What Does Progressive Social Security Reform Look Like?


Social Security has recently been pushed to the sidelines of recent policy discussions by the pandemic and the resulting eco­nomic contraction. Yet, Social Security remains the largest and most important single federal pro­gram affecting Americans’ economic lives. Its projected insolvency alone means that Social Security must return to Congress’s legislative agenda.

In a new research paper, “An Analytical Framework for Strengthening Social Security,” leading expert Charles P. Blahous details a number of problems facing Social Security and how they can be addressed. At this event, Blahous explains how progressive reforms to Social Security can improve its treatment of individual participants while also strengthening system funding. There is a reflexive tendency to think of the Social Security solvency challenge as one presenting all pain and no gain; but the reality is that scaling back the program’s instances of regressive and counterproductive income redistribution will slow cost growth, strengthen finances, and improve system equity.

Ben Ritz and Jason Fichtner joined Blahous for a discussion to provide insight into the framework and share their research findings.

Check out this conversation on the Mercatus Policy Download here.