Advancing a Free Society

Social Security Shortfall Warrants Action Soon

Friday, November 12, 2010

On Tuesday, November 9, Bob Greenstein and I released our joint paper “Social Security Shortfall Warrants Action Soon,” sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Fiscal Policy Initiative.

Our paper has received some additional attention because it is well-known that Bob and I have different policy views about what should be done to correct the Social Security imbalance.  But this is, in part, why we felt our collaboration was an important one.  In an issue area where too many are unwilling to even join together in outlining a common understanding of the Social Security challenge, we wanted to show how those who disagree on policy can nevertheless agree on the relevant facts.

We tried to write -- and I believe succeeded in writing -- a concise, accessible paper explaining that the Social Security shortfall is real, that no one should expect it to go away without legislative action, and that we will be much better off addressing it sooner rather than later. 

Anyone who has ever heard the canard that the Social Security projections are overly “conservative” and that the much of the problem might vanish on its own would do well to read our short paper and understand why this just isn’t true.