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

Social Security: Deficit, Debt and how CBO Scoring Screws the Catfood Comm

by Bruce Webb In response to my Pelosi Rule post of yesterday commenter Darms plays Devil’s Advocate in asking the following shrewd question. Bruce, Since the commision may be looking for a mechanism to delay redemption of those SS trust fund bonds and I’ve read that some of these bonds are routinely redeemed & renewed […]

Why the Pelosi Rule MAY not be a sell-out on Social Security

by Bruce Webb There is a huge disturbance in the Force, at least as sensed by the Jedi of FireDogLake, Democratic Underground, AMERICAblog, and OpenLeft, which is to say among the Obama-skeptics of the Left. The substance is this, in a last minute move prior to adjournment Nancy Pelosi pushed through the rule for handling […]

CBO Scores Social Security Policy Options

by Bruce WebbFollowing up on the publication of CBO’s Long Term Budget Outlook (see previous two of my posts) CBO yesterday published Social Security Policy Options (Summary for Web) and Social Security Policy Options (Full 51 pg PDF) scoring various revenue and spending cut measures that have been proposed for Social Security. The included Table […]

How the Deficit Commission Painted Itself into Corner on Social Security

by Bruce Webb High on the list of tasks mandated of the Obama Deficit Commission is to get the deficit down to 3% of GDP by 2015. Unfortunately for them they have set up a situation where they can’t move that number via cuts to Social Security, if anything such cuts more one of their […]

Social Security and the Infinite Future: From 1997 to Heat Death

by Bruce Webb Eric Laursen in his post Cato Premieres its Latest Horror Show points us to a new book forthcoming called ‘Social Security; A Fresh Look at Policy Alternatives’ by senior Cato fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale. Gokhale along with his oft-time collaborator Kent Smetters seems to be the father of ‘intergenerational equity’ and lead advocate […]

Deficit Commission, CBO Scoring and the "Leninist Strategy" for Social Security Reform

by Bruce Webb I have had occasion before to mention the “Leninist Strategy” for Social Security put forth in 1983 and followed by Social Security ‘reformers’ ever since. The strategy has three main pillars: One: reassure current retirees that their benefits won’t be cutTwo: convince younger workers that left unreformed Social Security just won’t be […]

Social Security Reform: Three Frames and Three Ranges of Fixes

by Bruce Webb This may be too wonkish for the Virtual Summit, so let me try it out here. A lot of crosstalk on Social Security ‘crisis’ is a result of three different definitions of ‘crisis’ which I would sum up as follows: Crisis one: Social Security promised benefits which may not be payable.Crisis two: […]

Please drop by the Virtual Summit on Social Security

by Bruce Webb I mention from time to time that I talk with a number of D.C. policy types about Social Security, but mostly don’t use names because the conversations are officially off the record. Well a group of them, spearheaded by Roger Hickey’s folks at Campaign for America’s Future, have gone on the record […]