Social Security

Social Security Trustee Warns About Expansion Proposals

Late in 2013, a debate about Social Security erupted centering around calls from some progressives to broadly increase Social Security benefits at a time when the program is already financial unsound. We weighed in a few weeks ago, explaining that given the program's existing actuarial shortfall, expanding it with broad-based benefit increases would be misguided (though targeted benefit enhancements may be warranted).

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.

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