Last week at Knox College, President Obama gave the first of a series of speeches on the economy. He called on Washington to pass policies that would give middle class families a "better shot" in the global economy, emphasizing education, investments, and research.
Is Social Security a distributionally regressive system overall? Some people may have this conception due to a few features of the program: higher-income people retire later and therefore qualify for larger annual benefits than if they retired earlier, they live longer and so collect more Social Security checks, and some of their income is exempt from the payroll tax, which is capped at $113,700. When considering only this evidence, there might appear to be some credibility to the claim that Social Security is a regressive program.
Should Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) be trimmed? In a recently released CQ Researcher Report focusing on government spending, CRFB Senior Policy Director Marc Goldwein answers yes, if that means that COLAs better reflect inflation.
Both the Social Security Chief Actuary and the CBO have already weighed in on the Senate's immigration reform bill, showing that it would give a short-term boost to Social Security and a slight cost to the rest of the budget. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, the CBO and the Chief Actuary have put forth more in-depth analyses of the legislation.
The projections in the latest Medicare and Social Security Board of Trustees Report were further proof of the need to reform these important entitlement programs. But for some seeing is believing. Luckily, the Peter G.
Yesterday, the CATO Institute hosted a panel discussion featuring CATO Senior Fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale, MIT economics professor David Autor, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack, and Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Stephen Goss.
This weekend, The New York Times (NYT) editorial board laid out an argument for why they believe Social Security’s long-term gap is relatively manageable, that any solution should come mainly on the revenue side to offset cuts already in place, and that their readers should beware of “the deficit-obsessed, anti-tax world of Washington [where] closing the shortfall in Social Security has come to mean broadly cutting benefits.”
Bipartisanship will be a crucial element when it comes to reforming Social Security and achieving other budget related reforms in the near future. In this regard, the introduction of the bipartisan Reducing Overlapping Payments Act, by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) is an encouraging sign and a step in the right direction for more reform of the Social Security and other parts of the budget.
CRFB's latest interactive tool "The Reformer" is a handy game that allows users to design their own Social Security plan. Users can select from a wide variety of benefit and revenue changes to make the system sustainably solvent. The tool then shows the effect on the program's finances and benefit and tax levels.