Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Need to Worry About Social Security

Nancy Altman, former aide to Alan Greenspan, spoke in Concord, NH last night. From the Concord Monitor:

"I object to the idea of fixing it, because Social Security isn't broken," she told the Monitor, adding that long-term projections show "a manageable but significant shortfall" that is one of the challenges to be addressed.

"We should address them, but not in a climate where young people don't think they're going to get benefits, that people don't think it's affordable. . . . It's a political question," she said.

The Social Security program, created in 1935, is expected to cost more than it takes in from taxes from 2015 onward. In 2037, the program's trustees said last year, its trust funds will be exhausted. At that point, tax revenue is expected to cover only about 78 percent of benefits.

A crisis is when you see a moose running out in front of your car. A crisis isn't something that's over 25 years away. There's plenty of time to tweak Social Security.

Altman said last night that her preferred solvency solution is to have wealthy Americans "contribute somewhat more," raising the cap on payroll deductions.

Or we could eliminate the cap altogether.

Here's where our legislators stand:

Charlie Bass supported Bush's plan to privatize Social Security, before he was booted out of office in 2006. Senator Jeanne Shaheen was and is opposed to turning the Social Security trust fund over to Wall St.

New Congressman Frank Guinta doesn't want his kids to know what Social Security is.

New Senator Kelly Ayotte is practiced at the art of not taking a position:
Ayotte said we should keep "all ideas on the table" when it comes to reforming Social Security.

cross posted at Blue Hampshire.


Anonymous said...

Social Security has been raided by Congress for years and yes the trust funds (another name for government securities) will be exhausted in 2037 at which point the Feds will float more debt to cover the costs. The problem with this approach is that by that time with the way we're deficit spending are the benefits will be worthless since inflation will likely destroy the value of the dollar. Bottom line is Social Security needs to be reformed.

susanthe said...

None of that is true.