Nine out of 10 Iowans who plan to attend the state's presidential caucuses on Feb. 1 are concerned about the future of Social Security. An AARP survey released Jan. 21 showed that 94% of Iowa voters believe the next president must make Social Security more financially sound.
In July last year, AARP warned that if changes are not made soon, individual Social Security Income (SSI) benefits could be cut by up to $10,000 a year by 2033.
Already retirees' SSI benefits are suffering from low oil prices. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) wasn't raised for fiscal year 2016 — as it likewise wasn't in 2010 and 2011 — because of plummeting oil prices and a lack of inflation. This means that when prices do increase, retirees' benefits won't go up in lockstep – thus resulting in increasingly stressed bank accounts and tighter wallets.
Each of the 2016 presidential candidates has touched on how they'll make changes to fix Social Security. But relaying those policies to Americans in a comprehensive way has been a struggle. Among Republican caucus voters surveyed by AARP, 45% would like to know more about GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump's plans. Forty-one percent would like to know more about Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) plans.
That's why Money Morning is taking an in-depth look at each of the candidates' SSI proposals, so that readers can have a better understanding of where their preferred contenders stand.
Here is a look at Donald Trump's ideas on Social Security…
Donald Trump on Social Security: Bringing Back Jobs Will Save Medicare
At a Dec. 14 rally in Iowa, Trump was asked to provide details regarding his Social Security proposal by an AARP representative.
"We're going to take jobs back from all these countries that have been ripping us off, and we're going to become a wealthy country again," Trump responded. "And we're going to be able to save your Social Security."
During the segment, the billionaire businessman said, "I want to take back money we are sending to other countries that want to kill us, and without increases, and we are not going to raise the Social Security age."
By taking back funds from countries "ripping us off" and "that want to kill us," Trump is referring to taking back money the United States gives countries in foreign aid. This amounts to $37.9 billion planned for FY 2016, according to the government's website, foreignassistance.gov.
Trump raises a good point in looking for excess that could be redirected back to the American people.
- AARP: New Survey Finds Likely Iowa Caucus Goers Want to Hear More on Social Security
- CBS News: "60 Minutes" Interview: Donald Trump