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Limiting Social Security's Drag on Economic Growth

Limiting Social Security's Drag on Economic Growth

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Pro-economic growth entitlement reform must not only rein in unsustainable cost growth, but also remove the barriers to labor force participation and disincentives to personal savings currently embedded in the largest entitlement programs generally, and the Social Security program in particular.
Pro-economic growth entitlement reform must not only rein in unsustainable cost growth, but also remove the barriers to labor force participation and disincentives to personal savings currently embedded in the largest entitlement programs generally, and the Social Security program in particular.

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12/04/2012

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LIMITING SOCIAL SECURITY’S DRAG ONECONOMIC GROWTH:Removing Disincentives to PersonalSavings and Labor Force ParticipationCharles Blahous and Jason J. Fichtner
MERCATUSRESEARCH
Bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems
 
The material in this paper was published earlier in condensed form as the chapter entitled, “SocialSecurity Reform and Economic Growth,” in
The 4% Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs
, ed. Brendan Miniter (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2012). Some charts,tables and estimates in this paper, therefore, reflect data available at the time the earlier paper wasdrafted.Copyright © 2012 by Charles Blahous, Jason J. Fichtner,and 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: November 1, 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
The authors wish
to thank Jakina Debnam and Brandon Pizzola for invaluableassistance with researching, editing, and developing substantive content for thispaper.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
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’sNational Economic Council. From 2001 to 2007, he served as a special assistant tothe president for economic policy. He previously served as executive director of the2001 President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, as policy director forU.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), and as legislative director for U.S. Senator AlanSimpson (R-WY).Blahous is the author of 
 Social Security: The Unfinished Work
(Hoover Press,2010), and he has published his work in the
 Financial Times
,
Wall Street Journal
,and
 Harvard Journal of Legislation
. He was named to
 SmartMoney
’s “Power 30” listin 2005. Blahous received his PhD in computational quantum chemistry from theUniversity of California at Berkeley and his AB from Princeton University. 
Jason J. Fichtner 
is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at GeorgeMason University. Previously, he served in several positions at the Social Security  Administration, including as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (Acting),Chief Economist, and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy. Fichtner hasalso served as Senior Economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S.Congress. Fichtner earned his AB from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; hisMPP from Georgetown University; and his PhD in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech.

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