Center for American Progress

: Progressive Approaches to Social Security Reform
Past Event

Progressive Approaches to Social Security Reform

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EST

Progressive Approaches to Social Security Reform
L to R – Cassandra Butts, Gene Sperling, Dr. Jason Furman, Dr. Dean Baker

Progressive Approaches to Social Security Reform

This panel on January 10, 2005 discussed progressive approaches to addressing Social Security’s financing challenge and whether, and under what circumstances, progressives could agree to a compromise solution. Panelists discussed the president’s likely proposal to partially privatize Social Security, outlined the principles that should underlie a progressive approach, and examined the new and existing progressive ideas on how to shore up Social Security and strengthen retirement security in the U.S.

January 10, 2005

Event Features:
• Audio: Progressive Approaches to Social Security Reform

•  Transcript
PowerPoint Presentation:  Dean Baker’s Presentation
Video:    Cassandra Butts |  Dr. Dean Baker|    Gene Sperling |    Dr. Jason Furman |  Q&A
• Report: A Progressive Framework for Social Security Reform

Cassandra Butts Cassandra Butts, Senior Vice President and Coordinator for Economic Policy, Center for American Progress: “The Center for American Progress will be putting forward progressive ideas and analysis that will serve as a responsible counterpoint to the efforts on the part of the president to privatize Social Security, and the panel discussion here is the beginning of that effort.”
Dr. Dean Baker Dr. Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research: “I don’t know why, but they’re saying we’re going to get 6.5 or 7 percent return on stock. … We need real numbers, and they’re scared to give us real numbers. If they gave us real numbers, it would be somewhere around 4.8 percent return on stock, which gets rid of most of the supposed benefit. This isn’t even risk adjusted, by the way. These are just, you know, what is the average return you could expect on stock given current price-to-earnings ratios in the market and the projected profit growth? And it would be a real tragedy if they’re just allowed to get through this debate with made up numbers.”
Gene Sperling Gene Sperling, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress: “The reason we should have a powerful response to savings is because it’s a real problem – because, as I said, there’s something wrong when 75-80 percent of lower income workers aren’t engaging in savings. … What I’ve tried to do essentially is lay out what I think is a constructive framework for engagement. It’s not for the purpose of getting along; it’s for the purpose of helping typical Americans have more economic dignity and wealth and savings in their lives.”
Dr. Jason Furman Dr. Jason Furman, Non-resident Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Ideally we want something that is going to help us address both of these challenges; both what national savings means at a macroeconomic level for the United States and what it means at a microeconomic level for families. Individual accounts, for a lot of the reasons Dean and Gene have alluded to aren’t really going to help solve these problems.”

More on the event and panelist bios