Major Social Security Changes Planned If Nikki Haley Wins in 2024

Major Social Security Changes Planned If Nikki Haley Wins in 2024

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Nikki Haley reiterated her plans to change the program during a debate on Wednesday.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley reiterated that she would make significant changes to Social Security, including the retirement age, if she’s elected president in 2024.

During a Republican debate between Ms. Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, the former governor signaled that people in their 20s should expect to work longer. At one point, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked her if voters who are currently in their 20s should “plan on having to work until they’re 70” if she becomes president.

“They should plan on their retirement age being increased. Yes, we’re going to change it to reflect more [of what] life expectancy should be,” Ms. Haley said, without providing more details about the retirement age.

Currently, Social Security claimants born in 1960 or later must wait until they are 67 to obtain their full benefits.

“We have to go and start looking at what we can do to get out of this,” she continued. “We want to make sure that everybody who was promised gets it [benefits], but we also want to make sure our kids have something when they get it, too.”

However, Mr. DeSantis asserted that Ms. Haley is not factoring in life expectancy, noting that some government data has shown that it’s declining across the United States.

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“I don’t see how you can raise the retirement age when our life expectancy is collapsing in this country,” Mr. DeSantis said during the event. “That’s a huge problem in and of itself.”

The governor said he doesn’t believe Social Security is an entitlement program. “It’s not an entitlement. You’re paying into it. It’s not a welfare program. You’re being taxed for this your whole life. You expect to have benefits on the back end,” he stated.

Ms. Haley’s remarks about raising the retirement age drew scorn from former President Donald Trump’s campaign, which released an advertisement this week targeting her stance on the issue. “Americans were promised a secure retirement. Nikki Haley’s plan ends that,” a narrator says in an ad running in New Hampshire.

The ad uses a public statement that Ms. Haley made last year in which she proposed raising the retirement age for younger Americans before they can receive monthly checks. She also did not specify at which age people can expect to retire and receive their full benefits.

“We say the rules have changed. We change the retirement age to reflect life expectancy,” the former South Carolina governor says in the ad.

The ad, dubbed “Threat From Within,” then includes a critical statement from the narrator, who says that “Americans were promised a secure retirement. Nikki Haley’s plan ends that.”

A political action committee supporting Ms. Haley responded to the advertisement, claiming the former president is fomenting “chaos” and “drama” with the claims.

“Donald Trump is feeling the pressure as Nikki Haley continues to gain momentum, and it’s clear that he can’t stand the heat as he does everything in his power to try to derail her. Haley has dealt with far worse than the former president, and her record speaks for itself. As Trump spends more time throwing tantrums in the courtroom than on the campaign trail, Haley is the only candidate who can challenge and defeat Joe Biden next fall,” Stand for America Fund spokeswoman Brittany Yanick told news outlets this week.

Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley participates in CNN's GOP presidential primary debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 10, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley participates in CNN’s GOP presidential primary debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 10, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

As for President Trump, the current GOP front-runner has said he wouldn’t touch Social Security or Medicare. Proposals to raise the retirement age or change the program in a significant manner, he has said, would spell doom for Republicans.

A recent aggregate of polls shows that President Trump is leading the Republican field by a large margin. Currently, the former president stands at 61.1 percent, whereas Mr. DeSantis garnered 10.9 percent, and Ms. Haley obtained 11.3 percent.
As for Iowa, a crucial early nominating state for Republicans, polling averages show the former president has 52 percent support, Ms. Haley has about 17 percent, and Mr. DeSantis stands at 16 percent.
Ms. Haley appears to have the best chance of upsetting President Trump in New Hampshire, another early nominating state. There, a recent CNN poll showed that she appears to have cut the former president’s lead in the state to 7 percentage points.

The CNN survey showed that President Trump garnered about 39 percent support in the Granite State, compared to Ms. Haley’s 32 percent. Mr. DeSantis got 5 percent, while former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who recently announced he’s dropping out of the race, got 12 percent. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy stood at 8 percent, the poll showed.


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