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Social Security Reconsidered

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  • Aaron, Henry J.

Abstract

Social Security is currently much in the news because it faces a projected funding gap, because of overall budget deficits, and because of doubts in some quarters about its design. Minor adjustments are sufficient to close the funding gap. Benefit cuts, even if considered desirable, would not help close the overall budget gap in a timely way. Some adjustments in Social Security benefits and financing are desirable, but large scale changes would be disruptive and would not well serve the program’s basic purposes — to provide assured, basic income to retirees, the disabled, and survivors — unless they more or less replicated the current program.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron, Henry J., 2011. "Social Security Reconsidered," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 385-414, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:64:y:2011:i:2:p:385-414
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shiller, Robert J., 1998. "Macro Markets: Creating Institutions for Managing Society's Largest Economic Risks," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294184.
    2. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "Introduction to "Privatizing Social Security"," NBER Chapters,in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 1-29 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    4. Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262541823.
    5. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1998. "The Transition Path in Privatizing Social Security," NBER Chapters,in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 215-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Gopi Shah Goda & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2011. "How Well Are Social Security Recipients Protected from Inflation?," NBER Chapters,in: Investigations in the Economics of Aging, pages 119-139 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Gruber, Jonathan, 2011. "The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, pages 511-530.
    8. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "Privatizing Social Security," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld98-1.
    9. Henry J. Aaron, 2010. "How to think about the U.S. budget challenge," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 883-891.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Kerwin K. Charles & Courtney C. Coile & William Gale & Dana Goldman & Ronald Lee & Charles M. Lucas & Peter R. Orszag & Louise M. Sheiner & Bryan Tysinger & David N. Weil & Justin W, 2017. "How the Growing Gap in Life Expectancy May Affect Retirement Benefits and Reforms," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 42(3), pages 475-499, July.
    2. Frédéric Gannon & Florence Legros & Vincent Touze, 2016. "Sustainability of pensions schemes : building a smooth automatic balance mechanism with an application to the US social security," Sciences Po publications 2016-16, Sciences Po.
    3. Frédéric Gannon & Florence Legros & Vincent Touzé, 2016. "Sustainability of pension schemes : building a smooth automatic balance mechanism with an application to tu US social security," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2016-16, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

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