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The Predictable SurpriseUnraveling the U.S. Retirement System$
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Sylvester J. Schieber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199890958.001.0001

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Securing the Social Security Foundation

Securing the Social Security Foundation

(p.328) 27 Securing the Social Security Foundation
The Predictable Surprise

Sylvester J. Schieber

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines some of the thematic and component recommendations in existing proposals to strengthen the Social Security foundation, with particular emphasis on those that have been recently prominent in public discussions. It explains why certain proposals should be supported or not and how it reached the positions it takes. In some cases, it suggests that policy considerations should go much further than anything that has been put on the table to date. The chapter first considers the funding dilemma of Social Security, the retirement benefits expected to be paid out in future years, the trust fund assets and the interest they will accrue, and the projected tax revenues. It then turns to the financing of Social Security benefits with payroll taxes, an idea originally proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and proceeds by analyzing the merits of individual accounts as an element of Social Security reform.

Keywords:   reform, Social Security, retirement benefits, trust fund, tax revenues, financing, payroll taxes, Franklin D. Roosevelt, individual accounts

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