As Alex Parker reports, social programs such as Social Security—once thought to be "untouchable" by both parties—are now speculated to be part of a deal that would address the deficit crisis and raise the debt ceiling. Parker points out, such talk is ruffling the feathers of many prominent liberals like Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who argue that the program is extremely successful and in fact not even contributing to the debt. Nevertheless, as the Aug. 2 deadline looms, and the prospect of a compromise between Congressional Democrats and Republicans seems more desperate, such drastic measures may be necessary.
Cuts to Social Security could manifest in a multitude of ways—from subtle changes in the consumer price index which determines the cost of living for the average American, to raising the age at which one is eligible for benefits (67 is the current minimum age for those born after 1960 to receive full Social Security).
Economists, politicians, and business people alike warn of the monumental consequences of not raising the debt ceiling and thus allowing the U.S. to default on its loans. Yet many congresspeople, especially those affiliated with the Tea Party, don't seem to fully grasp the risks of resisting a deficit compromise, as Robert Schlesinger argues.
We want to know what you think. Would you be willing to sacrifice some of your Social Security benefits, be it through a raise of the minimum age or a cut back in payments, if it meant that the current deficit crisis could be solved? Don't forget to leave us a comment defending your vote.