Social security tax cuts are probably a good idea, but we're going about them all wrong -- and our grandchildren will end up paying for it.
FORTUNE -- You know that life is getting very strange when something that you proposed as a joke becomes national economic policy. That's what has happened to an idea I tossed out years ago, in one of my more sarcastic moments, when I was arguing MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - Dec 15, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Defense spending helped create today's fiscal problems. So why isn't it being considered seriously as a way to help fix them?
FORTUNE -- Throughout the drama that's stalled Washington lawmakers in raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit, there's been little talk of slicing military spending as Republicans call for big budget cuts. Reductions to Medicare, Medicaid and possibly Social Securityhave been the bigger focus.
The talks have reached a frenzy on Capitol Hill. MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Jul 15, 2011 11:38 AM ET
Liberals don't want the White House to include Social Security cuts in the debt ceiling talks, but in 1972 they had a very different agenda when a Republican was president.
By Tory Newmyer, writer
FORTUNE -- Liberals on and off Capitol Hill have been howling since last Thursday, when word first leaked that the White House was open to Social Security cuts in a deficit reduction package.
Their objection to trimming benefits for MOREJul 13, 2011 11:25 AM ET
Who cares that it will supposedly run out in 2036 rather than in 2037? What really matters is the program's now-permanent cash flow deficit, which is a problem today.
FORTUNE -- When it comes to fantasy finance, it's hard to top the way most of Washington looks at Social Security's finances.
Take the reaction to the 2011 Social Security trustees report, issued Friday. The report's "big news" was the fact that Social MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - May 17, 2011 5:00 AM ET
We didn't fix the major problems that led to the financial meltdown that produced the "Great Recession," obliterating millions of jobs and dreams. Will next year bring new hope for effective financial reform?
I've performed a painful annual ritual ever since I began writing a column about 20 years ago: re-reading my work for the year, and telling you, my audience, about things I got wrong and things I wish I'd MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - Dec 28, 2010 8:34 AM ET
The trust fund is nothing more than a trap and a fantasy for those who think it's a solid foundation for Social Security.
I used to joke about the government "solving" Social Security's long-term problems by creating Treasury IOUs out of thin air and sticking them in the program's trust fund. My point, of course, was to show that no matter how many Treasury securities there are in the trust fund MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - Dec 21, 2010 5:00 AM ET
You thought it was dead, but with stocks on the rise, you can expect some brand new congressmen to give it new life.
The holiday season is upon us, making this a perfect time to go searching for turkeys -- the financial variety, of course. But this year, rather than looking backward at inept deals or government programs, let's try to find future turkeys.
And the biggest one is ... privatizing Social MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - Nov 30, 2010 12:22 PM ET
One of the lesser-noticed realities of America's jobless problem is the surge in people applying for disability insurance.
Like it or not, when times get tough, Americans tend to turn to the government for help. More people file for disability claims whenever the economy suffers a setback, but the implications this time around could be much greater than previous downturns as high unemployment is expected to linger for years to MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Nov 19, 2010 10:49 AM ET
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