What’s the larger issue or policy the article addresses?

Below is a written summary and video for your review and initial posting of your thoughts on the policy. You must reply to 2 classmates by due date to enhance the discussion.
Melissa Lewis summary and presentation on Social Security
Article A: “Trump and the GOP Agenda: Implications for Retirement Policy”
 Who wrote the article?
The article was written by David Madland and Alex Rowell. At the time of the article’s
publication, both authors worked at The Center for American Progress, an independent
nonpartisan policy institute.
 Where was it published?
The article was published in the Journal of Aging & Social Policy.
 Clearly state the issue the article addresses.
The article addresses three approaches to retirement income and potential
reforms/changes to those approaches.
 Identify points of view and/or values discussed (as much as possible).
The article discusses the Social Security reform ideas of the Republican and Democratic
parties. Reform will be needed due to the eventual depletion of Social Security’s trust fund
which, at the time of the article’s publication, was anticipated to occur in 2034 (Madland &
Rowell, 2018). Republicans typically favor cuts to Social Security benefits through tactics such
as raising the federal retirement age and changing the benefit formulas. Democrats typically
favor expanding Social Security and funding the expansion by raising payroll taxes and
increasing the cap on wages eligible for Social Security payroll tax. The article references the
common view that Social Security retirement benefits are meant to be one of three approaches to
financing retirement, but that not everyone is able to utilize the other two approaches: personal
savings and workplace retirement funds. In relation, the authors mention that age, race, gender,
and line of work should be considered in relation to the impact of Social Security reform. The
authors support the expansion of Social Security and stress that it is important for everyone to
have access to good retirement plans.
 What’s the larger issue or policy the article addresses?
The larger issue addressed by the article is retirement security, with an emphasis on the
importance of Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance).
 What is your personal reaction to the article?
I find it interesting that the authors worked for a nonpartisan policy institute and yet their
article supports the expansion of Social Security, a view aligned with the Democratic party’s
stance on Social Security reform. However, I believe their stance is warranted and supported by
information from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities which indicates Social Security
keeps over 20 million Americans out of poverty (Romig, 2020). Social Security reform which
involves the reduction of benefits may threaten retirement security, especially for minorities,
women, and those in labor intensive jobs who may not be able to work as long.
 List any other resources you used related to this side of the topic.
Romig, K. (2020, February 20). Social Security lifts more Americans above poverty than any
other program. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/social-security-lifts-more-americans-
above-poverty-than-any-other-program
Article B: “Resuscitating Private Social Security Accounts: Countering Inequality With Panic
and Prevarication”
 Who wrote the article?
The article was written by John Miller, a professor of economics at Wheaton College and
co-editor of Dollars & Sense Magazine.
 Where was it published?
The article was published in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and
Occupational Health Policy.
 Clearly state the issue the article addresses.
The article addresses the privatization of the United States’ Social Security retirement
system.
 Identify points of view and/or values discussed (as much as possible).
The article discusses an approach to Social Security privatization that would allow
workers to move up to 10% of their paychecks into private retirement accounts made up of 2/3
stocks and 1/3 bonds. The author views this potential shift as a threat to the financial stability of
retirees as well as a threat to the Social Security system in general. Miller asserts that
privatization of Social Security would lead to benefit cuts in order to make up for the loss of the
10% of funds being moved to private accounts. Additional concerns are that unlike Social
Security’s lifetime benefits, private retirement accounts would not guarantee payments until
death and private accounts lack disability and survivors’ benefits.
The author believes a better approach to Social Security reform is to increase or eliminate
the cap on wages eligible for Social Security as well as making investment income subject to
Social Security taxes. Miller suggests that another solution to the Social Security funding crisis is
to facilitate immigration so that there is a larger pool of workers from which to collect federal
payroll tax.
 What’s the larger issue or policy the article addresses?
The larger policy addressed by the article is Social Security (OADSI) benefits’ effects on
the financial stability of retired workers and their families.
 What is your personal reaction to the article?
I agree with the author’s opposition to the privatization of Social Security. Private
retirement accounts would necessitate a certain level of understanding of the stock market that
not all workers have. Also, moving away from the relative stability of the current Social Security
system toward private investment in stocks involves a risk that many future retirees cannot afford
to take. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Social Security provides the
majority of income for most retirees over the age of 65 (Romig, 2020). I agree that change is
needed to ensure the solvency of the Social Security system, but jeopardizing income that many
people depend on by moving towards the privatization of Social Security does not seem to be the
best reform option.
 List any other resources you used related to this side of the topic.
Romig, K. (2020, February 20). Social Security lifts more Americans above poverty than any
other program. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/social-security-lifts-more-americans-
above-poverty-than-any-other-program
References
Madland, D., & Rowell, A. (2018). Trump and the GOP agenda: implications for retirement
policy. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 30(3/4), 316–336.
Miller, J. (2020). Resuscitating private Social Security accounts: Countering inequality with
panic and prevarication. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental & Occupational
Health Policy, 30(1), 52–56.
Romig, K. (2020, February 20). Social Security lifts more Americans above poverty than any
other program. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/social-security-lifts-more-americans-
above-poverty-than-any-other-program
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