I think it's supposed to be part of a cumulative fix. None of those steps by themselves would fix the issue. But a change in the way COLA is calculated could be significant change over the long term. After all, around here we make a big deal if expenses on a fund are a percentage point lower than on another fund. That's because we're all aware of the cumulative effect of such costs.
Perhaps it is. But, some fixes hurt more than others. Some hurt more, but fix the problem more. Some hurt more, but do very little to fix the problem. The COLA is the latter. So, is your argument to do ANYTHING which can help regardless of how little it helps and how much it affects those on the program?
What annoys me is that I read an analysis a couple of years back that concluded that SS could be fixed with a 2% increase in the withholding tax. So why don't we just do it and get the problem behind us? I don't want to pay the extra tax any more than anyone else but at a time when we have a lot of actual pressing problems, why not just do this to right the ship and then figure out how to trim the system for optimal performance later? All this talk about changing COLA formulas and so forth are just games. I think we do need significant reform to the system, sooner rather than later, but that mean either cutting benefits or increasing taxes (or both). Anything else that enters teh discussion is just methodology.
Bold is mine. I agree that it is games. I also think while increasing the payroll tax would benefit the program the greatest, so would "steeper" bend points. The idea being, provide everyone a benefit which covers "Basics," but pay them marginally less above and beyond that.