Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Soc Sec XIV: Why benefit cuts and cap increases backfire

I know I promised to back off the pace but yesterday’s comment thread got temporarily derailed before the point could be made. In yesterday’s post I highlighted the cash flow in and out of the General Fund to redeem the Trust Fund ‘Crisis’ at Shortfall in an effort to show that in inflation adjusted dollars […]

Soc Sec XIII: ‘Crisis’ at Shortfall; or Show me the Money

Social Security ‘crisis’ is normally discussed in terms of Trust Fund Depletion. But given that this event has been pushed back to at least 2041 and boils down to a benefit in real terms 25% better than the one my Mom gets today (78% of 160% = 125%), and that some awareness of this leaked […]

BW on Soc Sec Index: the Baker’s Dozen

By semi-popular demand (or maybe to satisfy my monomania) I created a links list to my thirteen recent posts at my site under the title (BW’s) Social Security Posts on Angry Bear. This is more or less a convenience for me, allowing me to see at a glance what I have covered, but it might […]

Soc Sec XII: LMS, Solvency and ‘Crisis’

LMS is shorthand for the Liebman-MacGuineas-Samwick Non-Partisan Social Security Reform Plan one of any number of Social Security plans out there but noteable because of its authorship. Maya MacGuineas currently head of CRFB was previously ‘Social Security advisor to the McCain presidential campaign’, Jeffrey Liebman served on Bill Clinton’s Social Security team and is now […]

Soc Sec XI: Seven good questions by Reader Arne

Reader Arne, a long time and well informed commenter submitted to Tuesday’s Social Security post a list of seven deceptively simple in form questions to get my take on them. Which I gave in comments. Unfortunately what HaloScan gives it can take away and a time this morning both his questions and my answers had […]

Social Security Zero: the Basics Revisited & Three Myths

Or perhaps we could call this ‘Social Security basics as seen by Bruce’. In any event. Some recent e-mail exchanges and comments have led me to conclude that there are certain misconceptions about Social Security finance, misconceptions that both feed on and feed into certain pernicious myths initiated by people who oppose Social Security on […]

BW on Soc Sec X: the Danger of Low Cost

Well I am just going to lift the following from my little visited blog. In my defense a commenter back in April suggested publishing it on Angry Bear, at the time I didn’t have posting privileges.People who follow Social Security issues understand that in addition to the Intermediate Cost Alternative whose dates and numbers are […]

BW on Soc Sec IX: the Paradox of Benefit Cuts

I have a horse race to watch so this will be short and in the form of a intellectual challenge. In any year that Social Security is in surplus, as it is now and is projected to be until 2017, cutting benefits actually increases total federal debt and so worsens the overall financial outlook going […]

BW on Soc Sec VIII: Calculating the Cost of Inactivity

The following is a reworked version of a piece originally put up immediately after the release of the 2006 Report in response to what seemed a very worrisome development. After a long series of years of continual improvement in Social Security long term outlook, suddenly progress stalled and actually reversed, the payroll gap went from […]

BW on Soc Sec VII: Present Value vs Present Values

In the last post and particularly in comments there was some discussion of Present Value more fancifully described as Infinite Future Horizon in relation to Social Security solvency. Which raised the question: Why should current workers care about the interests of retirees in year 2041 or indeed 2086? as opposed to say the interests of […]