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Social Security

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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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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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Response to Larry Kotlikoff

Larry Thompson, Founding Board Member, National Academy of Social Insurance

Larry Kotlikoff advocates replacing the current defined-benefit [Fixing Social Security, May 20, 2014], mostly-pay-as-you-go Social Security system with a system of funded individual accounts financed by mandatory contributions. This general approach was first adopted by Chile almost 35 years ago, and soon became popular among that set of economists most enamored with the universal superiority of markets as a mechanism for allocating resources. In the latter half of the 1990s, the approach was promoted internationally by the World Bank.

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Posted on May 20, 2014  |  14 comments  |  Add your comment
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fixing Social Security

Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University

Social Security is America's most cherished public policy program and one of the most successful. Today, and for several decades before, Social Security accounts for 55% of the annual income of U.S. households headed by adults ages 65 and older. The improved financial strength of our seniors has helped preserve a viable standard of living for many of them. In addition, it has reduced the financial and emotional stress of families trying to support multiple generations.

But past success is a poor yardstick for measuring the current viability of a social insurance program. Moreover, failure to identify current issues with Social Security and offer solutions can leave Congress under-informed and under pressure to produce a “quick fix.” No good can come of that.

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Posted on May 20, 2014  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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