Pandemic Pile-On: Report Says COVID a Threat to Social Security

It was only a matter of time before election year issues collided, and now it has happened: Coronavirus meets social security. A new report warns the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout will accelerate depletion of the social security trust fund, leading to funds running out by 2030.

Since social security is a traditional election year issue, it's not necessarily surprising that this year's biggest issue, the coronavirus, would be attached to it leading up to Election Day. "You do have fear mongering right now, and it's based on the idea that coronavirus is the topic of the day," says Robert Charles, former Assistant Secretary of State and spokesman for the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC). "If it were a new war, they would be arguing that advocates of that were going to undermine social security."

Drumming up fear about social security in election years is a particular tactic of Democrats. "A lot of Democrat leaders revert to fear mongering about social security just before elections, even though after the election everybody tends to ignore the long-term problem and sit on short-term solvency issues," says Charles.

Whether the pandemic happened or not, social security solvency has been an issue for years and will need attention. "Lawmakers do, long term, have to take a serious look at entitlements," says Charles. "We've been kicking that can down the road for a long time."

"Somewhere between 2030 and 2035, we're going to have to get very serious about finding a revenue stream and balance that will keep (social security) solvent indefinitely."

Photo: Getty Images

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