(1966) Commissioner of Social Security Robert M. Ball (standing) and Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Wilbur Cohen (seated) discuss Medicare. A complete gallery of photos and posters is coming soon.

The Ideal, Pain-Free (for Almost Everyone) Way to Strengthen Social Security

Of all the problems facing the nation, Social Security's projected shortfall is one of the easiest to solve. The Robert Ball/Nancy Altman plan solves Social Security's deficit, without cutting anyone's benefits. And 94% of all American workers will experience no tax increase under the proposal. The 6% whose Social Security taxes are affected will simply have deductions made at the same rate for at most a week longer into the year.

What Bob Ball and the author are convinced is the ideal, pain-free (for almost everyone) way to strengthen Social Security consists of three elements:
  1. Conversion of the 2009 residual estate tax to a dedicated Social Security tax, starting in 2010.
  2. The gradual restoration of the maximum taxable wage base, so that, as in the past, 90 percent of all earnings in covered employment would be taxed and counted for benefits.
  3. Diversification of the trust fund portfolio to include both stocks and bonds.