Social Security: A Fresh Look at Policy Alternatives

Capitol Hill Briefing
June 7, 2010 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

B-338 Rayburn House Office Building

Featuring Jagadeesh Gokhale, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Former Rep. Jim Kolbe, (R-AZ) Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States; and Former Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-TX), Senior Policy Advisor, Olsson Frank Weeda PC.

Experts and practitioners of federal budget policies across the political spectrum recognize that America's fiscal trajectory is unsustainable — especially because of the effects of changing demographic and economic forces on the finances of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Although many recognize that delays make achieving sustainable reforms more difficult, a key requirement for sensible reforms is proper projections and estimates of entitlement program finances. In a new book from the University of Chicago Press, Social Security: A Fresh Look at Policy Alternatives, Jagadeesh Gokhale argues that the government's methods for estimating the program's outlook seriously underestimate its imbalance. He develops a more detailed approach and evaluates six reform proposals — two liberal, two centrist, and two conservative — to demonstrate how far they resolve Social Security's imbalance and who bears the costs under each. Joining him at this event are two coauthors of a centrist reform plan to explain why achieving Social Security reform with broad bipartisan support remains a key national goal and how it can be achieved.