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GAO Testimony: Social Security Reform Proposals Could Have Variety of Effects on Distribution of Benefits and Payroll Taxes
U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO]Link to more items from this source
June 18, 2004
34 pages. "Two distinct perspectives on Social Security's goals suggest different approaches to measuring 'progressivity,' or the distribution of benefits and taxes with respect to various earnings levels. Both perspectives provide valuable insights. An adequacy perspective focuses on benefit levels and how well they maintain pre-retirement living standards. An equity perspective focuses on rates of return and other measures relating lifetime benefits to contributions. Both perspectives examine how their measures are distributed across earnings levels. However, equity measures take all benefits and taxes into account, which is difficult to calculate for reform proposals that rely on general revenue transfers because it is unclear who will bear the relative burden for those general revenues." [GAO-04-872T, published Jun. 15, 2004, released Jun. 15, 2004]

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