Financial Status

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  • Balanced Budget Amendment Highly Ill-Advised for Addressing Long-Term Fiscal Problems
    Robert Greenstein and Richard Kogan
    November 14, 2011

    The balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution that the House will consider this week would be a highly ill-advised way to address the nation's long-term fiscal problems.  It would threaten significant economic harm while raising a host of problems for the operation of Social Security and other vital federal functions. The …
  • The Composition of Past Deficit-Reduction Packages – And Lessons for the Next One
    Kathy Ruffing
    November 14, 2011

    Revenue increases were a part of every major deficit-reduction package in the 1980s and 1990s until the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.  In several cases — notably in 1982 and 1984 (where they offset a portion of President Reagan's large tax cuts of 1981) — they dominated the package.  In several other cases …
  • What the 2011 Trustees' Report Shows About Social Security
    Kathy Ruffing
    May 24, 2011

    On May 13, the Social Security Board of Trustees issued its annual report on the program’s financial status. [1] The trustees’ report shows some mild deterioration in the program’s short- and long-term outlook — a finding that was widely expected and well within the range of past revisions. Several key …
  • Statement: Robert Greenstein, President, on the 2011 Social Security Trustees' Report
    Robert Greenstein
    May 13, 2011

    The trustees’ report shows that Social Security faces no immediate crisis and will have substantial resources to pay benefits even over the long run, but it faces a long-term shortfall that Congress should address sooner rather than later so the program can meet its promises. …
  • Media Briefing: Principles and Cautions for Deficit Reduction
    Featuring: Robert Greenstein and James R. Horney
    March 24, 2011

    Robert Greenstein, President, and James R. Horney, Vice President for Fiscal Policy discuss a major new report, which suggests a framework for a comprehensive deficit reduction package, discusses the appropriate mix of tax and program savings for it, recommends some important ways to achieve those savings, explains the effects that such a package should have on poverty and inequality, and highlights some misguided proposals that policymakers should avoid.

    Duration: 20:13

  • A Framework for Deficit Reduction: Principles and Cautions
    Robert Greenstein
    March 24, 2011

    The nation is on an unsustainable fiscal course, and policymakers need to make major changes in policy.  As a number of bipartisan panels have recommended over the past year, policymakers should aim to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy (the Gross Domestic Product) so the debt does not rise relentlessly as a share of the …
  • Social Security Benefits are Modest
    Kathy Ruffing and Paul N. Van de Water
    January 11, 2011

    Social Security benefits may be on the chopping block as policymakers wrestle with the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.  The co-chairs of the President’s fiscal commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, proposed a plan to ensure Social Security’s long-term solvency that relies on benefit cuts for two-thirds of its savings over the next 75 years, and …
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