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The End of Social Security Self-Financing: What Does It Portend for Social Security's Future?

The End of Social Security Self-Financing: What Does It Portend for Social Security's Future?

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Charles Blahous, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and public trustee for Social Security and Medicare, reviews the philosophical basis for Social Security’s unique financing structure; considers what the movement toward general-revenue financing may mean for the future of the program; and discusses what, if anything, can be done to restore the program to its self-financed, earned-benefit roots.
Charles Blahous, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and public trustee for Social Security and Medicare, reviews the philosophical basis for Social Security’s unique financing structure; considers what the movement toward general-revenue financing may mean for the future of the program; and discusses what, if anything, can be done to restore the program to its self-financed, earned-benefit roots.

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Published by: Mercatus Center at George Mason University on Oct 25, 2012
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THE END OF SOCIAL SECURITY SELF-FINANCING:What Does It Portend for Social Security’s Future?Charles Blahous
MERCATUSRESEARCH
Bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems
 
Copyright © 2012 by Charles Blahousand the Mercatus Center at George Mason University Mercatus CenterGeorge Mason University 3351 North Fairfax Drive, 4th Floor Arlington, VA 22201-4433(703) 993-4930mercatus.org Release date: October 10, 2012
ABOUT THE MERCATUS CENTER AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
The Mercatus Center 
at George Mason University is the world’s premieruniversity source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academicideas and real-world problems. A university-based research center, Mercatus advances knowledge about howmarkets work to improve people’s lives by training graduate students, conduct-ing research, and applying economics to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems.Our mission is to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions thataffect the freedom to prosper and to find sustainable solutions that overcome the barriers preventing individuals from living free, prosperous, and peaceful lives.Founded in 1980, the Mercatus Center is located on George Mason University’s Arlington campus.www.mercatus.org 
 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Thanks are owed
to the Mercatus Center for its support for this paper, and toJason Fichtner, Jeffrey Brown, Marc Goldwein, and Andrew Biggs for helpful com-ments on the text.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Blahous
is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at GeorgeMason University. He currently serves as one of the two public trustees for theSocial Security and Medicare programs.From 2007 to 2009, Blahous served as deputy director of President Bush’s NationalEconomic Council. From 2001 to 2007, he served as a special assistant to the presi-dent for economic policy. He previously served as executive director of the 2001President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, as policy director for U.S.Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), and legislative director for U.S. Senator Alan Simpson(R-WY).Blahous is the author of 
 Social Security: The Unfinished Work
(Hoover Press, 2010),and he has published in periodicals including the
 Financial Times
,
Wall Street Journal
, and
 Harvard Journal of Legislation
. He was named to
 SmartMoney
’s“Power 30” list in 2005.Blahous received his
 
PhD in computational quantum chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and his AB from Princeton University.

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