Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Fact Check" and "Urban Institute" have levelheaded analysis of social security defiticts

Here’s another analysis of Social Security accounting, at a site called “Fact Check”, from the Annenberg Public Policy Center, the kind of resource demanded of journalists, link here

“Democrats Deny Social Security Red Ink: Some claim it doesn’t contribute to the federal deficit, but it does”.

True, benefits are not in immediate danger. But by 2037, according to John Boehner’s blog, trust funds could be exhausted and an automatic benefit cut of 22% would take in. (I’ll be 94 then; what about my own “generativity”?)   His blog posting on the topic is here.

It’s also true that Medicare is indeed in more near-term peril. The basic problem is the “accounting trick” which makes social security less an “annuity” paid for by “premiums” that most of us think it is. Furthermore Congress cut the social security FICA tax in 2011 as part of economic stimulus.

The Washington Post, however, recently published an op-ed by Glenn Kessler, “Digging into Boeher’s anti-tax philosophy” here

The Urban Institute’s Retire Security Program has a paper by Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane, “Social Security and the Budget”, link here. The paper discusses the demographic changes that have led to sustainability problems and maintains, however, that it is not a threat to today’s elderly, but a problem for the middle aged and young who must redesign their retirement policy completely. 

Note: This posting should be dated Wednesday May 11; got moved when I reapplied a label.  The posting made earlier Saturday should be understood as following it. Okay, fixed now with Post Options

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