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Article Review for Saving Social Security - Book Report/Review Example

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Social Security Social Security is coming under increasing pressure to lower costs as costs are projected to rise over the next three quarter of the century by another 2.5% of the GDP. A large number of retirees are availing their sustenance based on the social security system and these changes would put them at increased risk…
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Article Review for Saving Social Security
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Download file to see previous pages Social insurance should be improved for people working for 20 years or more in lines of work covered by Social Security to ensure that elderly people do not have to face poverty. In addition, widows and widowers should be provided protection who lose up to 30% of their standard of living with the death of a spouse. Furthermore, this problem affects widows more than widowers. Social Security should also provide more attention to disabled workers who are more vulnerable to poverty (as 22% of disabled insurance beneficiaries live in poverty) than the general population. A simple method to deal with this is to remove any benefit reductions from the share of disabled workers. An estimate of the actuarial imbalance in 2004 for Social Security put it at 0.7% of the GDP for the next 75 years. This deficit needs to be eliminated in order to provide more strength to social security funding in the longer run. This could be achieved by redefining the policies used to assess deficit and by providing government intervention where required. The increase in life expectancy is also causing problems as the increased life spans mean greater load on the social security mechanism for care. The real way out is twofold – spending less before retirement and spending frugally after retirement. The government social security program can bridge up any gaps that are left behind in the spending of retirees. This could be achieved by increasing the tax base supporting social security and by increasing the normal retirement age. Widening gaps between income groups are also leading to lower tax collection supporting social security. The share of earnings above the maximum table-earning base (set at $90,000) has increased from 10% to 15% thereby leading to lower revenues. The table-earning base limits should be revised in order to increase the total tax base. Furthermore, research has pinned the link between education levels, earning levels and mortality rate so that people will higher education will outlive people with less education. This indicates that people with more income will reap more benefits from social security and so it makes more sense if they pay for it. In addition, if the benefits for high earners are lowered then the deficit for social security funds goes down by 0.18% of the payroll. A legacy debt has been established in social security funds because early contributors to the system were paid more than they invested into the fund. This legacy of overpayment continues to the present day and is expected to continue unabated as such for time to come. The overall legacy debt amounts to a staggering $11.6 trillion across generations so a method to finance this difference is required. Also certain state and local government employees are not part of the social security funding system thus causing imbalance. This imbalance needs to be restored by involving all available state and government employees at all levels and by using an actuarial system that allots 3 to 4% of payroll tax to settle the legacy debt. In addition, future workers ought to finance the difference for the legacy debt to reduce the stress on social security funds. Overall, these proposals will reduce social security benefits such that older people get least affected and similarly high earners get most affected. Furthermore, the tax base supporting Social Security will increase gradually over decades to deal ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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