Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All

Nancy J. Altman and Eric R. Kingson. New Press (Perseus, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-62097-037-9
If passion alone was enough to resolve public policy debates, this dense and detailed examination of the Social Security issue could single-handedly give the United States a vastly expanded social-welfare system. Altman and Kingson, a lawyer and academic, respectively, who served on the landmark 1982 National Commission on Social Security Reform, explain, with wonkish fervor, how benefits can be expanded without increasing the program’s cost. “We are wealthy enough to afford a much more robust, expanded Social Security System,” they proclaim, pointing out how such an expansion would help the elderly, the working poor, and the millions caring for ailing family members. The authors blame a “three-decade-long billionaire-funded campaign” against Social Security for bastardizing terms such as entitlements, whipping up unwarranted fears about the federal deficit, and obscuring the fact that the program’s fundamental nature is to be “earned compensation.” As with many public policy pieces written by insiders, the level of detail is hard to follow, though the intentions are clearly stated and far from unreasonable. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 01/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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