The Social Security Board of Trustees has just released its annual report to Congress. The most important takeaways are that Social Security has a large and growing surplus, and its future cost is fully affordable.
It is sometimes reported that Social Security's current costs exceed its revenue, but if that happened, we wouldn't need a report to tell us. The whole country would know, because 59 million beneficiaries would not get their earned benefits as they now do every month. By law, Social Security can only pay benefits if it has sufficient revenue to cover every penny of costs - administrative as well as benefit costs. The claim that Social Security is running a deficit counts only Social Security's income from its premiums, often called payroll contributions or taxes, and disregards one or both of its other two dedicated sources of income: investment income and dedicated income tax revenue. As Figure 1 shows, when income from all of Social Security's revenue sources is counted, Social Security ran a surplus in 2014.
Lindsey Graham(R-SC) not only became the latest Republican to jump into the 2016 presidential race, he also became the latest Republican to signal strong support for deep Social Security cuts.
"Washington's failure to do the hard but right thing has put Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy," Graham said during his speech on Monday. "As my generation retires both programs are on track to go bust. We're living longer and fewer workers are supporting more retirees. That's unsustainable, everybody knows it, but not everybody will admit it. We have to fix entitlement programs to make sure people who need the benefits the most receive them. That's going to require determined presidential leadership."
The claim that either the old-age or disability trust funds has run dry is 'one of the hoariest lies in the conservatives' playbook.'
Republican opposition to a plan that would shore up a critical government safety-net program amounts to a new front in the GOP's class war and could equal a "death sentence" for many poor recipients, defenders of Social Security said this week.
Advocacy groups vow to fight back against what they believe is a preliminary "stealth attack" that portends a wider assault on a program that makes survival possible for millions of vulnerable Americans
As Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik immediately remarked: "Well, that didn't take long."
It is a popular sport in policy circles to complain that the government spends so much more on seniors that it spends on kids. The gap between spending on seniors and spending on kids comes from taking average Social Security and Medicare benefits, along with some other programs, and showing that is vastly exceeds what we spend on kids. (The calculation usually leaves out state and local expenditures, which accounts for the bulk of education spending.)
In our post-modern (or post-post-modern?) age, we are supposedly transcending the material certainties of the past. The virtual world of the Internet is replacing the “real,” material world, as theory asks us to question the very notion of reality. Yet that virtual world turns out to rely heavily on some…
Despite laws on the books, the median woman in America working full-time throughout the year is still paid just 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man. In an effort to narrow wage discrimination and a persistent gender pay gap, President Barack Obama unveiled new rules on Friday that…
Paul Mason, ardent critic of neoliberalism, sees a new epoch ahead. Economics professors like to demonstrate the inherent flaws of Soviet-style command economies by asking students to imagine what would have happened if the Soviet Union had tried to create Starbucks. Presumably, a Soviet Starbucks would have offered only two…
More than 20 congressional Democrats invited Muslim guests to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address Tuesday, to counter what they say is negative rhetoric on Capitol Hill and speeches on the presidential campaign trail.
'It is inhumane for DHS officials to disregard these threats and cause fear and anguish for immigrant families,' say Progressive Caucus co-chairs
Rick Perlstein on the Chicago mayor; Adam Gopnik and Amy Wilentz on Charlie Hebdo; and Rebecca Solnit on climate change in the Himalayas.
'To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat'
More than one a day. That is how often mass shootings (four or more people wounded or dead) occurred in the United States this year. Including the worst shooting of the year (so far), which unfolded only yesterday in San Bernardino, a total of 462 people have died and 1,314 have been…
Right now, the future seems dark and frightening and it is precisely now that we must continue to imagine other worlds and then plot ways to get there.
Study of Forbes 400 finds nation's wealthiest own more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the country, or 194 million people