Posts Tagged ‘Social Security’

CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income […]

Taxing Employer-Sponsored Insurance Would Hike Social Security Benefits But Boost Federal Coffers

The tax subsidy for employer-sponsored health insurance is huge. Not only are the premiums exempt from income tax, they are also immune from Social Security payroll tax. The two subsidies combined will add more than $1.6 trillion to the deficit over the next five years alone. But because that income is not included in the […]

Congress Shouldn’t Forget About Tax Entitlements In Its Search for Deficit Reduction

Yesterday, Washington Post columnist Bob Samuelson urged lawmakers to “just eliminate…the whole notion of entitlements.”  His provocative argument: The very word “entitlement” makes people believe these programs are somehow untouchable. They are, for instance, effectively exempt from the sequester’s cuts even though they represent two-thirds of all government spending. Bob is on to something but he […]

The “Other” Social Security Issue: Disability Insurance

Since the George W. Bush Administration, Social Security reform has been atop the federal government’s list of top policy challenges. But when people talk about Social Security, they usually have in mind the Old Age and Survivors piece of the program. There is another critical element, however–Social Security Disability Insurance. And SSDI is suddenly getting lots […]

An Opportunity to Really Fix Social Security

The White House has put out the word that President Obama’s budget will propose changing the way government adjusts benefits for Social Security and other programs (as well as the income tax). Liberal Social Security advocates are furious. By shifting to a measure called the chained Consumer Price Index, the retirement system would boost benefits […]

Changing Government’s Inflation Measure Would Raise Taxes as Much as it Would Cut Spending

Changing the way government adjusts spending and taxes for inflation is one of those issues that continues to hang around the edges of the budget debate. Republicans and many economists argue for shifting to a more accurate inflation measure, called the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI). President Obama would support a version as part of a […]

Bowles-Simpson II: A New Plan to Avoid the Sequester

With 10 days to go until the dreaded sequester—the automatic across-the-board spending cuts that most lawmakers profess to hate—the Washington drama machine is starting to get in gear. Today, President Obama stood in front a group of uniformed first responders and warned darkly of layoffs if the spending cuts kick in. At the same time, […]

The Risks of Dumbing Down Fiscal Goals

In one of the more dangerous fiscal developments of recent months, some on the left are defining successful deficit reduction as merely stabilizing the federal debt at about 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2022. While there is no magic target, this one is far too modest and threatens to leave future fiscal policy […]

How Obama’s Inaugural Address Frames the Policy Debate for the Next Decade

 “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.” With those words in his 2nd inaugural address, […]

What Adjusting the Price Index Would Mean for Taxpayers

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner may be close to agreeing on a plan that, among other things, would revise the way government programs are adjusted for inflation. Most attention is focused on what this means for Social Security recipients. But the Tax Policy Center estimates that changing the cost-of-living measure would also result […]