You asked: YES or NO: If elected, will you take action to update Social Security so it is financially sound and provides adequate income for current and future generations?
Senator Grassley’s Response:
Yes, I am ready, willing, and able to do the work necessary to strengthen Social Security for current retirees and future generations. According to this year’s Social Security Trustees report, the disability insurance trust fund will be completely exhausted by 2023, and the old age and survivor’s trust fund will be exhausted by 2035. At their respective exhaustion dates, the disability program would only have enough income to pay 89 percent of benefits, while the old age program would only have enough income to pay 77 percent of benefits. So, doing nothing is unacceptable. The longer Congress waits to act, the more drastic actions that will be necessary to put Social Security on a sustainable path.
The next President must make strengthening Social Security a top priority and be willing to work with members of Congress in both political parties to make it a reality. This is what it took in 1983, the last time Social Security was facing a looming solvency crisis. President Ronald Reagan was ready, willing, and able to reach across the aisle to work with then Speaker Tip O’Neill. Unfortunately, this is the type of leadership we are missing today. No silver bullet exists that will completely solve the Social Security Trust Fund solvency problems. If the President and Congress are able to reach a bipartisan agreement, all options must be on the table.
In my view, reforms to Social Security must: 1. Maintain current benefits for those at, or near, retirement; 2. Maintain a guaranteed level of Social Security benefits for future generations; and 3. Take a balanced approach. Developing a plan to protect and improve Social Security will be a complex and challenging task. It will require the support of Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. But I am confident we can build the bipartisan consensus we need to succeed.
 If the disability insurance (DI) trust fund and the old age and survivor’s insurance (OASI) trust fund are combined, the combined exhaustion date is 2034.