OWL Letter on Social Security Published in Washington Post
I’m surprised the Nov. 2 Business article detailing how readers would fix Social Security didn’t include information from the recent in-depth survey by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). That report, which The Post did mention upon its release [“GOP pivots on Social Security,” news, Oct. 25], found that large majorities of Republicans and Democrats agree on ways to strengthen Social Security — without reducing benefits or raising the retirement age.
The support The Post found among readers for raising the earnings cap was even stronger in the NASI survey, with 70 percent of Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats agreeing that top wage earners could pay more.
People don’t want to ignore what they are constantly being told is a looming crisis, but when they learn about the range of options available, that alarm drops considerably. The only way we are going to have a fact-based discussion on Social Security is by presenting the facts. So cheers to The Post for including the fact that if wages had continued to rise as predicted in 1983, Social Security would be in much better shape — and more earnings would be subject to Social Security taxes. But jeers for telling only part of the story.
Posted by Pat Lewis on 11/12 at 02:05 PM
If MythBusters did an episode on Social Security, they might start here
• Did you know that half of the projected Social Security shortfall has been caused by lousy wage growth?
• That if our wages had kept pace with the projections made in 1983, the earnings cap for Social Security taxes would be about 27 percent higher than it is?
• Or that the baby boomers didn’t sneak up on us?
One of the most ignored factors in the predicted 2033 Social Security shortfall has been slow and unequal wage gains.
As far back as 1983, analysts could foresee that the baby boomer’s retirement would mean fewer workers paying taxes compared to retirees receiving benefits. Despite what many alarmists imply, we saw the boomers coming. After all, the last ones were born in 1964.
What the experts couldn’t predict was the significant slowdown in the average wage index. That’s the index used to adjust the cap on Social Security earnings.
Posted by Pat Lewis on 11/10 at 02:19 PM
Americans Make Hard Choices on Social Security: A Survey with Trade-Off Analysis
In order to gain a better understanding of Americans’ attitudes toward Social Security and what they would choose to do to resolve the future financing gap, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) joined forces with Greenwald & Associates to look at the changes Americans favor and are willing to pay for. NASI released its study “Americans Make Hard Choices on Social Security: A Survey with Trade-Off Analysis” on Thursday, October 23. The 2014 study expands on an earlier study done in 2012.
The survey results showed that Americans do not mind paying for Social Security because they value it for themselves, their families and for the millions of other Americans who receive retirement, disability, children’s, and widowed spouses’ benefits. The vast majority of those surveyed (86%) agreed that current benefits do not provide sufficient retirement income and 72% believe that benefits should be increased. Overall, 77% agreed that it is critical to preserve Social Security for the future, even if payroll taxes must be increased to pay for the long-term security of the nation’s social insurance program. Read more.
Posted by Amy Shannon on 10/29 at 09:12 AM