Measuring Social Security's Financial Problems
AbstractThe U.S. Social Security system has helped keep many retirees out of poverty. However, according to the Social Security and Medicare Trustees, Social Security faces a future financial shortfall of $10.4 trillion in present value. This enormous imbalance has received little attention in public debates about Social Security. Instead, the media and policymakers continue to focus on the program's trust fund and several other ad-hoc measures that create a misleading impression of the size of Social Security's financial problem. Although the Social Security Trust Fund is not projected to be exhausted until 2042, Social Security's $10.4 trillion present value imbalance is accruing interest and will grow by $600 billion during 2004 alone. The current cash-flow federal budget, however, is biased against reforms that would improve Social Security's finances. As shown herein, a new federal accounting system would remove this bias.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11060.
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-01-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2005-01-23 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2005-01-23 (Public Finance)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary V. Engelhardt & Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Social Security and the Evolution of Elderly Poverty," NBER Working Papers 10466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jagadeesh Gokhale & Kent Smetters, 2003. "Fiscal and generational imbalances: new budget measures for new budget priorities," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Dec.
- Kent Smetters, 2004. "Is the Social Security Trust Fund a Store of Value?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 176-181, May.
- Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
- Sita Nataraj & John B. Shoven, 2004. "Has the Unified Budget Undermined the Federal Government Trust Funds?," NBER Working Papers 10953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.