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Table Of Contents

FIGURE 1.2 Te Rising Cost of Social Security
FIGURE 2.1 Social Security’s Looming Shortfalls
TABLE 2.1 Te Social Justice Argument
Te Warning Bell Tolls . . and Tolls
FIGURE 4.2 Real Benefit Value Rises Across Generations
FIGURE 4.3 A 25% Benefit Cut or a 60% Benefit Increase?
FIGURE 5.1 Pay- as- you- go vs. Funded System
FIGURE 5.2 Te Rising Cost of Pay- as- you- go Financing
TABLE 6.1 What the Social Security Payroll Tax Buys You
FIGURE 8.1 2001 Social Security Projections
FIGURE 8.2 2001 Projections: With Personal Account
FIGURE 9.1 Te Revenue/Cost Spectrum
FIGURE 9.3 Te Progressivity Spectrum
FIGURE 9.4 Te Work Incentive Spectrum
FIGURE 11.1 U.S. Productivity: Historical and Projected
FIGURE 11.2 U.S. Labor Force Growth: Historical and Projected
TABLE 11.1 Potential Variations in the Trustees’ Projections
Insolvency Date
FIGURE 12.1 Hypothetical Social Security System A
FIGURE 12.2 Hypothetical Social Security System B
FIGURE 12.9 Comparing Reforms to Current Law
FIGURE 12.12 A 50% Increase or a 31% Cut?
FIGURE 12.13 Benefits Under Progressive Indexing + Personal Accounts
FIGURE 12.15 Progressive Indexing Alone: 2005 Projections
FIGURE 12.14 Social Security Costs and Revenues: 2005 Projections
FIGURE 12.16 Progressive Indexing + Accounts: 2004 Projections
FIGURE 12.17 Te Social Security Outlook
FIGURE 13.1 Te Social Security Outlook
FIGURE 13.2 Toward a More Transparent System
FIGURE 13.3 Progressive Bend Point Factor Changes
FIGURE 13.4 “Ideal” Social Security System
FIGURE 13.5 “Ideal” Social Security System (Including Accts)
P. 1
Social Security: The Unfinished Work by Charles Blahous

Social Security: The Unfinished Work by Charles Blahous

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Published by Hoover Institution
Drawing on more than fifteen years of work on Social Security policy, first in the U.S. Senate and later in the White House, Charles Blahous argues that our national Social Security debate is more polarized than it needs to be, even given the depth of legitimate differences over the program’s appropriate future direction. Unless we identify and understand our respective initial assumptions, he explains, we will not be able to fathom the conflicting policy initiatives that they drive. In Social Security: The Unfinished Work he presents some often misunderstood, basic factual background about Social Security. He discusses how it affects program participants and explains the true demographic, economic, and political factors that threaten its future efficacy.

Beginning with a review of the events of 1983, focusing on the substance, intent, and scorekeeping of that year’s Social Security reforms, Blahous explains what happened then, why, and how it led to sharply divergent views of program finances during the Bush administration’s reform initiative and on through today. He dissects competing positions in the current debate and concludes that, unless and until there is broader understanding of how these analytic differences drive opposing policy conclusions, we will continue to talk past and over each other, with little room for negotiation and compromise.

Charles Blahous, one of the nation’s foremost Social Security experts, serves as one of two public trustees for the Social Security and Medicare programs. He also served as deputy director of President George W. Bush’s national Economic Council and, before that, as executive director of the president’s bipartisan Social Security Commission and as special assistant for economic policy.
Drawing on more than fifteen years of work on Social Security policy, first in the U.S. Senate and later in the White House, Charles Blahous argues that our national Social Security debate is more polarized than it needs to be, even given the depth of legitimate differences over the program’s appropriate future direction. Unless we identify and understand our respective initial assumptions, he explains, we will not be able to fathom the conflicting policy initiatives that they drive. In Social Security: The Unfinished Work he presents some often misunderstood, basic factual background about Social Security. He discusses how it affects program participants and explains the true demographic, economic, and political factors that threaten its future efficacy.

Beginning with a review of the events of 1983, focusing on the substance, intent, and scorekeeping of that year’s Social Security reforms, Blahous explains what happened then, why, and how it led to sharply divergent views of program finances during the Bush administration’s reform initiative and on through today. He dissects competing positions in the current debate and concludes that, unless and until there is broader understanding of how these analytic differences drive opposing policy conclusions, we will continue to talk past and over each other, with little room for negotiation and compromise.

Charles Blahous, one of the nation’s foremost Social Security experts, serves as one of two public trustees for the Social Security and Medicare programs. He also served as deputy director of President George W. Bush’s national Economic Council and, before that, as executive director of the president’s bipartisan Social Security Commission and as special assistant for economic policy.

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Publish date: Nov 2, 2010
Added to Scribd: Jan 25, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780817911942
List Price: $19.95

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10/22/2014

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9780817911942

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Hoover Institution added this note
Charles Blahous asks "Does the Government Really Need More Help Than the Private Sector?" on e21 - "There is no question that the public sector is now experiencing fiscal constraints from which it was earlier protected.... There is also no question that the private sector was hit far harder by the recession itself.." - http://bit.ly/OIH42e.
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Hoover Institution added this note
Author Charles Blahous on 'Exposing the Medicare Double Count' in today's WSJ - "One of the enduring mysteries of Obama's health law is how its spending constraints and payroll tax hikes on high earners can be used to shore up Medicare finances and at the same time pay for a massive new entitlement program. Isn't this double counting?... You can't spend the same money twice." -http://bit.ly/IKzIpz
Hoover Institution added this note
Listen to Charles Blahous on NPR discuss 'How Long Will Social Security Last?" - http://n.pr/Ib0CMx. "In 2033, as has been said, we would have enough revenue coming in to pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits or the payroll tax would have to be raised from 12.4 percent to 16.7 percent."
Hoover Institution added this note
Author Charles Blahous, a trustee for Medicare and Social Security warns in the Washington Post - “Never since the 1983 reforms have we come as close to the point of trust fund depletion as we are right now... our window for dealing with [the shortfall] without substantially disruptive consequences is closing fairly rapidly.” - http://wapo.st/IpJJf9.
Hoover Institution added this note
Blahous takes on the ACA - "One of the motivating principles underlying the passage of comprehensive health care reform was that it would improve the federal fiscal outlook... Only by scaling back the new spending commitments made under the law will health care reform make the positive contribution to the federal fiscal outlook that experts agree is required." - http://bit.ly/Hu2Cuj.
Hoover Institution added this note
Read author Charles Blahous' article "How are the Presidential Contenders Doing on Social Security" on E21- http://bit.ly/rQih6W - "Election season is always a high-stakes time for Social Security policy, because how well the issue can be addressed in legislation is partly a function of developments during campaign season..."

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