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Friday, November 21, 2014

25 Million Reasons to Give Thanks for Social Insurance

Elisa Walker, National Academy of Social Insurance

Did you know that this Thanksgiving, there are more than 25 million reasons to give thanks for social insurance? According to Census Bureau data released this fall, more than 45 million people in the U.S., or 14.5% of the nation, lived in poverty in 2013.[1] The good news? Three vitally important social insurance programs – Social Security, unemployment insurance (UI), and workers’ compensation – and a related program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), kept the poverty rate from being much higher. Together, these four programs kept more than 25 million people out of poverty.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Yes, Americans Do Favor a Revenue-Only Approach to Social Security Reform

William (Bill) J. Arnone, NASI Board Chair

In a blog post on the National Academy of Social Insurance’s new public opinion study, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB) asks, “Do Americans really favor a revenue-only approach to Social Security reform?”

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Posted on November 4, 2014  |  Write the first comment
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Call for Proposals to Improve the Social Security Disability Insurance Program

Marc Goldwein, Committee for a Responsible Budget

My colleagues and I at the CRFB have been working on an initiative, led by former Congressmen Earl Pomeroy and Jim McCrery, to identify and put forward meaningful improvements that could be made to the SSDI program. The McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative hopes to generate the types of reforms that could accompany reallocation, interfund borrowing, or (preferably) a comprehensive Social Security reform package.

As part of the initiative, we have spoken with program experts, advocates, and practitioners of all different perspectives and ideologies. These discussions confirmed what we already knew to be the case: the SSDI program provides a vital support structure for many workers with disabilities and their families. But they also identified several areas where the program and the government could be doing better.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Big Tax Increase Nobody Noticed

Dean Baker and Nicole Woo, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

The 2011-12 Social Security payroll tax holiday ended in January 2013, which meant that the vast majority of working Americans faced a two percent cut in their take-home pay. 

Compared to past payroll tax increases, this was an extraordinarily large and sudden one. For example, from 1980 to 1990 the rate was increased gradually by a total of 2.24 percentage points; in no year did the rate rise by more than 0.72 percentage points, or just over one-third of the 2013 increase. (This combines the employer and employee side tax increases. In 2013, the whole tax increase was on the employee side.)

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Posted on September 30, 2014  |  6 comments  |  Add your comment
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rashi Fein, Ph.D.: A Remembrance

Joel Kavet, MPH, ScD, Madison Park Healthcare Consulting, LLC, Bethesda, MD

Alan B. Cohen, ScD, Boston University School of Management

Harold Luft, Palo Alto Medical Research Institute and UCSF

Victor Fuchs, PhD, Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

Rashi FeinRashi Fein, our longtime friend and colleague, Professor of the Economics of Medicine, Emeritus, at Harvard Medical School, passed away on Monday, September 8, 2014, at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.  He was 88 years of age, and the cause of death was melanoma.

Rashi was born in the Bronx, New York, and grew up in a number of cities in the U.S. and Canada.  He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and received his Bachelor’s and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in Mathematics (1948) and Economics (1956), respectively.

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Posted on September 18, 2014  |  Write the first comment
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