Analysis & Indicators

Blog Post

Entitlement Reform Should Reduce Subsidies for Those Who Don't Need Them

November 14, 2017
Individuals with the least wealth or income potential are the most dependent on government programs for support. Thus, when policymakers talk about reforming entitlement programs, many observers are concerned about the potential impact on these vulnerable groups. The good news is that there are plenty of responsible ways to reduce costs without unduly burdening beneficiaries.

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Blog Post

It’s Important to Distinguish Between Short-Term Cyclical Deficits and Long-Term Structural Deficits

July 27, 2017
Not all deficits are created equal. In designing policy responses, it is important to distinguish between “cyclical” and “structural” deficits. Cyclical deficits are caused by a weak economy. Recessions drive down government revenue because many workers and businesses are no longer earning as much taxable income. At the same time, government spending rises because more people need assistance through programs such as Medicaid, unemployment benefits and food stamps.
Blog Post

Trust Fund Accounting Obscures Fiscal Problems of Social Security and Medicare

July 20, 2017
Every year the trustees of Social Security and Medicare issue detailed reports on the financial status of these programs. While the trustees’ reports consistently warn that both programs face serious shortfalls, the urgency of this warning is often undercut by undue attention to the years in which the Social Security trust funds and the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund are projected to become insolvent.