Romney suggests cutting retirement benefits for young Americans | Mitt Romney

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Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has addressed the thorny question of how the United States is coping with its aging population, suggesting that retirement benefits may need to be cut for young Americans.

In comments to the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday, the Republican senator from Utah said the spiraling cost of retirement programs must be tackled to get the national debt under control. Romney raised the politically controversial idea of ​​cutting benefits, but only for younger generations before they reach retirement age.

“For the young people coming in, we have to be able to find a way to balance those programs or we’re going to end up in a whole lot of trouble,” he said. He added that he was not in favor of higher taxes as a way to balance the books, but was open to adjusting “long-term benefits, not for current retirees”.

Romney’s remarks, first reported by Business Insider, open a Pandora’s box often avoided by members of Congress given his intense political sensitivities. The programs in question include two of the country’s most popular benefits – Social Security and Medicare, which account for more than 40% of government spending.

The backdrop to the problem is the aging of the American population. By 2034, projections suggest there will be 77 million Americans aged 65 and over, more than the projected 76.5 million under the age of 18.

This means that for the first time in US history, older people will outnumber children.

That same year, 2034, the Social Security trust fund is expected to run out, leaving the US government struggling to pay full benefits. This looming deadline is a reflection of the intense and growing pressure on Social Security and Medicare given long-term funding shortfalls.

The Conservatives have constantly tried to undermine the programs. More recently, House Republicans have proposed raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 69 and Social Security from 67 to 69.

But in his Build Back Better plan, Joe Biden sought to protect and even expand the programs, adding hearing coverage to Medicare. The bill passed the House but stalled in the US Senate.


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