Bruce Webb, Dale Coberly, Arne Larson and the National Academy of Social Insurance


The National Academy of Social Insurance report on options for Social Security is public and now available in pdf form. “The purpose of this report is to help analysts and policymakers consider options to bring Social Security into long-term balance in ways that also address concerns about benefit adequacy.”

One cannot simply glance through such dense material and numbers, but I did find the following on page 14 (or actually page 20 of 44 pdf form). (the exact numbers have been changed from the proposal by NASI, but are faithful to the process):

From page 14:

Option #7c: Schedule a Very Gradual Contribution Rate Increase Over 20 Years. To avoid abrupt changes in Social Security contribution rates, this option would schedule very gradual increases in the Social Security contribution rate (one-twentieth of one percent per year over 20 years for employees and employers, each), beginning in 2015. By 2035, the Social Security rate would be 7.2 percent for both workers and employers. In 2015, the increase for an average earner making $53,085 then would be $26.50 a year, or about 50 cents a week. It would reduce the 75-year deficit by 1.39 percent of taxable payroll or by about 69 percent. Dale Coberly, a frequent commenter on Social Security, recommended a gradual tax increase of this sort (Coberly, Larson and Webb 2009).11

Footnote also on page 14 of the NASI report:

11 Dale Coberly is a student of Social Security policy and frequent commenter on Social Security via the blog Angry Bear. Angry Bear was named one of the top 25 independent economic blogs on the Internet by the Wall Street Journal and TimeCNN. Coberly, Arne Larson and Bruce Webb collaborated on a modified version of this option in their Northwest Plan. For details of the Northwest Plan, see “The Angry Bear Social Security Series” at

Like many contributors not in the spotlight the hours devoted to creating material to even be noticed, then evaluated, and then published is a testimony to hard work, due diligence, and a non-profit motive. The weekend hours and midnight oil burned by NASI personnel and contributors is rarely noticed by media, nor appreciated by recipients. Many of us talk about ‘they’….well, meet three. Best to Bruce, Dale, and Arne.