Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced his candidacy for the presidency on Thursday with the goal of promoting progressive polices to reduce income inequality, climate change, and the influence of big money in American politics. Sanders hopes to inject his solutions into the national political conversation and shift the Overton window on a host of domestic and international priories.
Chief among them is Social Security, a program he describes as one of the “most successful government programs in American history.” However, without changes — benefit cuts or tax increases — the fund that maintains Social Security won’t be able to pay-out all of its obligations by 2033, leading lawmakers to propose a series of solutions to extend the program’s solvency. Sanders has long warned against prescriptions that would cut benefits or slow their growth, upending Washington’s consensus that government needs to cut entitlement programs to keep them sustainable. Instead, he has proposed legislation to expand the program.
Below is a look at how the different proposals to alter Social Security from various declared and undeclared presidential candidates would impact the decades-old program: