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Basic Income Studies

Ed. by Haagh, Anne-Louise / Mulvale, James

2 Issues per year

Entitlement Reform: From Tangled Web to Safety Net

1Falls Church, Virginia, USA

Citation Information: Basic Income Studies. Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 105–137, ISSN (Online) 1932-0183, ISSN (Print) 2194-6094, DOI: 10.1515/bis-2013-0001, August 2013

Publication History

Published Online:
2013-08-07

Abstract

So far, most options for protecting the viability of Social Security have tinkered with financing and eligibility rules that do nothing about design flaws that led to our current fiscal crisis – regressive transfers, unfunded liabilities, and inefficient funding of retirement benefits. Under the current system, payroll taxes rob the first dollars of earnings from the working poor and from others who would prefer real savings to a promise of future benefits from the government, while retirees who do not need public support fight for their earned benefits. My proposal, Social Security Basic Income, replaces a rigid formula for forced savings and intergenerational transfers with a pay-as-you-go welfare program funded from general revenue that provides basic income to poor people, regardless of age. Comparative static analysis of the impact of this system on individuals finds that a generous safety net will not significantly increase total federal expenditures or individual tax burdens.

Keywords: Social Security; entitlement; negative income tax; intergenerational equity; welfare

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