Saving Social Security: A Balanced Approach

Brookings Institution Press
Free sample

New in Paperback. While everyone agrees that Social Security is a vital and necessary government program, there have been widely divergent plans for reforming it. Peter A. Diamond and Peter R. Orszag, two of the nation's foremost economists, propose a reform plan that would rescue the program both from its projected financial problems and from those who would destroy the program in order to save it. Since the publication of the first edition of this book in 2004, the Social Security debate has moved to the center of the domestic policy agenda. In this updated edition of Saving Social Security, the authors analyze the Bush Administration's proposal for individual accounts and discuss the so-called "price indexing" proposal to restore long-term solvency through changing how initial benefits would be calculated. Soc ial Security is essis essential reading for policymakers involved in reform, analysts, students, and all those interested in the fate of this safeguard of American lives. "An honest, transparent and comprehensive approach to making the much needed reforms to the Social Security program."—Journal of Pensions, Economics, and Finance

"Very accessible presentation of facts, analysis of underlying problems, comparison of opinions, and argument for proposed reforms."—Future Survey Exhaustively researched and deeply entrenched in practical issues and mathematical calculations... a highly recommended ray of hope against a looming national crisis." —Wisconsin Bookwatch "Diamond and Orszag bring some welcome realism and decency to the debate."—Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nobel Laureate in Economics

Read more

About the author

Peter A. Diamond is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His recent books include Social Security Reform, The 1999 Lindahl Lectures (Oxford University Press, 2002) and Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security: The 2000 Munich Lectures(MIT Press, 2002). He is a former president of both the American Economic Association and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Peter R. Orszag is director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under President Obama. His previous positions include director of the Congressional Budget Office and Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also a research professor at Georgetown University and a codirector of the Tax Policy Center. He served as special assistant to the president for economic policy during the Clinton administration.

Read more
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
Read more
Published on
May 25, 2006
Read more
Pages
294
Read more
ISBN
9780815797838
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Security
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Recent reports predict that, barring any changes, the Social Security program will become insolvent--no longer able to pay promised benefits in full--around the year 2030, well within the retirement years of the baby boom generation. They also predict that the trust fund will stop being a net contributor and become instead a net claimant on the federal budget in the year 2013--much earlier than previously thought. With the world population aging, the increasing number of dependent senior citizens in all countries will become a major public policy issue that will have to be addressed continually over the next fifty years.

Social Security: What Role for the Future? takes a fresh look at the questions essential to understanding the future of old-age protection under Social Security. Experts in economics, actuarial science, and public policy examine such front-burner issues as the effects that variables such as mortality, births, inflation, wage levels, and pension benefits will have on the income of future retirees; the implications and effects of alternative levels of funding and financing on Social Security; and the prospects for publicly and privately financed income programs. The authors conclude with an examination of social security programs around the world and pose critical questions about the future direction of Social Security in the United States--questions that Congress and the American public will have to address in the coming years.

The contributors include Robert H. Binstock, Barry P. Bosworth, Robert Brown, Gary Burtless, David M. Cutler, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Edward Gramlich, Stephen Goss, Robert Hagemann, Dalmer Hoskins, Estelle James, Diane Macunovich, David Mullins, Alicia H. Munnell, Robert J. Myers, Martha Phillips, Sylvester Schieber, Margaret Simms, C. Eugene Steuerle, and Carolyn Weaver.

Copublished with the National Academy of Social Insurance

 Everything you need to know to get the most Social Security checks you are entitled to -- as fast as possible.

Ex Social Security claims representative (30 years with the agency) "pulls back the curtain" on what it takes to get approved for retirement, disability, SSI, and Medicare.

Cuts through the bureaucratic red tape and obfuscation and tells you in plain language what the law says and -- most importantly -- what the law MEANS and how it may apply to you and your situation.

You can get the legal facts from Social Security, but the language is spun by lawyers. The agency does not explain the consequences of the facts unless you have a solid background in the programs and are really good at reading between the lines.

Who This Book is For

Everybody in their fifties or early sixties and considering their retirement options.

People who have severe medical problems and are considering applying for disability benefits from SSA and/or SSI.

People who have already applied for such disability benefits and still awaiting a decision.

People on Social Security disability who want to understand better what happens if they work.

People on SSI who want to understand how their check amounts are determined.

People approaching Medicare either through age (65) or two years on disability.

People who've just suffered the death of a spouse.

Family and friends of the above.

Lawyers and other representatives who genuinely wish to help their clients.

Everybody who's currently working under the United States Social Security system -- (that is, almost everybody who's working inside the U.S. but not for a state or local government).

Several years ago, in an attempt to reduce their workload backlog, the agency instructed Claims Representatives to stop giving retirement applicants a breakeven analysis.

Here is the information you need to know to choose the retirement month right for you -- how the month you retire affects the amount of your checks, and how the rest of your life should affect your decision.

The legal facts are publicly available in Social Security's claim manual (POMS) which you can read online. But that won't tell you how to get the most benefits possible, as fast as possible.

Includes clearer and expanded explanations, comments on how the regulations are applied in real life, examples, pointers on how to legally help yourself and avoid common mistakes, and some true anecdotes that pertain to the content.

Get the insights of someone who worked in a Social Security field office for over thirty years.

This book is intended to help you help your Claims Representative -- and your disability counselor if you're filing for disability -- make the best -- and fastest -- possible decision. They'll love you for it.

Many people think SSA is "out to get them" and is picking on them personally.

Ridiculous. SSA employees are far too busy to want to "target" or single you out.

Most claimants are far more harmed by their own actions or failures to act in a timely fashion than by anything SSA does.

How to help yourself.

How to avoid sabotaging your chances of getting approved. MANY SSA claimant do stab themselves in the back.

* 2 things that delay the startup of benefit checks. The first has to do with your lifestyle, but the second can -- and should be -- cleared up BEFORE you file your application.

* The three questions you must ask yourself before you pick the month to retire

* What is your Full Retirement Age, and can you get checks earlier?

* If you became disabled -- unable to work -- tomorrow, could you draw Social Security disability?

* The biggest single reasons people are denied for disability. How to avoid the one that is always your fault -- and it's very common.

* When to hire a lawyer. Some lawyers claim you should have one when you file. That's a rip-off. Those lawyers just want an easy 25% of your back check.

Therefore, scroll up and download the inside scoop on applying for retirement, disability, SSI, and Medicare.

The September 11 attacks forcefully brought home the need to better protect the U.S. homeland. But how can this be accomplished most effectively? Here, a team of Brookings scholars offers a four-tier plan to guide and bolster the efforts under way by the Bush administration and Congress. There has been some progress in making our homeland more secure. But the authors are concerned that the Bush administration may focus too narrowly on preventing attacks like those of the recent past and believe a broader and more structured approach to ensuring homeland security is needed. Given the vulnerability of our open society, the authors recommend four clear lines of direction. The first and last have received a good deal of attention from the Bush administration, though not yet enough; for the other two, a great deal remains to be done: Perimeter defense at the border to prevent entry by potential perpetrators and the weapons and hazardous materials they may use Prevention by detecting possible terrorists within the United States and securing dangerous materials they might obtain here Identification and defense of key sites within the county: population centers, critical economic assets and infrastructure, and locations of key political or symbolic importance Consequence management to give those directly involved in responding to an attack that may nevertheless occur the tools necessary to quickly identify and attack and limit its damage Included are specific recommendations on how much more to spend on homeland security, how much of the cost should be borne by the private sector, and how to structure the federal government to make the responsible agencies more efficient in addressing security concerns. Specifically, the authors believe that annual federal spending on homeland security may need to grow to about $45 billion, relative to a 2001 level of less than $20 billion and a Bush administration proposed budget for 2003 of $38 billion. They also discuss what burden state, local, and private-sector actors should bear in the overall national effort. Finally, the authors conclude that rather than creating a homeland security superagency, Tom Ridge, the director of the Office of Homeland Security, should have enhanced authority.
Recent reports predict that, barring any changes, the Social Security program will become insolvent--no longer able to pay promised benefits in full--around the year 2030, well within the retirement years of the baby boom generation. They also predict that the trust fund will stop being a net contributor and become instead a net claimant on the federal budget in the year 2013--much earlier than previously thought. With the world population aging, the increasing number of dependent senior citizens in all countries will become a major public policy issue that will have to be addressed continually over the next fifty years.

Social Security: What Role for the Future? takes a fresh look at the questions essential to understanding the future of old-age protection under Social Security. Experts in economics, actuarial science, and public policy examine such front-burner issues as the effects that variables such as mortality, births, inflation, wage levels, and pension benefits will have on the income of future retirees; the implications and effects of alternative levels of funding and financing on Social Security; and the prospects for publicly and privately financed income programs. The authors conclude with an examination of social security programs around the world and pose critical questions about the future direction of Social Security in the United States--questions that Congress and the American public will have to address in the coming years.

The contributors include Robert H. Binstock, Barry P. Bosworth, Robert Brown, Gary Burtless, David M. Cutler, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Edward Gramlich, Stephen Goss, Robert Hagemann, Dalmer Hoskins, Estelle James, Diane Macunovich, David Mullins, Alicia H. Munnell, Robert J. Myers, Martha Phillips, Sylvester Schieber, Margaret Simms, C. Eugene Steuerle, and Carolyn Weaver.

Copublished with the National Academy of Social Insurance

While everyone agrees that Social Security is a vital and necessary government program, there have been widely divergent plans for reforming it. Peter A. Diamond and Peter R. Orszag, two of the nation's foremost economists, propose a reform plan that would rescue the program both from its projected financial problems and from those who would destroy the program in order to save it. vi ng Social Security's's strategy balances benefit and revenue adjustments, following the precedent set by the last major Social Security reform in the early 1980s. The authors' proposal restores long-term balance and sustainable solvency to the program without imposing additional burdens on the rest of the budget. Further, it protects disability and young survivor benefits and strengthens Social Security's protections for low earners and widows. Most important, the plan preserves the program's core social insurance role by providing a base-level of assured income to American workers and their families in time of need. To better understand the accomplishments and financial problems of Social Security, Diamond and Orszag provide background on the program, as well as on the causes of the long-term deficit. They suggest ways in which various alternative reform plans should be evaluated and explain the shortcomings of proposals to replace part of Social Security with individual accounts. Saving Social Security is essential reading for policymakers involved in reform, analysts, students, and all those interested in the fate of this safeguard of American lives.
The September 11 attacks forcefully brought home the need to better protect the U.S. homeland. But how can this be accomplished most effectively? Here, a team of Brookings scholars offers a four-tier plan to guide and bolster the efforts under way by the Bush administration and Congress. There has been some progress in making our homeland more secure. But the authors are concerned that the Bush administration may focus too narrowly on preventing attacks like those of the recent past and believe a broader and more structured approach to ensuring homeland security is needed. Given the vulnerability of our open society, the authors recommend four clear lines of direction. The first and last have received a good deal of attention from the Bush administration, though not yet enough; for the other two, a great deal remains to be done: Perimeter defense at the border to prevent entry by potential perpetrators and the weapons and hazardous materials they may use Prevention by detecting possible terrorists within the United States and securing dangerous materials they might obtain here Identification and defense of key sites within the county: population centers, critical economic assets and infrastructure, and locations of key political or symbolic importance Consequence management to give those directly involved in responding to an attack that may nevertheless occur the tools necessary to quickly identify and attack and limit its damage Included are specific recommendations on how much more to spend on homeland security, how much of the cost should be borne by the private sector, and how to structure the federal government to make the responsible agencies more efficient in addressing security concerns. Specifically, the authors believe that annual federal spending on homeland security may need to grow to about $45 billion, relative to a 2001 level of less than $20 billion and a Bush administration proposed budget for 2003 of $38 billion. They also discuss what burden state, local, and private-sector actors should bear in the overall national effort. Finally, the authors conclude that rather than creating a homeland security superagency, Tom Ridge, the director of the Office of Homeland Security, should have enhanced authority.
A good deal has been done to improve the safety of Americans on their own soil since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet there have been numerous setbacks. The Bush administration and Congress wasted at least six months in 2002 due to partisan disagreement over a new budget for homeland security, and as one consequence, resources were slow to reach first responders across the country. Most improvements in homeland security have focused on "refighting the last war"—improving defenses against attacks similar to those the country has already suffered. Not enough has been done to anticipate possible new kinds of terrorist actions. Policymakers have also focused too much attention on the creation of a department of homeland security—rather than identifying and addressing the kinds of threats to which the country remains vulnerable. While the creation of a cabinet-level agency focusing on homeland security may have merit, the authors of this study argue that the department will not, in and of itself, make Americans safer. To the contrary, the complexity of merging so many disparate agencies threatens to distract Congress and the administration from other, more urgent security efforts. This second edition of Protecting the American Homeland urges policymakers to focus on filling key gaps that remain in the current homeland security effort: identifying better protection for private infrastructure; using information technology to share intelligence and more effectively "connect the dots" that could hold hints to possible terrorist tactics; expanding the capacities of the Coast Guard and Customs Service, as well as airline transportation security; dealing with the possible threat of surface-to-air missiles to airliners; and encouraging better coordination among intelligence agencies. While acknowledging the impossibility of preventing every possible type of terrorist violence, the authors recommend a more systematic approach to homeland security that focuses on preventing attacks that can cause large numbers of casualties, massive economic or societal disruption, or severe political harm to the nation.
A good deal has been done to improve the safety of Americans on their own soil since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet there have been numerous setbacks. The Bush administration and Congress wasted at least six months in 2002 due to partisan disagreement over a new budget for homeland security, and as one consequence, resources were slow to reach first responders across the country. Most improvements in homeland security have focused on "refighting the last war"—improving defenses against attacks similar to those the country has already suffered. Not enough has been done to anticipate possible new kinds of terrorist actions. Policymakers have also focused too much attention on the creation of a department of homeland security—rather than identifying and addressing the kinds of threats to which the country remains vulnerable. While the creation of a cabinet-level agency focusing on homeland security may have merit, the authors of this study argue that the department will not, in and of itself, make Americans safer. To the contrary, the complexity of merging so many disparate agencies threatens to distract Congress and the administration from other, more urgent security efforts. This second edition of Protecting the American Homeland urges policymakers to focus on filling key gaps that remain in the current homeland security effort: identifying better protection for private infrastructure; using information technology to share intelligence and more effectively "connect the dots" that could hold hints to possible terrorist tactics; expanding the capacities of the Coast Guard and Customs Service, as well as airline transportation security; dealing with the possible threat of surface-to-air missiles to airliners; and encouraging better coordination among intelligence agencies. While acknowledging the impossibility of preventing every possible type of terrorist violence, the authors recommend a more systematic approach to homeland security that focuses on preventing attacks that can cause large numbers of casualties, massive economic or societal disruption, or severe political harm to the nation.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.