Social Security

So Does Social Security Add to the Deficit?

In light of the recent debates over Social Security, CRFB's latest paper attempts to clarify how the program relates to the federal budget and budget deficits. Some say that Social Security is a completely independent program and contributes nothing to the budget deficit, while others argue that it is in fact the largest government program and adds to overall deficits since it spends more than it takes in. So who's correct?

MY VIEW: Gene Steuerle

Once again, policy-watchers and policymakers are fired up over whether Social Security needs to be fixed anytime soon. Some resort to pretty arcane debates over the trust fund to make their point. Won't it take years to exhaust the trust fund? Are the bonds in the trust fund real? Is the trust fund a fiction? Was the trust fund raided? You know, it scarcely matters. All these debates are over a tiny sliver of the Social Security System—not over where the real action is.

‘Line’ Items: Stopgaps, Limits, Higher Powers and the Moment of Truth

Lots of Stopgaps, Little in Closing the Fiscal Gap – Washington averted a government shutdown last week by agreeing on a two-week continuing resolution (CR) that cuts $4 billion in spending. This is the fifth stopgap measure funding the federal government since the 2011 fiscal year began on October 1, 2010. The posturing and procrastination so far have resulted in little in the way of reducing our mounting national debt.

Congresswoman Lummis Introduces Bill to Gradually Raise the Retirement Age

CRFB would like to give much praise to Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) for introducing a bill to gradually raise both the Social Security full retirement age (FRA) and early retirement age (ERA) to help shore up the program's finances for future generations. The bill, H.R.

House GOP Leadership Vows to Address Entitlement Spending

In their reaction to the President's FY 2012 budget proposal, the House Republican leadership has been very critical of the President's reluctance to use this opportunity to address the true drivers of our mounting debt -- the largest of which being entitlements. And now, Republicans have pledged to take up this daunting challenge.

CBO Projects Social Security to Be Forever in the Red

In yesterday's Budget and Economic Outlook, CBO shows that Social Security will run deficits each year over the coming decade, depleting $547 billion from the program's trust funds by 2021. We were already predicting this would happen back in March of last year.

Third Way Introduces New Social Security Reform Plan

Yesterday, the organization Third Way released a plan outlining several Social Security reform proposals meant to ensure the program's solvency over the next 75 years. The plan, called Saving Social Security, makes several fundamental changes to the program and cuts $2 in benefits for every $1 it increases taxes.

MY VIEW: Gene Steuerle

What do you pay in Medicare taxes? And what Medicare benefits can you expect? This issue—potent now that the first baby boomers are turning 65—was highlighted recently by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar in a widely read Associated Press story.

2010 Financial Report of the U.S. Government

The Treasury Department released Tuesday its annual Financial Report of the U.S Government. The report highlights the nation's budget deficit, net operating costs, debt projections, and all government liabilities on an accrual accounting basis. To sum it up, the report shows us how big of a hole we're truly in.

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