The Futile Efforts to Reform Social Security

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"Politics is the art of postponing decisions until they are no longer relevant."

Henri Queuille

For financial advisors with older clients, the unanimity on Social Security found at the State of the Union will only fuel gridlock on reforming the troubled program. While politicians repeatedly say that they will not consider cutting Social Security benefits for those currently collecting, it is a fool's errand to believe them.

There is no way to keep the promises to those currently collecting without breaking them to someone else. Worse, there is only one fact on which all experts agree: The longer we wait the harder it gets.

To illustrate, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has suggested that Congress may have to look at whether there is a “better program” than Social Security for future generations. He doesn’t know of one. But he is sure of one thing. He is not willing to discuss cutting Social Security and Medicare for those people who are receiving and have been depending on it, who have worked hard and earned it.