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Social Security

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Lesson Plans
  1. Great Depression - Three Lessons (Library of Congress - Perry and Sauer)
      Provides an opportunity for research so that "...students will be able to gain a better understanding of why the government takes care of its people and how this type of welfare state started. Armed with this knowledge, they can then evaluate the current need of government programs, such as welfare, Medicare and Social Security, on the federal and state level." The three lessons are designed to take 2-3 weeks. 5-02

Papers
  1. -11-24-13 Editorial: How Seniors Are Being Cheated by Social Security Rules (BusinessInsider.com)
      "In real terms, the benefits seniors receive are considerably less than what their parents received a few decades ago. It's time we do something about it."

      "The BLS found that from December 1982 through December 2007, the average COLA under CPI-W was 3.0% per year while it was 3.3% under CPI-E. That means any senior that started collecting social security at the end of 1982 and continued to do so through 2007 saw the purchasing power of their benefits decrease by more than 7.0%. Another way to put this: If the BLS had used CPI-E initially instead of CPI-W, that senior's benefits would have been almost 16% higher by the end of 2007. That's a big difference." 11-13

  2. -Social Security Surplus Quickly Disappearing (Time.com)
      "If you count the $17 billion in income taxes expected to be paid on Social Security benefits, the system will still manage to provide a slight surplus for federal coffers in fiscal 2009. But from 2010 through 2012 there are small projected deficits, and after heading back into the black from 2013 to 2015 the program will become a growing drain on federal finances after that, projects the CBO."

      "Back in 1983, when Social Security last faced deficits, Congress approved a set of Social Security reforms that included a graduated hike in the payroll tax and an increase in the retirement age. Thanks to those changes, payroll tax receipts surpassed benefits in 1985, and the system has been operating at a surplus ever since." 04-09

  3. Budget Deficit and the Aging Population (USA Today)
      "When deficits started taking off 20 years ago, the retirement of the baby boom generation was just a distant worry. Now, as the nation faces years of red ink, including at least a $400 billion shortfall in 2003 alone, the graying population is a fast-approaching reality that will put unprecedented strains on Medicare, Social Security and the economy starting around 2010."

      "While recent advances in productivity are expected to help the nation cope with the bulge in retirees, the reduced workforce, possible slowing of immigration and huge new fiscal burdens mean that, unlike the 1990s, the nation could have a tougher time growing out of new budget problems, economists say."

      "At the same time, by locking in years of deficits, lawmakers and the White House are reducing national savings and putting upward pressure on interest rates. That could limit their flexibility to increase taxes, issue bonds or take other steps to reform the massive health and retirement programs — while forcing deeper benefit cuts." 2-04

  4. Bush Presents His Priorities (CBS News)
      "His second term secured, President Bush gathered reporters Thursday to discuss his priorities for the next four years – including tax cuts, Social Security reform and 'achieving our objectives' in Iraq. He said that meant Iraqi 'elections on the path to stability.' " 11-04

  5. Chile's Experience with Privatizing Social Security (AARP)
      "Even Robert Myers, who has high praise for the Chilean reform, reserves his praise for Chile. He by no means recommends comparable reform for the United States (Myers 1992), in large part because the situation of Chile in the late 1970s is in no way comparable to that of the United States in 1995."

      "It should also be noted that while the United States has both an advanced social security system and a well-developed private pension system, Chile has no comparable private pension system beyond the AFPs." 2-05

  6. Corporate Welfare (Corporations.org)
      " 'The $150 billion for corporate subsidies and tax benefits eclipses the annual budget deficit of $130 billion. It's more than the $145 billion paid out annually for the core programs of the social welfare state: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), student aid, housing, food and nutrition, and all direct public assistance (excluding Social Security and medical care).' " 7-02

  7. Facts About Social Security (ABC News)
      "Social Security is financed primarily through a payroll deduction tax. Employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent (for a total of 12.4 percent) of wages up to $90,000 (for 2005). The self-employed pay the full 12.4 percent."

      "According to the Social Security Trustees, this year [2042] marks when the trust fund will be exhausted and, under current law, Social Security will pay out approximately 70 percent of estimated benefits." 2-05

  8. Funding Bush Social Security Plan (MSNBC News)
      "Among the questions:"

      "Where will the revenue needed to pay current retirees come from? If, as Bush says, for Americans age 55 or older, the Social Security system will not change in any way, then that will mean the taxpayers will need to provide benefits for those people for the next 20 or 30 years. The existing Social Security system is a pay-as-you-go structure in which today’s workers pay for the benefits of today’s retirees."

      "The revenue that will flow into the Treasury will need to be sufficient to pay for retiree benefits. But under Bush's proposal, some payroll tax payments will be diverted to private accounts. "

      "Does the American public understand that under the current system, if Congress does not increase taxes, cuts in future Social Security benefits are inevitable?" 2-05

  9. Poll: Public Favors Removing the Cap for the Rich (ABC News)
      "By a nearly 4-1 margin, the public — 75 percent to 20 percent — opposes 'reducing guaranteed benefits for future retirees' [as proposed by President Bush]. Language counts: Opposition drops when the change is more precisely described as one in which 'benefits increase at a slower rate.' But the public's still opposed, in this formulation by 57 percent to 37 percent."

      "Other changes are also broadly unpopular. Americans by 2-1 oppose increasing the Social Security tax rate, by 2-1 oppose raising the retirement age to receive full benefits to 68 from the current 67, and by nearly 2-1 oppose further trimming the benefits paid to people who retire early."

      "Much more popular is the notion of taking more from the better-off. By 56 percent to 40 percent, the public favors eliminating the cap on annual earnings that are subject to Social Security taxes, now $90,000. Interestingly, this is supported by a 20-point margin even in households with total incomes greater than $100,000 a year." 3-05

  10. Pro-Bush Group Uses Smear Tactics (MSNBC News)
      "Perhaps most notably, some of the Republicans behind the controversial Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads that challenged the war record of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry are now targeting AARP, an advocacy group for people age 50 and older, for opposing the President Bush's plan for Social Security reform."

      "USA Next acknowledges it has a larger goal: Just as the 'Swift Boat' ads challenged John Kerry's integrity and honesty, 'that's exactly what we're doing with AARP,' said Jarvis. 'We're going to do everything we can to remove them as an obstacle to personal retirement accounts and Social Security.' " 2-05

  11. Recession Drains Social Security and Medicare (New York Times)
      "Even as Congress hunted for ways to finance a major expansion of health insurance coverage, the Obama administration reported Tuesday that the financial condition of the two largest federal benefit programs, Medicare and Social Security, had deteriorated, in part because of the recession."

      "As a result, the administration said, the Medicare fund that pays hospital bills for older Americans is expected to run out of money in 2017, two years sooner than projected last year. The Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2037, four years earlier than predicted, it said." 05-09

  12. Social Security - Not a Nest Egg But a Loan (MSNBC News)
      "Under the White House Social Security plan, workers who opt to divert some of their payroll taxes into individual accounts would ultimately get to keep only the investment returns that exceed the rate of return that the money would have accrued in the traditional system."

      "In effect, the accounts would work more like a loan from the government, to be paid back upon retirement at an inflation-adjusted 3 percent interest rate — the interest the money would have earned if it had been invested in Treasury bonds, said Peter R. Orszag, a Social Security analyst at the Brookings Institution and a former Clinton White House economist."

      "That idea [under the Clinton administration] was criticized by conservatives because the federal government could end up choosing winners and losers in the financial markets. But under the Bush system, the government is still choosing the stocks and bonds to be bought with Social Security money, said Jason Furman, a former Clinton administration economist. Individuals would get a limited choice, and the government would still keep most of the returns." 2-05

  13. Social Security Administration
      Provides news and other information related to social security. 12-13

  14. Social Security Benefits and Statement
      Provides your Social Security information.

  15. Social Security Benefits for 2005 (Social Security Administration)
      "Based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2003 through the third quarter of 2004, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 2.7 percent COLA for 2005." 2-05

  16. Social Security and President Bush (CBS News)
      "In the first State of the Union address of his second term, President Bush laid out an ambitious agenda, including an overhaul of Social Security and continued efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East."

      "He challenged Congress to take political risks "to strengthen and save Social Security," warning that the government's costliest social program was headed for bankruptcy unless changed."

      "Democrats vehemently oppose Mr. Bush's proposal to divert Social Security taxes into private investment accounts, a plan that offers the possibility of higher returns as well as risks from the stock market and almost certainly a cut in guaranteed benefits." 2-05

  17. Social Security's Surplus Fast Disappearing (MSNBC News)
      "Thanks to the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, the moment of reckoning is already almost here: according to both the budget proposed by the White House in February and projections issued by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in March, Social Security benefits ($659 billion, according to the CBO) will exceed payroll taxes ($653 billion) in fiscal 2009 for the first time since 1984." 05-09

  18. Social Security: Facts Compared to Claims by Bush Administration (ABC News)
      "Saying the time to act is now, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have pushed the idea of private investment accounts for younger workers. The president has said the government will not raise payroll taxes to pay for funding shortfalls, noting that by 2018 the system will be paying out more than it takes in, and by 2042 the system will be 'bankrupt.' "

      "Critics of the president's push for privatization noted that non-partisan experts from the Congressional Budget Office have said that characterizing Social Security as being bankrupt by 2042 is not correct. They point out that the system will always be able to pay benefits if Americans are working and paying payroll taxes. The Social Security trust fund will be depleted between 2040-2050, but even then retirees will receive between 70 percent to 80 percent of their promised benefits thanks to the current system's structure."

      "Administration officials have suggested one way to make up the shortfall is to reduce benefits by changing the way they are calculated. By pegging increases to inflation rather than wages, benefit levels would rise much more slowly."

      "And while the president vowed again on Tuesday not to raise taxes to fix Social Security, actuaries further estimate benefits could be maintained at current levels through 2078 by raising payroll taxes 1.89 percent, or less than 1 percent on workers, and less than 1 percent on employers." 01-05

  19. Stretching Your Social Security Payout (U.S. News)
      "The average monthly Social Security benefit was $1,179 in March 2011. A couple who each earns that amount would have a retirement income of $28,296 annually. Here are a few places where the median household income is lower than the average Social Security benefit for a two-earner couple." 05-11

  20. Tax Cuts and Social Security (Center on Budget and Planning Priorities - Kogan, Greenstein, and OrszagKogan)
      Concludes that "the 75-year cost of the tax cut Is more than twice as large as the long-term deficit in social security." 2-02

   
   


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