Thursday, November 25, 2004

Social Security is not broke: by the numbers

This site aims to put the debate over Social Security privatization firmly on a numeric basis. There is a lot of rhetoric flowing, but little focus on the economic assumptions underlying the talk of the Trust Fund going broke in some future year, "requiring" some effort to fix the system. Is it really "broke"? Does it even need a fix? The numbers suggest not.

First the numbers. Everything starts with the Reports of the Trustees of Social Security. Every number or factoid ever written or posted comes directly or indirectly from the Annual Reports. What I have done here is to provide links to the HTML versions of the reports from 1995 to 2005 and broken out the key tables and figures. I have also included a link to PDFs of reports from 1942 to 1994. The following represents a diagram of this site with links. As I add new essays I will put up a new link.

New Intro Social Security - Is it about solvency?

Trust Fund Exhaustion: a Personal Journey

Payroll tax vs productivity: what would it take

Trust Fund Ratio explained

The Three Alternatives

Economic Assumptions under the Three Alternatives

Trust Fund Ratios under the Three Alternatives

The Lost Cost Alternative: What does it mean?

The Reports
1942 to 1996

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