USA – Comparing Democratic and Republican Approaches to Fixing Social Security (Richard W. Johnson, Karen E. Smith, Urban Institute)

Democrats and Republicans have floated proposals to address Social Security’s long-term financing deficit. We examine two leading congressional Social Security plans, one from Representative John Larson (D-CT) and another from former representative Sam Johnson (R-TX). Although both plans would balance projected program revenue and spending over the next 75 years, they would follow different paths to that goal. Larson’s plan would increase benefits, whereas Johnson’s plan would shrink benefits. Both plans would reduce future poverty rates for adult Social Security beneficiaries below the rates that would prevail if the trust funds ran out and all beneficiaries experienced the same percentage cut in payments.