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Happy big seventy-seven to Social Security

Today is a day to be celebrated: the 77th anniversary of the day, August 14 1935,  on which President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law. 

Appropriately, the good people at the Roosevelt Institute are out with a pair of worth-your-time essays on the subject.

Mark Schmitt has a nice piece on the  program’s enduring adaptability:

“The point of this history is a reminder that Social Security is not a fixed, unchanging thing, a jewel of the New Deal to be worshipped. Rather, it is an incredibly adaptive, responsive structure on which we’ve been able to build several different forms of economic and family security and adjust to radical changes in the economy, family, industry, education, and expectations over the years.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Madrick has a piece on how simple it would be to fix the program’s supposed “solvency” issues:

“But the solvency gap, as we might call it, is not very large, amounting to only 2.67 percent of GDP. How can that be closed? Pretty darned easily. For example, the cap can be eliminated. This would close almost the entire gap if high-end earners do not receive higher benefits. It will still close four-fifths of the gap if they do.

Another way to close the gap would be to raise payroll taxes by 1.1 percentage points, from 6.3 percent to 7.6 percent. This would entirely close the solvency gap. Or the tax could be raised by a little more than 1 percentage point in 2002 and another percentage point in 2052, also eliminating the solvency gap.”

May one of our nation’s greatest achievements enjoy 77 more years of success. 

 

One Comment


  1. frances

    August 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Aren’t we stealing from the fund now with Obama’s payroll cuts ? We’ve also stolen all of the Trust Fund to fund our runaway government spending. Shame shame shame !

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