Social Security benefits could be subject to cuts under new legislation currently being crafted by a bipartisan group of senators. The group’s proposal would trigger new taxes and budget cuts if Congress fails to meet a set of mandatory spending targets and other fiscal goals aimed at reducing federal deficits. While the proposal separates Social Security from other programs, it proposes that, if efforts to reduce Social Security costs failed, the plan put forward in December by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform—which included an assortment of benefit cuts—would go to Congress for an up-or-down vote.

In a new issue brief from The Century Foundation, I against the growing consensus that the only fiscally responsible course of action is to curtail payments to Social Security beneficiaries. In Ten Reasons Not to Cut Social Security Benefits, I explain why that perspective is wrong.

The ten reasons to not cut Social Security benefits:

  1. Social Security Is Not Responsible For Federal Deficits.
  2. Social Security’s Benefit Levels Are Far From Overly Generous.
  3. Those Modest Payments Already Are Scheduled To Be Reduced Substantially.
  4. Private Pension Coverage Is Weak And Uncertain.
  5. Real Estate Equity Has Proven To Be An Unreliable Source Of Retirement Savings.
  6. Most Retirees Have Minimal Income Sources Beyond Social Security.
  7. It Has Become Increasingly Difficult For Older Workers To Keep Good Jobs.
  8. The Public Is Strongly Opposed To All Forms Of Benefit Cuts.
  9. There Are Less Painful Ways To Ensure That Social Security Will Be Adequately Funded Indefinitely.
  10. Life Expectancies Vary Widely Among Different Groups Of Americans.