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Carson supports a plan that allows people to opt-out of receiving social security payments in lieu of a tax credit of the same amount. He also supports gradually raising the retirement age.
TONY VOLA: Dr. Carson I’m Tony Vola a volunteer from AARP. We know that rural America is more dependent on income from Social Security than our nation’s cities. What is your plan to address Social Security’s financial shortfall and what place does it occupy on your personal to-do list, when you are president?
BEN CARSON: Well actually, it’s an incredibly important place because there is something known as the ‘Fiscal Gap.’ You don’t hear politicians talking about it, but I’m not a politician so I’ll talk about it. It is the unfunded liabilities: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, all of the departmental programs, cabinet programs the money that we owe going forward versus what we expect to collect in revenues from taxes and other revenue resources. Those numbers should be almost identical and when they’re not and you bring that forward to today’s dollars, that’s what the Fiscal Gap is. And right now it sits at about $211 trillion dollars which is unsustainable, except for the fact that we can print money because we are the reserve currency of the world; Which we may not always be. That’s a position that goes with the number one economy of the world, traditionally, which we have been since the 1870’s until last year when China became the number one economy. Would they like to be the reserve currency, so that they could print money? Absolutely. It would help solve a lot of their problems, or at least they would think they were solving them; they wouldn’t really be solving them just like we’re not really solving them. But when we lose that ability, we are in big trouble. So one of the things that we are going to have to do is change our GDP to debt-ratio and we have to change the long-term outlay of money that we need. For Social Security specifically, what I have proposed is that we give people the ability to opt-out of receiving Social Security payments in lieu of a tax credit of the same amount as the payment they would have gotten. That immediately takes the pressure off of Social Security because right now it is scheduled to go bankrupt in 2033.
And then for the people who are under the age of 55, we gradually begin to elevate the age because remember when it was put in place the average age of death in America was 63. And now we are talking 80. And we have been very negligent in terms of adjusting, so that’s why we need to do the 20% thing, but I think that would work very effectively.