The 2015 Analytical Perspectives: OMB vs SSA vs CBO
The Office of Management and Budget annually releases the President’s Budget as a baseline proposal for the next Fiscal Year. If the Congress is in whole or in part in the hands of the opposite party this mostly gets filed away somewhere in a drawer entitled “You Wish”. But it does come complete with a 400+ page supplement entitled the Analytical Perspectives: Budget of the United States which has among a lot of other stuff some comprehensive tables of projections of economic variables going forward. Which variables you can compare directly to those including in the Social Security Annual Reports and more indirectly to CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook all of which get released around the same time in most years in springtime. I actually haven’t looked at the Tables of the Analytical Perspectives in a few years and thought I could just put up a couple key tables for you all to inspect. And then perhaps compare to the equivalent Tables in the 2014 Social Security Report. Assuming it is ever released that is. So without comment here are two key tables from the Analytical Perspectives, 25:1 which summarizes Receipts and Outlays and 25:2 giving a Summary of Economic Assumptions. As usual you may need to click to embiggen. I will reserve my discussion mostly until Comments but point out that OMB puts its ultimate (i.e. mean) unemployment rate at 5.4% and rates on the 10 year note at 5.1%. Thoughts?
First note out of the box. This Report released this Spring puts unemployment for FY2015 at 6.6% with a slow decline to ultimate 5.4% in FY2019. Given that we already are registering 6.1% this hardly represents some pie in the sky optimism. Equally it projects rates for the 10 year at 3.4% in the next Fiscal Year treding up to ultimate 5.1% in FY2021. Currently that rate is running at 2.6%.
That is on the whole the Administration is if anything leaning towards the inflation hawk position that there is risk to the upside. Or so it seems to me. I would welcome some more informed opinion here.
A nice direct comparison is between Table 25:1 from the Analytical Perspectives and Summary Table 1 on p.2 of the linked CBO Outlook.
Of note are combined Budget Deficits with CBO projecting smaller ones than OMB through 2015 and then more than doubling by 2024 where OMB sees less bottom and more flat.
CBO 2015 -478bn
OMB 2015 -560bn
CBO 2019 -752bn
OMB 2019 -658bn
CBO 2024 -1074bn
OMB 2024 -942bn
Those may not seem like huge differences until you graph them as trendlines. Which once I get better at importing Tables from PDF into Excel and then displaying them as line charts is something I intend to share. In the meantime people with better economic and/or chart skills should be my guest.
Heck, we may hit 5.4% by early next year the way things are going.
Plus recent studies have indicated the possibility of labor shortages in the coming decade, as the Boomer retirement trend picks up steam and the labor participation rate continues to fall ( due to Boomer retirement, more people in school and increased disability)
Webb – You say about the 2014 SS Report: “Assuming it is ever released”.
Can you hazard a guess as to why it is 3 1/2 months late? I can’t.
Last year there was a delay because of ACA – okay – that’s a valid excuse. But there is nothing in 2014 that would cause this delay.
My reading of the tea leaves is that the 2015/16 outlook is slightly improved from the 2013 report. I do think SS will report a deterioration of the longer term outlook – BUT – I would be shocked if SS took its numbers anywhere close to what CBO said a few days ago.
So if the report had come out in March/April it would have been a ‘ho-hummer’. But now it is mid-July, and CBO has come out with some significant changes to the outlook. If I’m right, and the SS report is in conflict with CBO, then there is going to be a brawl about who is sandbagging, and why.
Another guess? The staff has little to do with the release of the report. The timing is set by the T.Sec, so it’s the WH who pushes the button. (yes?no?)
If there is a ‘reason’ for the delay it most likely is politically motivated. But what motives?
Probably irrelevant, but, in 2013 CBO released its annual report in September. So CBO is ahead of last year while SSA is behind. Coincidence? These guys do talk about things like release timings? (yes?,no?)
Could the delay be connected to Colvin? Her nomination is in trouble.
Krasting a few of your suggestions here make sense. Others not so much.
There is no good reason for the delay, especially since this is the sixth year in a row. The reasons that get reported/filtered back via Beltway people I talk to is generally ‘legislative uncertainty’ and ‘delay in getting ACA related data from Medicare’. But you are never going to have total certainty in these matters, that is what asterices and footnotes and end notes are for. For example they could have released a partial report just covering actual Trust Fund operations, which numbers (as you have pointed out repeatedly) ARE available on a daily and monthly basis.
On the other hand I am curious about your claim that “timing is set by the T.Sec” and how that would entail that “WH who pushes the button”. I have talked to a former CBO/SSA official that actally oversaw the process and there is nothing that would indicate that Treasury has some special trigger powers compared to the other Trustees. And since all six Trustees are Presidential appointees it is not clear why Treasury having the key role automatically translates into “WH who pushes the button”. Because the same argument holds (or doesn’t) if the delay has been due to various factors internal to HHS (which among other things houses CMS – the Medicare agency that most finger for the delay in most years).
As to CBO and its “annual Report” by which you seem to refer to the newly released 2014 Long Term Budget Outlook I would note that the 2012 was released in June as was the 2011. Which would make this years release more of a return to the mean than an outlier. Even if we knew enough to put real meaning to the release dates and their interrelations.
Still I have to reluctantly take off my hat to you. It is not always true that “where there is smoke there is fire”, on the other hand you always want to worry when the powers that be wheel out the smoke machine. Particularly when no one is talking about the delay/timing and still less explaining it.
So a few points to you. On the other hand I can think of nothing that would tie this to Colvin’s nomination. Of course on the OTHER other hand I was a little gobsmacked that Colvin was nominated in the first place. Even though it feeds into my private theory about the relation between the Obama Administration and SSA. Of which the short version is that for some really odd reason they simply don’t care about Social Security one way or another and seem to think that this program which has direct outlays of 5% of GDP and is the main income support of 90% of 17% of America is just some sort of peripheral bargaining chip.
Which doesn’t make sense. And so makes your speculations as valuable as pretty much any one else’s. Because in this matter we all seem to be blind pigs lookng for acorns. Maybe you found a small supply here.
Webb – Jack Lew was former OMB and now T-Sec. He’s also the chairman of ss. So he has the most direct line to Obama, and he’s been a typical lap dog T-Sec.
So that was my thinking on WH involvement. Just speculation.
given the argument we are having elsewhere, I have to make sure to compliment you for your work here. including your reply to Krasting, which if nothing else shows that “we” are willing to give credit where credit is due.
Krasting you once again make a reasonable and informed point.
While Lew is not “Chairman” of SocSec, as Treasury Secretary he is by law ex officio “Managing Trustee” of Social Security. And in between his stints as OMB Director and Treasury Secretary he spent two years with the title “White House Chief of Staff”. So you don’t get any more insidery than Jack. So if there are any political calculations going on around the release of the Report it is more likely than not that the discussions are happening at Treasury (or the West Wing) rather than at HHS or Labor (the other two ex officio Cabinet member Trustees) or certainly at SSA where there is no confirmed Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner but instead Colvin in an Acting position.
So yeah, given that the delay is in my view rationally inexplicable it is perfectly fair to let our conspiracy minds go towards Jacob Lew. It still doesn’t quite explain the ‘Why’ but does give us a plausible ‘Who’.
I find it unfortunate that SS collections and outlays are included in the budget and interesting that a deficit is shown as plus (+) and a surplus as negative (-).
I noticed that and agree with you. The trouble is they can’t seem to bring themselves to account for money borrowed from SS and repaid to it as something different than “income” and “expense.”
Don’t know why they choose the double negative way of reporting it.
Jerry Social Security is not included in ‘The’ Budget. It is instead reported within budget documents like the Analytical Perspectives while being clearly labeled as “off budget”. As it is in this table.
There are excellent reasons to report a numbers that combine on budget and off budget outlays together and on budget and off budget receipts together. What is unfortunate is that third parties hijack this reporting for nefarious purposes of their own. And perhaps the reporting could be better crafted so as to make that hijacking more difficult. But the tendency to project the nefariousness back on the reporters as being some actual conscious act of edict and malfeasance is misguided to the point of crankishness.
Sheesh “can’t bring themselves” “choose the double negative way” goes right to implied motive that in the case of the lime staff at CBO and OACT seems willfully perverse. And ignores the decades long history of this kind of reporting. Which didn’t start in 1983.
I thought both Critter and I were careful to not phrase anything in a way that implied bad faith. Or even crankiness.
“chose the double negative…” seemed to me to be the way to describe the accounting. no value judgement was implied. except perhaps in the mind of the beholder.
I am tolerably sympathetic to the budget reporters given that i really don’t understand what their purpose is. I am less sympathetic to those who use that reporting to confuse and mislead people.
I avoided commenting on that to avoid stepping on your post here. Chimed in only to support Critter and offer any passing reader a very slightly expended “understanding” of what is odd about the reporting of SS “income” and “expense.”
Dale in some ways it doesn’t really matter what YOUR judgement of “seemed to me” might be as compared to the ways it seems to others.
Back in my late 80s Lit-Crit days as a Grad Student in Comparative Literature at Cal there was a lot of discussion of things like ‘Intentionality’ and ‘Reception Theory’ which in the hands of its Oxford and French and German promoters often seemed to verge on self-parody when read by Common Sense American ‘Say What you Mean, Mean What you Say’ Positivists who had no truck with this European gibberish. And truth be told there was some justification for that.
On the other hand for those who paid attention and parsed out the important ideas from the self-serving post-structuralist mishmash there was some real insight to be had from what were after all some of the finest minds of their generation/country.
Now from the moment you and I first butted heads (which I would place back in 2008) to the time we came to a meeting of the minds (or at least the methodology) with the Northwest Plan for a Real Social Security Fix you have often expressed a certain bewilderment at why your simple message gets rejected by Congressfolk in the NW and by policy folk in DC. Who for reasons totally unfathomable by you somehow get angered by your rhetoric. After all you are just explaining what “seemed to you” could not be received by others as “anything in a way that implied bad faith”.
Well it is one of the tenets of “Reception Theory” that “Authorial Intention” is somewhat beyond the point and outside the proper sphere of analysis. That is you don’t have to actually be angry and unreasonable to be received as angry and unreasonable.
As us Lit-Crit people might say if we wanted to be waggish:
“The Road to Reception Hell is Paved with Good Intentionality”
unfortunately i learned my communication theory from people who actually studied it in the laboratory.
i don’t think you are likely to realize that you are practicing exactly what you accuse me of practicing.
lets not fight in front of the children.
I’m sorry Bruce, and perhaps it is my limited view of things, but in your first sentence you mention the President’s budget, and then present a table where SS is given as the first item under Outlays, Mandatory. It certainly appeared to me that it was included as an item in the budget, not off-budget.
Reporting a surplus as negative makes about as much sense to me as reporting a profit s a negative loss. Maybe they are just trying to save minus signs?
I agree with you whole heartedly and got into trouble with Bruce by trying to give the budget reporters the benefit of a doubt.
the minus signs show up under the line “deficit”, so a surplus would show up as a minus deficit. i think accountants don’t mind this sort of thing. it’s when it is taken up and used to confuse people into thinking that SS “causes” the deficit, that i get a little testy.
Same of course is true for reporting SS as an expense but not bothering to break out SS as a source of revenue… in fact as THE source of revenue for its own “expense.”
The accounting is very misleading, but may have some purpose for whatever the purpose of this particular budget accounting is for.
Bruce seems to love the paradox, but hates it when I try to explain that Achilles really does catch the tortoise. And that the “paradox” only works when you limit your “frame” to those instants of time before he catches it.
Sorry if that is too cute. I offer it as an example of philosophers confusing themselves into stupidity for a thousand years.
There is NOTHING wrong with Social Security as designed. SS does NOT contribute to the budget deficit or the national debt in ANY way.
Except to those moral morons who want to convince you that their borrowing FROM Social Security “contributes to the deficit” when they have to pay it back, and to the debt when they don’t pay it back.
Coberly – you say:
SS does NOT contribute to the budget deficit or the national debt in ANY way.
Now go to Fig 1-1 of the CBO 2014 report. This is the main slide of the report. The title reads:
Federal Debt Held by the Public
CBO only looks at Debt Held by the Public when they talk about debt. That is true for most of the reports on this topic. The Intergovernmental debt is not included. Nor should it be.
So let’s define National Debt as monies owed to the public.
With this correct definition you would have to agree that SS has had, and will have in the future, a significant consequence to the Debt Held by the Public TDTP).
During the years when SS had cash surpluses the growth of the DTP was smaller than it would have been were it not for the SS surpluses. Since 2010 SS has been running cash deficits – that results in a DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR increase in DTP.
You will respond, “Paying the money back to SS is like paying other debt” – and you would be right. But when you say that you also will confirm that SS does have a significant consequence to DTP.
This article has the 2024 cash deficit at SS at a mind numbing $320 Billion. That number will grow every year till depletion in 2030. In other words, SS will add ~3.5 Trillion to the DTP over the next 15 years.
that’s why I mentioned moral morons.
the “cash deficit” at SS was expected, created, as a way of keeping the payroll tax low for those not in the boomer large cohort. the boomers paid “extra” payroll taxes that were saved in the form of government savings bonds for when the boomers would need the cash to pay for their own retirement. that time has come. cashing their savings is what you call a “cash deficit.” that is being a moral moron. it’s also being a financial moron.
And it is NOT SS that has a significant consequence to the debt owed to the public. It is the Congress that borrowed the money that has the significant consequence to the debt. Paying back the money you owe is not generally attributed to the creditor as a “cause of the debt.” that’s what i meant about moral morons. also financial morons.
So no, I do not “have to agree” that SS has “a significant consequence to the debt held by the public.” Unless of course you mean that paying your debts has a significant consequence to “the debt held by…”
Those with tender sensibilities will be angry at me for the words “moral moron.” Well, what else would you call it? “An honest difference of opinion?”
[edited by Moderator BW]
Sorry, “moral moron” is the politest language I can think of.
[Edited because language objected to was itelf edited away.
Angry Bear is open for hard punching. After all the site is not called Friendly Paddington Amiably Talking Econ Bear. But maybe we can keep those hard punches above the belt, while not ruling out the occasional kidney punch].
Bkrasting – “So let’s define National Debt as monies owed to the public.”
Are you suggesting that intragovernmental debt does not need to be paid back? When SS buys treasury bonds, they cannot be redeemed? And, isn’t total debt more important than “national debt”.
Also, it helps your argument when you can make your own definitions.
Jerry the items in that particular Table that you are reading as ‘surplus’ are actually projected savings from future cuts in spending against the baseline.
Offsets are not surpluses.
2nd you are confusing something labeled a ‘Budget’ document with something called the ‘Budget’. The Map is not the Territory.
3rd. CBO and OMB calculate a number that is the arithmetic sum of all outlays from government programs, including government insurance programs, and receipts from all funding sources for those government programs, including various premiums and fees. They call this sum the Federal government ‘deficit’ or ‘surplus’. And report it in a document called the ‘Budget of the United States’. Okay that just is what it is.
On the other hand and for entirely different reasons, mostly internal to Congress, there is something called THE Budget which controls a subset of the government programs reported in a DOCUMENT called ‘The Budget of the United States’. That is we have ‘The Budget’ and ‘THE Budget’. Or to paraphrase President Clinton “It all depends on what the meaning of THE/the is”.
Over the last 50 years a number of programs have been moved on and off THE Budget, for example there was a time that Medicare was OFF whereas now it is ON. Leaving the only two programs OFF Social Security and the Post Office. But for practical purposes the distinction between being ON or OFF THE Budget has more to do with whether those expenditures are subject to particular rules that govern the Congressional Budget process and has FUCK ALL to do with whether those expenditures are the “workers’ money” or not. It is not a matter of equity it is instead a matter of process. Because if you are looking for reasons of equity as to why expenditures on the Post Office are OFF Budget while expenditures on the FIDC are ON Budget or why all four parts of Medicare (A, B, C, D) are ON Budget and Social Security if OFF Budget even though Medicare Part A is funded in precisely the same way as Social Security OASDI you are going to come up dry.
No matter how outraged this might make M. Coberly or M. Critter. These things are not all about your sensibilities.
Krasting you have buried an assumption here:
“CBO only looks at Debt Held by the Public when they talk about debt. That is true for most of the reports on this topic. The Intergovernmental debt is not included. Nor should it be.
So let’s define National Debt as monies owed to the public.
With this correct definition you would have to agree that SS has had, and will have in the future, a significant consequence to the Debt Held by the Public TDTP).”
This is true and only true if the redemption of Trust Fund bonds HAS to be funded via borrowing from the public. As opposed to say a dedicated tax on Stock or Bond Transactions.
Social Security has an acknowledged ‘actuarial gap’. That gap can be backfilled by any combination of increases in FICA, cuts in scheduled benefits, OR allocation of a dedicated tax. None of which would have any effect on Debt Held by the Public.
You have somehow elevated the current operating methods of the Federal Treasury in financing the gap between total receipts and total outlays into some fundamental law of finance. That the TOTAL gap between TOTAL receipts and outlays is funded by borrowing from the Public does not mean that the internal gap between Social Security receipts and outlays cannot be funded by means that don’t effect that TOTAL.
Accounting Identities are not Natural Laws.
And so no I “don’t have to agree”.
Plus it is simply not true that when “most of the reports on this topic” “talk about debt” that they only look at “Debt Held by the Public”.
Instead almost all reports on the topic of the debt use the $17 trillion plus number of total Public Debt which INCLUDES Intragovernmental Holdings.
Try any Google search you like, say one on ‘National Debt Clock’. Does the number at the upper left on this site exclude Intragovernmental Holdings? Do you see a number for Intragovernmental Holdings anywhere on the blizzard on numbers to the right and below?
This is irrelevant, off-topic, and I will regret posting it, but I can no longer restrain myself from replying to Mr. Coberly’s insults to my buddy, Zeno (of Zeno’s Paradoxes, e.g., Achilles and the Tortoise, the Arrow, etc.).
I might be wrong myself, but in my understanding Zeno was not suggesting that Achilles cannot catch a tortoise or that an arrow cannot reach its target, but rather that continuous motion through an infinite number of points (locations) must be an illusion. His argument is that if space and time are continuous (infinitely dense), an object has to pass through an infinite number of points in moving from A to B (he illustrated this by naming a specific, relatively small – as infinite sets go – subset of those points). You can’t count to infinity – you can try but you will never finish, so why should a moving object be able to?
And if fact it turns out, about 2300 years later, that we discovered Quantum Mechanics and Zeno was right. Continuous motion is an illusion. We are seeing a stop-motion movie, albeit consisting of some billions of frames per nano-second – but not an infinite number of locations between A and B.
how many points are there on the line segment between, say, “1” and “2”?
i hope you will say “an infinite number.”
Now, if mr Zeno comes along and says there are no numbers bigger than two, and offers to prove it to you by requiring you to count all the numbers (rational and irrational) between one and two, and since you can never get to two, there must be no number larger than two.
in the same way, while there may be an “infinite” number of “instants” between where Achilles is now and where the Tortise is now, as long as you accept Zenos misdirection and look only at the instants before Zeno catches the tortise you will have to conclude that Achilles can’t catch the tortise. But this is not a paradox, it’s a magicians misdirection, a cheap trick.
I can’t say anymore because Bruce will delete my comment.
and quantum theory won’t help you out, because even if the number of instants of time is not infinite, using the Zeno method of examining each one of them.. or just the mid point on each subsequent “remainder” would lead you to conclude that it takes Zeno a very long time to catch the tortise.
i really don’t know what Zeno was trying to prove. i heard he was trying to prove that motion was an illusion, and i have read many “explanations” of the paradox since, none of which really reached the point… i suspect Zeno did not have a clear idea about “continuous” though one of the “explanations” i read seemed to think that the “invention” of the idea of limits and continuity by calculus resolved the problem. no mention of quantum theory in that explanation. but as i tried to indicate, i think the answer is much simpler than that: if i tell you to look for your car keys only on this side of the street (when i know they are on the other side of the street) and them come back and say, “well, if you can’t find them they must “be lost” or “never have existed” and if you say “but what about the other side of the street” and i say, well i was over there and you were over here “on the other side of the street” so they can’t be on the other side of the street, i am being just too cute and you would be right to hit me. except then people would say you were just being rude. but, oddly enough, some people try to pull that trick on themselves. and succeed.
You don’t have to count points. You just have to keep moving and time takes care of the rest.
Hush! you are spoiling the surprise!
I’ll be brief, but in my opinion, both “there are an infinite number of points between 1 and 2” and “time takes care of it” are cop-outs which ignore and avoid Zeno’s argument. The number line, or Real Line, is a mathematical concept not a real physical object. Mathematicians have evolved a limit process to deal with infinitesimals on that line, which basically says, “we know we can’t count to infinity but if we could, this is where we have decided we want to get.” I would have to hear an explanation of how “time takes care of it” which is well-defined and not circular. (Noting that in real life according to QM, time doesn’t take care of it.) If you don’t like the counting analogy, revert to Zeno’s basic point that an infinite number of steps are required. Finally, Zeno’s Paradoxes all assume infinite spacial density which is how they get an infinite number of steps. E.g., suppose there are 3 and only 3 quantum locations between A and B. Then you can’t subdivide them past 1/2 and 3/4. There is no step between 3/4 the distance and B – the steps are A, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, B. Again, he is not saying you can’t get to B. He is using the “reduction to an absurdity” to show that assuming continuous motion over an infinite number of points must be an illusion.
In real life, as far as I know, there is no infinitely dense Real Line. For example, every calculation done on a super computer uses binary numbers which are integers with various scales, and could also be done on an abacus (given much, much, much more time). Financial calculations might pretend there is such a number as $0.00001, but in real life the smallest USA denomination is a penny (currently).
In any case, whether Zeno’s argument was right or he just made a lucky guess, his conclusion was right. Continuous motion in this universe is an illusion. I think he deserves a lot of credit for getting the right answer 2300 years ahead of time.
i’m not going to argue with you. I get tired of losing friends. But I will argue with Zeno. his argument was not your argument. and i will assert that the fallacy of his argument was that he led you by the nose to look ONLY at points in time… infinite or otherwise… that occurred BEFORE Achilles catches the Tortoise.
If you want to argue in some other forum that Zeno anticipated quantum theory and that quantum theory says what you are here saying it says, i might agree with you. or maybe not.
but do this for me… look at MY argument and see what it says.
P.S. I made a bad hash of the last sentence of my first paragraph above, and also didn’t specify the third point which I was responding to, but life moves on.
Random thought: suppose computers did use all of the Real Line. Then they would have to store numbers with infinite precision and getting from one to two could take them forever (add the nth decimal places of 1 and 1; add the n+1th, …). (Vogan’s Paradox – to show that computers can’t be using all of the Real Line, with a hat-tip to Zeno.)
P.P.S. – Didn’t see Mr. Coberly’s reply before my last.
I agree it isn’t worth losing friends about, but my understanding remains that Zeno’s argument was that we think we see motion as continuous over infinitely-divisible space, but that must be an illusion; and I think he made a good argument to that effect, with no trick involved – such motion would have to consist of an infinite number of individual steps, and he didn’t see how that was possible. Therefore I don’t want to respond to arguments based on the premise that he was a trickster who meant something else – I don’t share that premise. He didn’t propose Quantum Mechanics (tiny discrete steps) as the way that motion actually occurs as far as I know, but QM is one valid way of eliminating the paradox. Them’s my positions.
P.P.P.S. – Sorry, but I spent all night wishing I had put Zeno’s argument in a way that would help people understand it better. We are not as afraid of the concept of infinity as the ancient Greeks were, because we have had Advanced Calculus which was invented over 2000 years later. I think the way Zeno would have put it was something like:
To traverse a distance with continuous motion would require traversing to its end a sequence of points which has no end. (The sequence 1/2 the distance, 3/4 the distance, 7/8 the distance, 15/16 the distance, etc.)
Calculus the way we have defined it says that a mathematician does not have to actually get to the end of a series (such as 1/2+1/4+1/8+…) to determine its value (or lack of value). But we do not know that nature is a mathematician who uses the same definitions and tricks and Handbooks of Mathematical Series, or whether nature has to actually sum a series to its end. In this universe, so far there seem to be no endless series which nature couldn’t sum by brute force. Note that if there are no endless series in a natural process, Calculus as it was defined will work well to model that natural processes, because the trick it uses is to assume that the value of an endless series is closely approximated by what one gets by truncating the series to a finite (but huge) number of terms.
in a world in which “it seems to me” is taken as a sly insult, i have to worry that “okay fine” will be taken as a supercilious dismissal.
that is not the case. you made me think and left me with a doubt. that is good for me. i do not have any doubts about the matter which led to my use of poor Zeno as an example.
but that reminds me that attempts to explain that “seems” is not a sly insult just led to more recriminations and accusations of bad faith.
don’t want to go there. thanks for the different perspective.
Mr. Coberly, thanks very much for the gracious reply. I must also acknowledge that there a lot of fine mathematicians who would probably disagree with me on some points, and that I myself used to think the resolution to Zeno’s Paradoxes was a simple matter of calculus before I read something which convinced me that I wasn’t (then) seeing the problem the same way Zeno saw it.
Thanks also for your work on the NW Plan for Social Security with which I am in complete agreement and admiration.
The National Academy of Social Insurance has scheduled an event to discuss the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report on next Monday, July 28 (featuring Stephen Goss). So presumably the report will be out by then: