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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Multigenerational Grand Larceny

Malvin Schechter, Freelance Consultant and Writer

What is so irritating to this Social Security taxpayer is that l have, in effect, overpaid my Social Security contributions since 1983 in order to build up the trust fund. The President insults me and other contributors by implying that the funds are tied up in worthless Treasury bonds, or lOUs. That's not what we were told when asked to dig deeper into our pockets. Moreover, if the objective of Bush's remarks is to prepare the way for a default on these Treasury securities, one wonders if he knows what he will do to the bond market and the pension funds that hold Treasury bonds: he is campaigning to discredit any Treasury bonds (and any corporate bonds, since they constitute lOUs, too).

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Social Security: What Now?

Laurence Seidman, Professor of Economics, University of Delaware

Social Security does not have to be changed to avoid a financial collapse. Even if nothing is done, benefits due under the current Social Security benefit formula will be paid until 2042, and after 2042 payroll taxes will be sufficient to finance a monthly benefit equal to 73% of the benefit due under the current benefit formula. This post-2042 benefit will be greater after inflation than today's benefit. In this sense, there is no crisis in Social Security.

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Posted on April 10, 2005  |  Write the first comment
Friday, March 11, 2005

A Solution for the Crisis

Ed Welch,School of Labor and Industrial Relations Michigan State University

We need a simple, easily articulated solution to the Social Security crisis. Let there be no doubt that there is a crisis. Some people have suggested that the solvency problem is not as serious as others claim. That may be true, but the President is currently traveling around the country telling the American public that there is a serious problem. That in itself is a crisis.

Because of the nature of the crisis, it can only be resolved by a solution that is relatively simple and can be easily explained to the public. It is also essential that it be a positive approach. It is not enough to show what others are doing wrong or should not do in the future. This crisis can only be solved by a positive program of what can be done.

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Thursday, February 3, 2005

Women are the majority of older Americans and many of them are alone

Anna Rappaport, Independent consultant

I wish to build on ideas from other members:

  • Social Security is not in crisis today
  • Solutions are available that build on the current system and do not require radical change
  • Social Security policy should be considered in the context of the total retirements picture (and three legged stool)

This is a critical time for the retirement security of Americans as Social Security is under attack at the same time that employer plans have declined and are suffering from an adverse regulatory climate. The decisions that policymakers make today will be important for decades to come.

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Posted on February 3, 2005  |  Write the first comment
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Thursday, February 3, 2005

Balancing Risk and Guarantees

Carson E. Beadle, Chairman The Health Project

As the least equipped of our distinguished writers I am perhaps least to be considered. That said, I have been struck over the years by one factor in the continuing debate on the extent of social benefits. And that is the balance between the degree of personal risk that keeps us alert and the comfort of guarantees to the extent they engender complacency.

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