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

Actual List of Social Security Trust Fund Assets

by Bruce Webb Well this is a response to a question in the Rivlin thread. There are widespread misunderstandings about what if anything makes up the “IOUs” in the Trust Funds, with many people thinking they just have artificially low rates (and so obviously underperforming theoretical private accounts) or just are open-ended loosey-goosy commitments to […]

Overfixing Social Security: the Importance of Honest Scoring

by Bruce Webb And I could add honest definitions and honest framing to that. In Dec 2005 three former staffers to Bill Clinton, John McCain and GW Bush respectively released the Liebman-MacGuineas-Samwick Non-Partisan Social Security Reform Plan (9 pg PDF) or LMS. The authors proposed a package of changes to Social Security comprised of a […]

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

Rdan 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 […]

How I Eliminated $15.4 TRILLION in Unfunded Debt: for $1.50 a week

by Bruce Webb Don’t step in the Voodoo. Leap in U.S. debt hits taxpayers with 12% more red ink Yhe latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008, according to the USA TODAY analysis. That’s quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and […]

When Strawmen Collide: Biggs v Lind

by Bruce Webb Michael Lind wrote an interesting article for Salon that was picked up by the New America Foundation under the snappy title Let’s Cut Social Security to Pay for Banker Bailouts!. In it he outlines arguments that will be familiar to followers of Angry Bear’s Social Security coverage, notably pointing out the ‘message’ […]

Time for Clarity: Income vs Cost & the Six Approaches to ‘fixing’ Social Security

by Bruce Webb Over the next couple of days I’ll be rolling out what I am tentatively calling the Northwest Plan for Fixing Social Security, ‘Northwest’ because the three current contributers happen to live in the Pacific Northwest. But before doing so I want to lay out some of the conceptual differences underlying various discussions […]

Lady Liberty Douses Her Torch: Social Security and Immigration Policy

by Bruce Webb Barkley Rosser and I among others have long claimed that Social Security’s economic models are too pessimistic in light of performance both over the whole post-war period and particularly over the last dozen years. And the numbers looking back are pretty clear, Social Security income/cost ratios have come in better than Intermediate […]

Bruce Webb and Barkley Rosser and Social Security

Post lifted from Barkley Rosser at Econospeak How Bruce Webb And I Helped Save Social Security (Maybe) A few days ago Obama was quoted as saying that “getting entitlement spending under control” would be part of the effort to deal with budgetary problems. Most think he is focusing on getting rising medical care costs under […]