Presidential candidates differ on how to fix the Social Security, Medicare programs

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In their third and final debate, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton offered competing proposals for stabilizing the troubled Social Security program.

Both promised to preserve benefits. When asked whether they would accept a “grand bargain” that includes higher taxes and reduced coverage, however, they took diverging paths.

“I'm cutting taxes,” Trump said. He added that by expanding the economy, the program's projected collapse by 2034 would be averted.

Clinton promised to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations as a way to stem the program's looming revenue deficit. She also promised to “enhance benefits for low-income workers and women who have been disadvantaged” by the program.

Last week, federal officials announced that recipients will receive a 0.3% increase next year, which will mark the fifth straight year of historically low increases. The typical recipient will see an increase of less than $4 per month. The average monthly payment is $1,238. More than 70 million people are tied to the program, including most senior living residents.

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