Your editorial “The GOP’s Social Security Raid” (Aug. 21) calls Sen. Marco Rubio’s proposal to reform Social Security a “major expansion of the entitlement state.” Yet there is a big difference between expanding an entitlement and reforming it to better serve its purpose. Social Security already offers workers some flexibility. People can elect to retire early in exchange for a lower monthly payment, ensuring that their expected lifetime benefits remain the same. Sen. Rubio proposes giving workers another option. New parents can take a portion of their Social Security benefits after the birth or adoption of a child in exchange for delaying their eligibility for retirement so their total lifetime benefits remain the same.
Social Security’s long-term, unfunded liabilities would be unchanged, and workers who opt in would be given financial support when they need it most. While some Social Security benefits would be paid out early, the program could help alleviate budgetary pressure elsewhere. Those who lack paid leave often end up using other forms of public assistance and welfare programs when they have to take time off from work.
This is an idea worth further inquiry and serious debate.
Independent Women’s Forum