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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Disability Protection IS Part of Social Security.

William Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

Benjamin Veghte, Vice President for Policy, National Academy of Social Insurance

During the 2016 campaign, President Trump promised not to cut Social Security. Yet the White House’s FY 2018 Budget proposes up to $64 billion in cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) expenditures. The cuts stem mostly from measures to “test new program rules and processes and require mandatory participation by program applicants and beneficiaries,” with the objective of moving disabled beneficiaries from the SSDI program into fuller labor market participation.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Social Security at 81: A Wise Program Fit for New Challenges

Elliot Schreur, National Academy of Social Insurance


Sunday, August 14 is the 81st anniversary of our Social Security system.  While few of us were alive to celebrate the system’s first anniversary in 1936, even fewer have living memories of the social problems that gave rise to it. At the time, half of all seniors were living in poverty, individual retirement savings plans like 401(k)s were 40 years away, and depression-era workers were having a hard enough time providing for themselves and their children, let alone supporting their parents and grandparents. What are we to make today of a program that was created in an almost unrecognizable industrial economy?

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Why Does the United States Lack a Comprehensive Social Insurance System?

William J. Arnone, National Academy of Social Insurance

Thoughtful commentary on how we got from there to here

In a recent issue of the Boston Review, Elizabeth Anderson, Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, wrote a provocative analysis ("Common Property: How Social Insurance Became Confused with Socialism", 7-25-16) of the origins and evolution of social insurance worldwide and in the United States. Her article includes key points that are critical to an understanding of the positioning of social insurance in our economic and political system, and in our culture. She poses a fundamental question: Why does the U.S. lack a comprehensive, universal social insurance system?

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Income, Health, and Wealth Inequality Emerge as Strategic Focus of Academy Following January Policy Research Conference

Kristen Arnold, National Academy of Social Insurance

A blizzard dropping nearly 28 inches of snow did not stop hundreds of social insurance experts from participating in the Academy’s 28th annual policy research conference last week, Disparate Income, Wealth, and Opportunity: Implications for Social Insurance. Co-chaired by Kilolo Kijakazi of the Urban Institute, Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and David Colby, the two-day conference – built upon two Fall convenings on the same topic – ushered in the Academy’s new strategic focus on income and wealth inequality. Participants, including new and veteran Academy members, came together to share views from both sides of the aisle on income, wealth, gender, and racial/ethnic disparities and how social insurance and other public policies can play a role in mitigating them in fiscally sustainable ways.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Social Security’s Past, Present and Future

Benjamin Veghte, National Academy of Social Insurance

As we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security, it is time to recall its contribution to the economic security of America’s working families, and to look toward its future.

Remarkably, for 80 years, through numerous wars and recessions, Social Security has never missed a payment, and has never contributed a penny to the federal debt. Self-financed through contributions by workers and their employers – augmented since 1983 by taxes on benefits – with its annual surpluses invested in U.S. Treasury Bonds, Social Security is walled off from the tumult of both the stock market and annual appropriations battles. While the rest of the government can – and does – accumulate debt, Social Security must, by law, live within its means.

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