Two views of the Bush Social Security plan

Ten thousand baby boomers turn 55 every day for the next 15 years. Most are enjoying their peak earning power right now and billions of surplus dollars are pouring into the Social Security fund. However, those dollars are flowing into a "pay-as-you-go" system so they're flowing out just as fast as they come in.

Galveston County: A Model for Social Security Reform

The current debate over Social Security reform is reminiscent of the discussions that occurred in Galveston County, Texas, in 1980, when county workers were offered a retirement alternative to Social Security: At the time they reacted with keen interest and some knee-jerk fear of the unknown. But after 24 years, folks here can say unequivocally that when Galveston County pulled out of the Social Security system in 1981, we were on the road to providing our workers with a better deal than Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Senate Health Education Labor

The Small Business Administration estimates that only about 47 percent of small businesses (with less than 50 employees) offer health plans as contrasted with about 97 percent of large firms (with more than 50 employees). This gap between coverage in large versus small employers is unacceptable.

Benefits of the Central American Free Trade Agreement

Congress is considering the most significant trade liberalization agreement since passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) more than 10 years ago. The Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) was signed last year by the United States and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. These six nations make up the second largest market for U.S. goods exports in Latin America, behind only Mexico. They purchased $15.1 billion worth of U.S. exports in 2003, an increase of 11 percent from 2000. Meanwhile, U.S. imports from the region totaled $16.8 billion in 2003, up 4 percent from 2000, making it the 15th-largest supplier to U.S. consumers and businesses.

Social Security Reform: The Cost of Delay

Just how big is the funding shortfall faced by Social Security? What is the cost of delay in implementing a solution? The magnitude of the problem can be quantified in two ways: 1) the funds required each year in addition to projected payroll tax revenues, or 2) the present value of the total additional funding required in all future years.

Social Security & Medicare Forecast: 2005

Every year, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees examine the short- and long-term health of these programs, and issue reports that highlight the financial burdens they will create for future generations if nothing is done to reform them. This year's reports show Social Security and Medicare will consume an ever-increasing portion of workers' incomes unless the government either breaks its promises to future retirees or makes significant changes to our elderly entitlement system.

Feed the Beast

GROWING numbers of policy analysts and politicians are saying that it may finally be time to consider a value-added tax as part of our federal revenue system. In years past, I would have been in the forefront of those denouncing the idea. But now, reluctantly, I have joined the pro-V.A.T. side. Here's why.