Chapter

The Simmering Social Security Reform Debate

Jagadeesh Gokhale

in Social Security

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226300337
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226300368 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226300368.003.0001
The Simmering Social Security Reform Debate

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Social Security—a program that millions of Americans are counting on for a secure retirement—is itself insecure according to its trustees. The ongoing economic recession is projected to boost annual federal deficits in 2009 and beyond to extraordinary levels. Political pressure to adopt strong countercyclical government spending has prompted Congress and the new Obama administration to propose massive new fiscal stimulus programs financed by government borrowing. The 2005 debate on Social Security reform revealed deep ideological and political disagreements on entitlement—especially Social Security—reforms between the two major political parties. This chapter presents a new analytical tool and a new perspective on Social Security's future finances under current laws. The results also provide additional insights into the effects of particular Social Security reform measures from among six selected reform packages. Social Security continues to operate because the vast majority of Americans support the current program.

Keywords: social security; reform; debate; economic recession; Americans

Chapter.  9957 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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