Toward a Common Understanding of Social Security Americans are aware that Social Security faces substantial challenges in the decades ahead-and hold a wide variety of conflicting, impassioned views about how to render the program strong and beneficial going forward. Our national debate is nevertheless more polarized than it needs to be, says former White House adviser Chuck Blahous, even given the depth of legitimate differences over the programrs"s appropriate future direction.
Unless we identify and understand our respective initial assumptions, he explains, we will not be able to fathom the conflicting policy initiatives that they drive. InSocial Security: The Unfinished Workhe presents some often misunderstood, basic factual background about Social Security. He discusses how it affects program participants and explains the true demographic, economic, and political factors that threaten its future. Beginning with a review of the events of 1983, focusing on the substance, intent, and scorekeeping of that yearrs"s Social Security reforms, Blahous explains what happened then, why, and how it led to sharply divergent views of program finances during the Bush administrationrs"s reform initiative and on through today. He dissects competing positions in the current debate and concludes that, unless and until there is broader understanding of how these analytic differences drive opposing policy conclusions, we will continue to talk past and over each other, with little room for negotiation and compromise.
show more show less