|There is another alternative.|
Transition it from a defined benefit plan(benefit levels paid no matter what the revenue level is) to a defined contribution plan(benefits determined by available revenues).
This of course means lower than promised by politicians benefits. Well, no shit. Realistically, that is a given no matter what we do, short of taxing/borrowing our kids into oblivion.
But, it has the following features:
1] No reason to ever raise intergenerational tax rates, ever, just to keep the program going. It is what it is.
2] Intergenerational fairness. If a generation wants more retirement benefits, then it has to raise more kids. Feed them, bandage their skinned knees, wipe their noses, send them to school. Just like the Greatest Generation did, which is what enabled the Boomers, which is what enabled the support ratio that ultimately determined their intergenerational benefits. But, if a generation chooses second vacation homes and bass boats over raising kids, then tough, life is choices, and life choices aren't made up by overtaxing the next generation to make up for our crappy choices. If we labored under a 15% intergnerational tax, then we have no right to ask the next generation to labor under a 25% intergenerational tax, just because we raised fewer of them, or becuase politicians long dead made vote buying promises using other peoples money.
Never mind that the Greatest Generation labored under a 3-6% FICA tax burden. You know what? They defeated Hitler. They left 400,000 of themselves in a meatgrinder, defeating Totalitarianism, and enabling every economic opportunity that came since. They earned some slack, they deserve out thanks, and Soc Sec as it was was our one time generational 'thank-you' to the Greatest Generation.
But, they're gone, or well going, so now it's time to restore sanity to Soc Sec.
3] This accounting would allow the program to run forever, with never a crisis. The only thinkg we'd be missing out on is the hollow vote buying promises of politicians long dead. We'd get over it. Getting less benefits than promised by some glad handing fools is not in the same league as leaving a leg in Normandy.
4] Pool the yearly revenue, divide it up. It is what it is.
Don't screw over our kids in the name of keeping politicians hollow promises.
This will be a 'painful' transition, but only in the sense of losing a hollow promise from some once vote buying, glad handing politicians who could not do the math. Get over it. But, we could phase this in over time. The sooner we start, the less painful the required transition will be, the more time folks will have to plan their lives accordingly.