Past Event

No Free Lunch Event

An Honest Accounting of Social Security Reform Options

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EST

No Free Lunch: An Honest Accounting of Social Security Reform Options Event
L to R – Terri Shaw, Dr. Peter R. Orszag, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, Dr. Christian E. Weller, Dr. Dean Baker

No Free Lunch: An Honest Accounting of Social Security Reform Options

Settling in for a second term, the Bush administration is launching significant proposals to privatize Social Security. However, replacing the current social insurance program involves high risks and a shaky investment scheme. The Center for American Progress hosted a panel of experts on November 18, 2004 to identify Social Security’s financing needs, to discuss proposals to privatize Social Security, and to examine proposals to improve Social Security’s financial outlook within the parameters of the existing system.

November 18, 2004

Event Features:
• Video: 
Terri Shaw|    Dr. Dean Baker |    Dr. Christian Weller |    Dr. Maya Rockeymoore|    Dr. Peter R. Orszag|    Q&A
Audio: No Free Lunch
•  Transcript
• PowerPoint Presentations:  Dean Baker’s Presentation |  Christian Weller’s Presentation |  Peter Orszag’s Presentation
• Report: The Costs of Social Security Privatization are in the Details

Terri Shaw  Terri Shaw, Associate Director of Domestic Policy, Center for American Progress: “According to the latest figures from the Social Security Administration, the poverty rate for person over 65 was 8.5 percent in the year 2000, but without Social Security that rate would have been 48.1 percent. Social Security is particularly important for older women.”
 Dr. Dean Baker Dr. Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research: “Let me take the first – what I really want to say – I’ll be very clear: there is nothing in the numbers that says Social Security is not sustainable.”
 Dr. Christian E. Weller Dr. Christian E. Weller, Senior Economist, Center for American Progress: “The problem is that the labor market and the stock market don’t just exist in a space of their own. They actually are part of our economy. They’re reflecting business cycles, meaning that the labor market tanks at the same time that the stock market tanks.”
 Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, Vice President of Research and Programs, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation: “Private accounts also adversely impact women because we are more likely to work part time and we’re more likely to take time out of work also to have children.”
 Dr. Peter R. Orszag Dr. Peter R. Orszag, Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution and Co-Director, Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute and The Brookings Institution: “I’m not sort of ideologically opposed to individual accounts, it’s just the pragmatic question about where they belong. They don’t belong as part of Social Security.”

More on the event and panelist bios