PNS Daily Newscast - June 20, 2019 

The Trump administration finalizes a coal-friendly emissions rule for power plants. Also on today's rundown: A new development in the debate over the 2020 Census citizenship question; and why "Juneteenth" is an encore celebration in Florida and other states.

Daily Newscasts

Will Social Security Last for Gen X, Y, Z?

April 30, 2012

WASHINGTON - The annual checkup on the financial health of Social Security was released last week by the Social Security Board of Trustees, and the prognosis is that the trust fund will be exhausted by 2033. That is three years earlier than last year's projection.

While some are sounding the alarm bell, Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works, says the program's foundation is strong, and can be made solvent with some modest changes.

"There are many, many ways to bring that additional revenue in, keeping the fundamental structure there. It is a program that works, and we should be strengthening it and building it, rather than dismantling it brick by brick."

One suggestion by some policymakers is to increase the tax cap. It is currently capped at $110,000 per year, meaning no contributions go into Social Security for income above that amount. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, three out of four Americans - across age groups and party lines - say it is critical to preserve Social Security, even if it means asking working Americans to pay higher taxes to do so.

Some economists and policy makers suggest keeping the current program for those 55 and older and offering younger workers the chance to invest over one-third of their Social Security Taxes into private retirement plans. Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works, sees this as the wrong approach. She says the program is efficient the way it is.

"The reason it can be so efficient is because it covers everyone on a mandatory basis. If you start allowing people to opt out, it sounds good - it sounds like choice - but it would ultimately cause the whole system to unravel."

Altman says the program is strong and provides guaranteed benefits, unlike 401Ks and home equity.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA