Do public employees have greater job security? And if so, how much is it worth? As part of my broader work on public sector pay, I’ve looked at whether public employees have greater job security than private sector workers and … read more
Proponents of immigration reform are touting a Social Security Administration memo hinting that the reform package as a whole might cut the system’s long-term deficits. But let’s think about the amnesty provision on its own, in which current undocumented immigrants are made legal to work and collect benefits. How would that affect Social Security? read more
Social Security’s actuaries have released a preliminary analysis of how the immigration reform plan would affect the program’s finances. Advocates for the plan are touting it as helping save Social Security. Is that that whole story? 1. Why does immigration … read more
The Heritage Foundation has published a controversial paper arguing that “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants will cost the federal budget a net $5 trillion over the long-term, generating a big fight between conservative proponents and opponents of amnesty and higher immigration. … read more
At the New York Times Room for Debate section, I talk about why we shouldn’t raise Social Security’s “tax max”—the $114,000 cap upon which both taxes and benefits are calculated—to fix the system’s solvency. For those who like it short and sweet, here it is: read more
Also of Interest
State by state: A comparison of public and private-sector pay
The chained CPI: A sucker's bet for the GOP
But the chained CPI really isn't being proposed as a Social Security reform, as a way to make the program more solvent or better-functioning. True Social Security reforms think about ways to better protect the poor, or to encourage longer work lives, or increase retirement saving. The chained CPI, by contrast, is about producing savings within the 10-year budget scoring window.
Don’t raise or eliminate the cap
But by eliminating the cap, a person earning $225,000 would pay roughly four times more in taxes than he'll receive in benefits. A growing resemblance to a welfare plan would be inescapable.