Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Plan Boss! The SS Plan!: Where they are and what they do.

by Bruce Webb

In comments VtCodger remarked that he had never seen the actual Bush plan for Social Security. And indeed when Bush raised the subject after the 2004 election he was careful not to push a specific plan of how own. Instead he attempted to get a consensus around 'Crisis' and get buy-in from everyone that 'Something was better than Nothing'. He did allow the Posen Plan to get floated, largely it seems because Posen was a Democrat and so allowed him some bi-partisan cover, but never explicitly endorsed it. Which was a good thing because when exposed to light it got roasted largely on the basis of 'clawback' and 'annuitization'. On which maybe more in comments.

But there was a Plan or at least a Report of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security (12MB) which presented three Models each meticulously scored by the Office of the Chief Actuary in fifty pages of detailed projections. And it is worth discussion. But before doing that I want to lay out some links to other plans out there. If readers know of links to others please put them in comments.

The plan I am most familiar with is Liebman-MacGuineas-Samwick Non-Partisan Social Security Reform Plan (aka LMS). It is interesting for all kinds of reasons, not least because it reveals how 'serious' 'reformers' define 'crisis'. Which turns out to not have much to do with the gap between the scheduled benefit in 2041 and projected income.

Another important plan out there is the Diamond-Orszag Plan, which gets some extra clout due to Peter Orszag now being OMB Director.

As I run across more I will add them in.

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