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

Dean Baker on the 2015 SocSec Report and Real Wage

CEPR’s Dean Baker: Wage Growth Continues to be the Key to Social Security Solvency Dean Baker and colleague Mark Weisbrot have been making a steady case since their publication of the aptly named Social Security: the Phony Crisis back in 1999. In short Social Security does not face a structural demographic problem, instead it has […]

How the NW Plan Eliminates Unfunded Liabilities-Forever

by Bruce Webb In comments Andrew Biggs claims that the NW Plan does not actually eliminate $15.4 trillion in unfunded Social Security liability but instead leaves a 1% payroll gap over the Infinite Future. I have no reason to suspect his math but do suspect he doesn’t fully understand the mechanism. The Northwest Plan ultimately […]

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 […]

Northwest Plan for Social Security: Policy Proposal? or Benchmark?

by Bruce Webb Yes. Both. But first a recap. The semi-final version of the basic NW Plan was introduced in this post: NW Plan for a Real Social Security Fix. The spreadsheets linked to that post show that under current projections you can fix Social Security by implementing a 0.20% FICA increase in 2010, another […]

Probability and Social Security

by Bruce WebbThe above two figures are from CBO’s Aug 2008 study on long-term Social Security solvency. I am not going to discuss them in depth but just point out that we trap ourselves when we say Oh-mi-God Social Security depletion moved back from 2041 to 2037!!” when the reality is that it is just […]

NW Plan: Combined OAS and DI Triggers

(Update: input numbers by Coberly the Office of the Actuary of SSA; calculations and output numbers by Coberly) Click to enlarge. This is what the result of implementing DI and OAS Triggers immediately would look like. 100% of scheduled benefits, no increase in retirement age, ending Trust Fund ratio of 123. This should be considered […]

NW Plan for a Real Social Security Fix Ver 2.0: 2009 Trigger

by Bruce Webb, data by Coberly Coberly has now produced new spreadsheets updated in light of the new numbers of the 2009 Report. Copies of past and current spreadsheets are available at our Google Group RealSocialSecurityFix‘s Northwest Plan page. (It should be viewable by anyone). The new Trigger ones linked below.(UPDATE: Hot off the press, […]

DI Trigger: Fixing what is broken in Social Security

post by Bruce Webb data by Dale Coberly For those following along. Recent numbers from CBO and now from Social Security show that the DI (Disability Insurance) component of Social Security is officially broken, it failed the test for Short Term Actuarial Balance last year. And when combined with the OAS component brought Trust Fund […]

Sky is not falling on Social Security

The above table is from the National Academy of Social Insurance’s (NASI) Social Security Brief: Social Security Finances: Findings of the 2009 Trustees Report, a valuable summary from a group broadly supportive of traditional Social Security. If Social Security really was in a serious crisis you would expect the right hand column to show steady […]

Mechanics of the Northwest Plan for a Real Social Security Fix

by Bruce Webb & Coberly (Update: links to Google versions of spreadsheets added. .xls versions available by request)The Northwest Plan is put forth here as a replacement for the plan of Nothing The Cost of Inactivity: ‘Nothing’ as a Plan for Social Security. Not that there is anything wrong with Nothing, we did nothing between […]