Chart of the Week: How Social Security Is Contributing to the Spending Crisis

Last week’s presidential debate at the Reagan Library elevated Social Security as a national issue that could reshape the 2012 campaign. Candidates spent the week trading blows about the role of the 76-year-old social insurance program.

Leaving aside the political rhetoric, one thing is certain: Social Security needs to be reformed or America will face a dismal future. As one of the three major entitlement programs — along with Medicare and Medicaid — Social Security is contributing to a very dire long-term budget outlook. Spending on the three entitlement programs could consume one-half of the economy by 2056.

Heritage released a plan earlier this year to cut spending and save the program. “Saving the American Dream” outlines steps lawmakers could take now, such as raising the retirement age and creating a flat benefit for Millenials, which would return the program to its original purpose of providing true insurance to those who need it most.

Source material can be found at this site.

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