The National Issues Forums Institute

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There is no doubt that the goal of the Social Security plan is noble. President Roosevelt said, upon it’s signing, “We can never insure…the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen…against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age" (SSA.) However, the program is currently under uneasy footing. The main concern with Social Security is that, at the current rate, funding will deplete after the next eighteen years (Wharton.) Social security was established during a time when people had a shorter life expectation and as this life expectation extends new funds will be necessary to continue the…show more content…
Increased life expectancy and a decreasing birth rate have several implications both negative and positive. This is good news—the pressures created by rapid population growth are being relaxed, and people are more likely to live to old age—but it creates problems for programs such as Social Security... In the United States, the retirement of the baby boom generation will result in a decrease in the number of workers per Social Security beneficiary from 3.3 now to 2.0 in the year 2030 (Triest.) This may not be the end to this reduction in the workers per beneficiary either. Similar to NIFI, Federal Reserve economist Robert Triest expects the trust fund for Social Security to be exhausted by the year 2029. Therefore, there is a clear call for reform of this system. While the need for reform is little disputed, how the reform is to take place is still in question. Before suggesting specific courses of action it is important to consider the overarching goal of the reform. Is the goal simply to ensure that the program has solid fiscal footing, or is it the increase in national saving? (Triest) Certainly there are many economic benefits to better national savings, but achieving higher national savings is more difficult than simply funding social security. In fact, since Robert Triest’s overview in 1997, the US has decreased the national savings rate as a percentage of GDP (Fig. 1) One major concern in
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