Targeting Disability

Russell, Marta

Publisher:  Monthly Review
Date Written:  01/05/2005
Year Published:  2005  
Resource Type:  Unclassified
Cx Number:  CX23805

In addition to old-age benefits, it is often forgotten that Social Security provides survivor and disability insurance protections as well. The privatization debate has overlooked the fate of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as a part of the program's family of benefits.



The Bush administration could deliver a blow to the Disability Insurance Trust Fund (a separate account in the United States Treasury) just as it plans for the retirement fund. The President’s Committee to Strengthen Social Security report entitled “Strengthening Social Security and Creating Personal Wealth for All Americans” states that SSDI program outlays are projected to increase as a percent of payroll by 45 percent over the next fifteen years, and SSDI’s costs will exceed its tax revenue starting in 2009. In other words, the committee’s view is that the disability fund is in “crisis” as is the retirement fund.

Despite Bush’s sales-pitch assurances that benefits will not be cut, a leaked private White House memo to conservative allies strongly argues that Social Security benefits paid to future retirees must be significantly reduced to make the plan work.
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