Paul J. Bolster
Coleen C. Pantalone, Bruce A. Wallin, Gregory H. Wassall
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Law, Policy, and Society Program.
Social Security, Public finance, Financial model, Urban affairs, Public policy
Social security--History, Social security--Evaluation, Social security--Finance
Law and Society
Since its inception in the 1930s Social Security has grown to become the largest federal program and a key component in financial planning for retirement for almost all Americans. As the 21st century approached it was becoming increasingly apparent that changing demographics would make sustaining Social Security with currently legislated tax rates and benefit payment schedules would become increasingly difficult. In response to this situation myriad proposals have been made as to how to ""save"" Social Security. The work that follows examines how the current Social Security system came to be, how it compares to social insurance systems in other countries and what could be done to preserve the system as it is now understood by the population. In examining what the future looks like five different approaches to preserving the system are examined and financially modeled to determine the likelihood and relative merits of each option meeting the future needs. This ranges from a simplistic do nothing approach to a radical revamp of the entire system into what is effectively a defined contribution benefit plan. In the end the merits of each are discussed within the current political climate and a recommendation as to a comprehensive approach to preserve Social Security as a viable component of individual retirement income for all eligible Americans is developed.
Samuel B. Solomon
Solomon, Samuel B., "Social security - fiscal viability in the 21st century" (2008). Law, Policy, and Society Dissertations. Paper 9. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10016156
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