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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. Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center

The big news for long-term Federal fiscal policy this week came with Monday’s release of the Trustees Report on the Social Security Trust Fund.  Based on the media coverage in the days since the report’s release, you could be forgiven for believing that Social Security—the primary income support program for the nation’s elderly—faces a profound fiscal crisis, with the program’s Trust Fund approaching insolvency sooner than expected and the irreversible loss of benefits for future retirees.

Fortunately, the truth about the program’s future is significantly less dire than reported—as long as officials in the White House and Congress make the necessary policy changes to address the challenges that actually face the program.  In short, Social Security is not “going broke” now, and can avoid going broke far into the future in one simple step that doesn’t involve cuts to beneficiaries—increase program revenues through lifting the cap on the amount of income subject to the Social Security payroll tax from $100,100 to include all wage income earned by the worker.

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Those trying to make sense of the current self-inflicted national “crisis” surrounding the national debt and the topsy-turvy economy would do well to make economist Dean Baker’s blog, “Beat the Press” a regular part of their daily web surfing.

Although the blog is chiefly dedicated to the mistakes of the media in covering fiscal and economic issues (Baker writes books and longer essays that can be found at the Center for Economic Policy Research), it rarely fails to provide useful insights into the issues on which he’s taking reporters and editors to task.

Consider, for example, these two pieces from early this morning in which Baker skewers NPR and the New York Times for their lackluster, “common wisdom” reporting and “analysis.” 

This is a man to whom more people need to listen.