USA Today: “Social Security is barreling towards a crisis, and no one wants to do anything about it”

“Leaders in Washington understand this math and the choices available to stabilize Social Security…But the problem isn’t going away and Americans know it. The time is now to do something about it.”

USA Today Opinion contributor Andrew Tisch is in a unique position as an American senior.

At 67 years old, Tisch says he can take or leave his earned Social Security benefit. He’s done well enough on his own he doesn’t depend on Social Security the way most seniors do–he donated all of his Social Security payments to charity, something he encourages those in a similar financial situation to join.

But as he says, he doesn’t kid himself that a handful of people–or even more–donating or returning their benefits to the Trust Fund will ever put a dent in Social Security’s funding shortfall.

The only way we can do that, Tisch claims, is beginning with raising the payroll tax cap, and ending with a combination of tough adjustments to the payroll tax rate, retirement age, and benefit amounts.

All the while, the latest Social Security Trustees report confirming the dire and immediate nature of the funding crisis has largely gone unnoticed, and Congress is still maintaining a hands-off approach to Social Security reform.

The solutions available to our government are there. They will require time to plan and roll out and most likely, they’ll require our politicians to make hard or uncomfortable decisions–decisions that up until now, most have chosen to avoid entirely.

The longer we avoid them, however, the fewer and fewer our options will be.

This problem isn’t going away.