The debate over Social Security is rather a curious one in that its infrastructure is or should be entirely numeric. We have various dates when Social Security will face changes, in turn those dates are driven by specific economic and demographic assumptions laid out in tables and figures in the Reports of the Trustees of Social Security. Reports dating back to 1941 are freely available at the link in a variety of formats. Recent Reports are available in HTML, PDF, and in paper (with free first class mailing), older Reports in either PDF or HTML depending on date. Yet
oddly you can go through most Social Security comment threads without a single reference to the underlying data. In a later post I will explore why this is, but for now I just want to give links to the various Reports broken out in a way that affords easy access to the key tables and figures, at least for the Reports from 2001-2010.
The links for 2001-2010 go to pages here that in turn allow access to HTML versions of the Reports
In March 2006 the Social Security Administration took down the HTML versions of the 1997-2000 Reports leaving readers to rely on the PDFs. The whys and wherefores of this remain mysterious. In any event the following links are to the PDFs from the SSA.gov website.
1995 and 1996 are available in HTML
Reports from 1942 to 1994 are available in PDF from the following page