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In policy discussions about the long-term financing of Social Security, reforms enacted in 1983 are often held up as a model of balanced political compromise. But that is not exactly what happened. Only the short-term reforms, aimed at getting the program safely through the 1980s, contained a mix of changes that affected Social Security contributors and beneficiaries more or less evenly. The piece Congress added to address the remaining long-term shortfall was not a compromise. It was solely a benefit cut that is still being phased in today.
As the president's fiscal commission nears its reporting deadline, the National Academy of Social Insurance released a new policy brief, Strengthening Social Security for the Long Run.
Janice Gregory, NASI President and Social Security Subcommittee staff, 1983
Virginia Reno, NASI VP for Income Security and Greenspan Commission staff
Wendell Primus, Policy advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chief economist for the Committee on Ways and Means, 1983
Lisa Mensah, NASI Chair and Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security
- What happenned in 1983?
- Why the growing concern about the inadequacy of Social Security going forward?
- Can we afford Social Security in the future? What do Americans say they want?
- How might we improve benefit adequacy at an affordable cost?
- How might we design a 75-year financing plan?
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