Social Security

Setting the Record Straight on Social Security

Recently, many policymakers and commentators have called for expanding Social Security benefits rather than slowing the program’s costs, suggesting that the program’s current shortfalls are modest and easily addressed. Below, we answer some questions about Social Security to help explain why many of these calls are misguided.

CBO 95 Percent Confident Social Security Trust Fund Runs Out in 25 Years

CBO's Long-Term Budget Outlook contains significant amounts of helpful data on Social Security. However, a lot of the data focus on just the outlays of the program; by contrast, reformers tend to focus more on its overall finances and the state of the trust fund. Today, CBO published some additional information on Social Security, showing both the program's full finances and, importantly, the ranges of uncertainty in their projections.

Social Security Should Be Part of the Conversation

All eyes are on the budget conference committee, which has a myriad of options available to consider as it negotiates this year's budget resolution. Some advocates and lawmakers have been discussing Social Security reform as an area that might be able to get bipartisan consensus.

SSA Announces New COLA

Yesterday, the Social Security Administration announced that beneficiaries will be receiving a 1.5 percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) this year. Although this update is below the 1.7 percent increase provided this year and the 3.6 percent increase provided for 2012, it is reflective of the relatively low inflation experienced over the past year.

New Report Finds Abuse of Disability Insurance System

Earlier this week, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs convened a hearing addressing fraudulent behavior in the Social Security Disability Insurance System, which has already garnered significant national attention. The Chairman of the Committee, Sen.

Discussion with CBO Director Elmendorf on the Costs of Waiting to Address Fiscal Challenges

At the House Budget Committee hearing on CBO's Long-Term Outlook, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), who last week sent a letter calling for action on Social Security, asked CBO director Doug Elmendorf about the cost of waiting for solutions on Social Security.

CBO: Social Security Looks Much Worse Than We Thought

Although some argue that policymakers can wait to solve our long-term entitlement problems, CBO's recent Long-Term Budget Outlook suggests otherwise. According to their projections, the Social Security program is in particular trouble -- and much worse than we thought. According to CBO's latest projections, the trust fund will become insolvent three years earlier than what we previously thought, and its long-term funding gap is 50 percent larger.

Congressman Ribble Calls for Action on Social Security

Recently, Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) sent a letter to his colleagues in Congress calling for them to use the upcoming fiscal discussions to push for comprehensive Social Security reform to make it solvent  for future generations.

Making Disability Insurance Work Better

Naturally, lawmakers are diverting their attention to resolving sequestration, the debt ceiling, and the expiring continuing resolution, but another important budget matter is only a couple of years away. The Social Security Disability Insurance Program will exhaust its trust fund by 2016, at which point benefits will either need to be cut by 20 percent or transfers will need to be made from the old-age fund, shortening its lifespan by two years (2035 to 2033).

Orlando Sentinel: Make Social Security Part of Budget Solution

While many in Washington are bracing for more partisan brinksmanship in the upcoming negotiations over the debt ceiling and a potential government shutdown, it is easy to overlook the fact that these fiscal debates present an opportunity for a bipartisan compromise on a comprehensive deficit reduction deal. This morning, the Orlando Sentinel published an editorial making that case for including Social Security in the debate:

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