable news it is on every night. sixteen years was good for that movie but also in 2002 something new happened in europe that they introduced the euro. sixteen years is not been enough time for the european union to become fully stable or cohesive. also in 2002 u.s. was in afghanistan in a country that would become tingley unstable
at 16 years is not been enough time to eradicate the taliban so think about that in terms of the 16 years of social security to become solvent. it is not a lot of time especially with big problems and that is why we are here in the panel to talk about the future and it is my pleasure to introduce tee5 and also center budget policy priorities and invite you to the panel to see a little bit about themselves. >> my name is tee5 from george mason university at least to the end of the month and i joining the full-time faculty at johns hopkins. so these are all my comments.
>> from the center budget policy priority before i came to the center worked at the social security administration where he was my boss and as a congressional research assistants to you already heard from me that i will take my second to say i felt a lot better after listening to members of congress that the debate is so contentious the way it normally plays out but now to hear from members who are willing to work on it i am glad we are setting the stage with the optimistic willingness to engage. we would like to take your questions and some of you already handed in a few if you have a chance please pass them over major hand and get someone's attention. but let's start first of all with your impression of the latest trustees report so some things are different and some things are not?
>> we have three minutes to get every mark. that isn't a lot to cover. >> take your time. it's important we don't go crazy. [laughter] >> so i want to focus on the di program there was a lot of change it is important to put this into context. the trust fund is now 2032 last year it was 2028 the year before that it was 2023 before that it would be depleted in 2016 so we almost ran out of money in 2016 but the bipartisan budget act passed the payroll tax allocations are now currently we have a little less money going to the retirement trust fund didn't change but the allocation did that with the end of this year to go back to the original split but it is important to
know why are we getting here? and in 2010 a large discussion if if that then rapidly increasing disability applications would be a constant trend to bankrupt and deplete the social security trust fund and what do we do with that? so now we look back in 2014 to see a decline in the applications so now we ask bill this continue? the economy has changed where. a full employment a lot of people can go to work. but the trustees have told us it is a temporary situation and will not last forever we'll probably go back to historical norms which means the trust fund could get worse as soon as we have the slowdown in the economy or the recession so we can't look at the state to say that is in the future we don't have to
worry but we do have to focus on reforms but also we cannot get complacent we have to focus on these issues now. just to give highlight congress points out the need to act with a sense of the magnitude focus solely on the tax hike just by raising payroll taxes. the 75 year deficit requires today a permanent payroll tax increase of 7.8 percentage points so that gets you at 15.1 but that is a 22% increase want to say a 22% increase of payroll tax? nobody wants to do that but the trust fund is pleaded then that changes that increase it
is a 31% increase of payroll tax i can't imagine to say good news nobody will do it. no on the benefit side with a 17% reduction in overall but then it is a 23% reduction but to run for reelection, no one does it will not happen. the only way we can get social security is to have an open and honest debate but to realize that it is on the benefit side to be a compromise and the sooner we do that the more fiscally responsible we will be. >> reminding us earlier this week social security has a
real manageable long-term shortfall so that amounts to 1% of gdp over the long term and as congress has laid out it is a math problem we can do 1% of gdp is more money in for less money out. however we have to bear in mind it is more than a math problem nearly every american will turn to social security at some point in their lives with old age, breadwinner dies, or too sick to work and for many americans also security is their primary or sole source of income. so i along with most americans think we should solve this primarily on the more money inside. studies have been done by the voices of the people who are here today talking to americans that they would prefer to trade off those options people overwhelmingly
choose to solve the problem primarily on the revenue side. and i think it's justified for policy reasons as well social security benefits are modest, recent trends justify that the tax base has eroded and finally we still see those cuts from 1983 the retirement ages rising from 66 from age 67 which is 7% across the board cut. another question is who is affected? i agree everybody needs skin in the game we do focus on higher earners in addition to differential mortality higher income tried to -- tend to draw benefits longer but not only on the higher earners everybody has to have skin in the game so we should consider raising the rate and broadening the base.
how should we do it? comprehensively it should include the disability trust fund and the retirement survivor's trust fund so while we are at it we should consider target enhancements as well as be opening which is not then updated for decades and out of step with the times. and finally when should we do it? we need to start talking about this now and fixing it within the near future before we reach the 11th hour but we don't want to rush into it it is complicated politically because we want people to live their most vulnerable years the dignity and finally it will require bipartisan legislation we cannot grow our way out of this problem or on
a partyline vote. and then to try to come up with some solutions. >> i also want to ask you what treasury secretary said about the trustees report. he said the administration's economic agenda improved trade agreement will give the long-term growth that is needed to help secure the program with a more stable path. what do you think of that theory? of growth solving the problem? >> i would love the chance to comment. growth is always advantageous but i found his remarks more of the fiscal free lunch which we don't have to make choices
because magically it will get fixed. we do have to make significantly policy choices but one thing i was concerned that this shows we are okay and we don't need to worry about this. and for main points i really hope it is time with the trustees warning where we are to get this done i hope we can move from a debate whether we need to do something that there are many legitimate differences on what we should do. . . . .
>> it should be done at the higher end so we can look at those who depend on the program. we need to play around with these. looking at retirement age which is something that makes sense when the program started retirement age at 65 on life expectancy at 62 it's a slow increase. there ways that we can thoughtfully maintain the systems but also make changes reflecting that. finally on the other side expanding benefits to people who need them. there are some lovers that we play around with. three other points, waiting until the last minute is too late.
i thought they made that point clear. if we wait until the trust funds can't pay the full benefits the cost goes up to 35 or 40%. there's no good reason other than people trying to duck those choices. it's going to be harder to exempt all retirees which is something that's been a political promise for a long time. people are not eager to walk away from that. it's helpful that social security is its own program but it's also helpful to think about it in the context of the overall budget. were going to have a package that changes benefits and revenues. we're also going to need to look at those spending and revenues when were looking at dealing with the national deficit and debt. there are a lot of newer unmet needs of the country from investment infrastructure and human capital. our economy is shifting dramatically. we should be looking at all of the resources is one should to
think where do we want our resources for the future. what are the long-term investments we should be making. and finally a fiscal free lunch. i'm worried that now were in that time area. first we had tax cuts wouldn't pay for. then a spending increase wouldn't pay for. a more more arguments of why you don't have to do things. growth is helpful, i'm concerned that stimulus during economic suspension does not lead to sustained growth. it's structural improvements that have long-term growth. comes down to policy of the longer we wait to make those choices more difficult it will be. >> is look at the core of the problem. smart people know the options. i think you can see of potential
solutions. combinations of pay more and save your benefits, want to ask about the politics. his either party moving in one direction? we heard about the bill, it has hundred 70 cosponsors on it. but they're all democrats, is that right? >> there hopeful. his either party moving in a direction, we saw president obama with cuts, we have not seen that sense. where the parties now on that issue. >> one of the issues we have is the people were voting on these issues. there's confusion about it and
people look out the think it it's not to happen for 15 years and that kicks the can down the road. nobody's really pushing. when we had a fiscal issue like the debt ceiling got put off at the very end. that's where were headed was social security reform. every year we are raising the alarm bell. the way wonder why it doesn't happen. it may also be something were politically it could take a democratic president. i'm surprised barack obama did not take the chance to do so in the second term. with each passing year we lose an opportunity. i was the deputy commissioner and chief economist. in that role i was the secretary for the board of trustees. ten years ago when we did reports if we had just raise the
payroll tax, in 2008, that would've solved the 75 year problem. we don't have that option today. see you still have to do more. so now we can just raise the payroll tax, we have to look at benefits, now all of these options become much more expensive. how do we convey that message to the public so they get the sense that urgency is here today, and not 15 years. >> does the american public want to salvage social security? >> people are studying this and overwhelmingly the american people value social security. they're willing to pay more, but the problem is it's difficult
because that means people are paying more or getting less. if you put that choice off to more tomorrow's. like this years can be the year of this administration will be the administration. it doesn't give us the space to have reasonable and constructive discussions. it's so important to get people to buy into a solution. in the bipartisanship that's necessary doesn't seem possible in this moment. >> framing is important and how you sell it. if you do surveys and yes people we pay more in taxes to make it solvent? the vast majority say yes. they say we pay for cup of coffee a week, that's easy.
but if someone says are you willing to pay a 30% tax increase, no. it's like if you change their framework we get different answers. due to surgery where your chance of death is 10%, no. right now we have these fabricated sides that sell one language versus another. we need to create the space. we come together as a here are the facts, what are the priorities or principles and have members on both sides to come together in a bipartisan way. >> you talk with these members and sometimes they tell you things they're not saying a public about what they want and what they can do. what are the politics here? it feels to me there's a
leadership vacuum. most fiscally conservative not members the omnibus is passing, the tax bill, they're just shrugging off a deficit. these are people that had been leaders on that issue. what is happening to leadership here? >> that's a thoughtful question. the bad news is, there is no leadership right now. our president, when he ran for office their promise not to fix this problem. it's hard to make changes with hard changes unless there's presidential leadership. politically, no matter what framing one chooses the other party has an opportunity to reframe it. so it's very vulnerable.
think they need to point out what were doing. the bad news is, i agree with what were implying there's not political leadership that we've seen on it on fiscal issues and on alerting the public. her individual programs that we need to make changes. what we hear behind the scenes is there's a lot of -- to do the hard work. i think this is a program where there's the most willingness to compromise. he put republicans and democrats in their boxes and republicans want to cut spending and democrats want to raise taxes and spending, there's more nuance in that.
they need to compromise. you really can't do this on one side or another. the good news means that if we can switch on the leadership a part of that comes from people saying i want this program to be fixed their support from political members on both sides for this one in particular. it might be easy to do something on social security first to put some plan into a working group or we know the answers, we been working on it for a long time, it might be easy to work on it first because there is a willingness. >> i want to go to the audience. think kathleen said that more money and is seen as the primary solution, do agree with that? where do you think the money needs to come from? people talk about reading the payroll tax.
>> let me promote two products. one the response to the federal budget which is a nice book and worth reading, it goes to a lot of things. maybe offering private insurance, the savings incentives. there is bipartisan policy center did a commission on the retirement savings commission. people on the right and left come together. their goal was to find a 5050 split and making changes to get solvency. they did it in a way that improved poverty for other americans. they found a way to do it that help the most vulnerable americans. when you think about revenues and the solutions it can't be all revenue. >> how much should be revenue?
>> they mention that it should be a test of social security. and then people get thrown out but in some ways we do have a backdoor test, we cash benefits for low-income workers. we should look at the idea for trying to go for high income earners you look at the payroll tax, maybe we find other sources we started looking at this state tax. we need to think holistically about what sources of revenue we can get at even more creatively perhaps we change it why not a carbon tax or a value-added tax. right now there's some disincentives to working. it makes labor more expensive. now labor would be less
expensive i'm not endorsing it, but we should be talking about it. >> again, we need to have a discussion about. if you rates the rate you've made it more expensive. >> were also making old age more expensive for the federal government if we don't to that. >> you're talking about revenue. now if we talk about a broader base we get more revenue and get rid of those perverse incentives for labor. >> you do want to tax the things you less of not moral. says beethoven ideas it seems i think it's possible over time
i was nodding and smiling earlier when you're talking about the carbon tax. if we can get to play so that is realistic that would be worth considering. >> what you think is realistic on that? benefits are coming. a talking about bringing down the benefit itself i find whenever i'm talking out in public, if i don't mention the testing it's always the first
question i get from the audience. somebody will stand up and say i really want social security be there for my kidding grandkid. if i knew is going to be used to preserve the program and if it something happened and i needed it. but if they're doing well including retirement they be willing to step up and share it i think there's a lot of willingness for that. i think you want to make sure you build and protections. if you end up raising the retirement age where they can't
look longer. it to broaden out the issue that so much of what the economic challenges four. people are going to be getting through the dislocations though go through rougher times. figuring out how to ensure the risk is a bigger goal going forward. my projection is that will probably have a solution which relies heavily on the revenue pieces in the front. but then we rely more on growth and benefits over the long terms which some of those can compound. >> you written in the past about raising the retirement age is basically taken away benefits. can you talk about that?
do you think that's necessary or is it avoidable? >> this is one of the most misunderstood. when people think about raising the retirement age they think about it in terms of eligibility. it's not how it works. there is a sliding scale of benefits depending on when you retire. if you presage by one year which were the process of doing, at any given age she'll get 7% less than he would have otherwise. it's an across-the-board cut. less benefits in your social security check. there's a public misunderstanding. common justification is that people are living longer. yes, some people are living longer, but not everyone. half of the population has gotten impressive gains of
longevity. the bottom half, nothing. the very bottom we have seen backward progress. actually shorter lives. that is troubling. this is the stuff we have to grapple with. trying to stand top of these trends in being fair to those left behind. >> it goes back to the framing and language. we call that a normal retirement age. then there's an early eligibility age. then they say i'm eligible for social security an early age. they're getting a reduce benefit. instead of calling it the early age we call it the minimum benefit age.
we're going to a field office asking why they're here they said to get benefits. to realize your getting a reduction in your monthly benefit? what? no. so they said why are you doing that with us? but they don't understand the benefits of delay. it's because of the language were using. appear we can start talking about it too. it's not your minimum benefit age.
it's an old age survivors insurance program. we changed it from an insurance program. can we decrease the benefits, what we do those of the high-end that don't need that insurance value. you get a little less and those who meet the marble get more. >> a few questions in the audience, oneness asking can you fix the critical problem in order to fix this problem. for example, reduce spending, abuse of the broader approach to the way government spends. also a question, why are the
trustees not consider removing the annual cap? congress would have to make those decisions. i'll let you take either those questions, the way congress spends. is it inevitable that congresses -- is it inevitable that they will tend to spend more and not be fiscally responsible? is there a way to turn that around? and how much are eligibility problems? how much of that is a real savings. >> it reminds me of an old joke that is a party of a minority. >> that answers the question, it's hard to talk about when we have discussions about spending it's irresponsible to say let's
decrease spending in one area. the monies coming in for dedicated programs or for general programs we have to think holistic lead. it's wrong to fund one. these are programs that have their own intent and purpose. we cannot ignore want to solve the other. >> i want to push back a little bit, i don't think spending more's fiscally irresponsible. i think cutting taxes and not paying for it is fiscally responsible. >> were on a trajectory. but there are things like this enormous tax cut raises the pressure even though it had nothing to do with it, people
see these big deficits. they say now were in this fiscal tough spot. it's not social security's fault that you decided not to pay for your tax cuts. >> let me agree that more spending has nothing to do with bigger smaller government, has to do with your willing to pay for things or borrow. there are times when he should be borrowing. that's an issue. there are so much damage that the tax cut has done. people will rightly say we have a huge problem because we cut taxes. the truth is we needed to fix social security so will undermine that shoe argument.
this is why corrodes the entire budget process. >> i tried to spell the word free from my vocabulary. when i can get a new discussion on tax cuts. love to decide if those holistic lead good. with that said, were they paid for? were getting close to a trillion dollars deficit. in about ten years we'll hit $1 trillion of interest payments per year. that is the cost of the annual fund of social security. will be paying so much of interest that we could find social security on it. deficit drives large debt. right now are at a low interest rate environment. one or two percentage points on
than the trillion dollar is 1.4 or 1.6. the debt is so important. >> were talking about the macro how government is looking at this problem. we want to talk about the micro. it's about 60 million americans who receive benefits, predicted to rise to 80 million americans by 2030. many will depend on these benefits. for also seeing the way americans pay for the retirement change. no longer people getting pension says rule. many people don't even understand what i'm talking about. how does that play into this on social security? could there be a political will that comes from people needing
social security more? >> social security is a portion of it. one is personal savings and then it's gone and you have something that's hard to balance. i get tired bouncing up and down. we need to talk about how we change the incentives. if you look at defined contributions to make it easier for them to contribute through state plans or maybe congress has options. maybe we change the tax incentives. right now you get a tax . why not change it so there's a
credit that helps lower income earners. when we talk about social security reform think about retirement security at large. and to look at retirement security better. >> i agree with a lot of that. we need to keep in mind that for almost every american social security is the base of that. no matter what happens, you lose your job, you get hit by a car, your savings gets wiped out, social security is there. people hope to rely on other things but that doesn't always pan out. social security does protect people when their moving jobs. we have to talk about it comprehensively. >> it is a fundamental lake and it structured to help you outlive your savings.
there's talk about upcoming retirement crisis. in many ways they overstate the problem because they don't fully take into account savings that has gone on. as a get better month numbers will see there's not as much urgency. one thing we have lost is the culture of savings. it changed a lot but we had credit cards and that replace the credit. savings for big outlays is a piece of all of this. i like savings mandate. i'm fine with means testing but i know mandate is not a popular word. i've also been a fan for matches for low income savings.
>> i see a lot of good age diversity. someone brought this up earlier how many people think they'll see social security benefits? i think maybe the question is the opposite, who does not think they'll receive social security benefits. that's a good number of hands. >> when i was a deputy commissioner and had to do travel and he said in an aisle with three people, i work for social security and vincent older person they say it's great if it's younger person they say what i have to pay into it i won't get it. under current law of congress does nothing and we think it's gonna go away and it doesn't,
when we hit 2034 automatic deductions happen. but that still leaves you would get 75%. you're not can get zero just three force of what you are promised. the program is not going bankrupt. we should say that's not right, the trust funds are depleting. so, guarantee unless congress cancels social security, which i don't think anyone thinks that will happen, you will get something. we want to make sure that were protecting the right people. we need to do that sooner rather than later. >> i take two conflicting thoughts from the hands that one up. the first is, so many young people do not think they're going to get it.
and, you are. represents an opportunity. there is a way to make reform where people would end up doing better than they thought. if you're looking for proposals where people can support there's promise. he say were guaranteeing you'll get x% of what the program would have paid that's a win. the flipside is its of intergenerational issue. what we're doing is spending money not paying for passing the bill. it's the opposite of the american promise. which is each of us is going to try to leave the next generation with a better economy. i don't think it's right and that's our principle from what
we aspire to. i hope we can push ourselves a little bit beyond that. [inaudible] the fact that this issue is ever present not going away and there are no public hearings, we should look at the ideas that have generated here. these are constructive ideas minimally you should have a public hearing. optimally, vote. >> that's give a round of applause. [applause] >> thank you very much.
thank you all for attending and for c-span. [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> this weekend on c-span, saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern, former cambridge analytical ceo testifies before the british digital media culture and sports committee on data and privacy concerns. at 10:30 a.m. a congress hearing on the sexual abuse of olympic and amateur athletes. saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern bill clinton and james patterson discuss collaboration in writing the president is missing. at 7:30 p.m. michael talks about
u.s. russia relations since 1989 from cold war to have peace. on american history tv lectures and jillian talks about the growth of conservative influence over u.s. foreign policy in the 1970. legal historian jill in her book stories from trailblazing women warriors. wash c-span networks this weekend. >> this week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of robert f kennedy. >> robert kennedy enjoyed getting among the people. he refused police protection because he said all people wanted to do was touch them, not
hurt him. >> watch the night kennedy died from gunshot wounds. >> they decided to transfer him where the facilities were better for delicate brain surgery. mrs. kennedy was with him riding in the ambulance, now from one hospital to the other. the suspect identified as servants or hand. he was led by police back to the ballroom and hotel. some of the officers had to protect him from the crowd. there are several bystanders close to his hysteria and there's concerns for his safety.