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May 25, 2005 | By Amy Chasanov | Economic SnapshotSee Snapshots Archive. Snapshot for May 25, 2005. Growth in Social Security wealth outpaces all other sources For almost all Americans, retirement security requires a reliance on a combination of Social Security, pensions, and private savings. With radical changes to Social Security under debate in Congress and the erosion of private pensions in the headlines, it is important to understand how the sources of Americans’ retirement income have changed over time. These trends are discussed in detail in EPI’s new book, Retirement Income: The Crucial Role of Social Security.
May 4, 2005 | By Amy Chasanov | Economic SnapshotSee Snapshots Archive. Snapshot for May 4, 2005. President’s proposal for deep cuts in middle-income Social Security benefits Soon after the president began his campaign to privatize Social Security last November, the White House endorsed a plan to freeze benefits at their the current level and prevent future benefits from sharing in the economy’s future prosperity. Specifically, the president’s 2001 commission on Social Security had proposed replacing the current formula of wage indexing, which keeps benefits rising with productivity and real wage growth, with price indexing. This proposal has been criticized for causing drastic cuts in benefits across the income scale. In last week’s press conference, President Bush endorsed mutual fund executive Robert Pozen’s proposal to bring about substantial cuts in promised benefits through partial price indexing. Under this new plan, workers with career earnings averaging $25,000 or less per year would continue to have their future benefits calculated based on increases in wages, but middle- and high-income workers would see large cuts in their guaranteed benefits. Under this proposal, people with career annual earnings above $113,000 would, starting in 2012, have their future benefits calculated based purely on increases in prices; middle-income workers would see their benefits subjected to a combination of wage and price indexation that would result in a reduction from currently promised levels.
April 5, 2005 | By Amy Chasanov | CommentaryOpinion pieces and speeches by EPI staff and associates. [ THIS OP-ED ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE LONE STAR ICONOCLAST (TX) ON MARCH 23, 2005.
Setting the Wrong Course: Personal Reemployment Accounts fail to address the real needs of jobless workers
February 15, 2005 | By Amy Chasanov | CommentaryOpinion pieces and speeches by EPI staff and associates. [ THIS FACT SHEET WAS FIRST POSTED TO VIEWPOINTS ON FEBRUARY 15, 2005. ] Setting the Wrong Course Personal Reemployment Accounts fail to address the real needs of jobless workers By Andrew Stettner and Amy Chasanov Executive Summary The Bush Administration and certain members of Congress are continuing to push personal reemployment accounts (PRAs) as an alternative to real job training and employment services. Under PRAs, unemployed workers would get a $3,000 account that they could use to pay for employment services or get a cash bonus for finding a job quickly. Yet, PRAs are an empty promise to Americans seeking help to find a good job.
February 9, 2005 | By Amy Chasanov | Economic SnapshotSee Snapshots Archive. Snapshot for February 9, 2005 Proposed Social Security price indexing would slash benefits The Bush Administration has spoken favorably about substituting price indexing for wage indexing, a change that was a centerpiece of Plan 2 of the President’s Social Security commission. Under this change, benefits would no longer reflect improvements in the country’s standard of living, but would just be indexed to prices. It is hard to overstate the effect of that substitution on hypothetical future benefits. Recent research by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) sheds light on this issue. The CRS estimated what the effect on current Social Security retirees’ benefits would have been if initial benefits had been calculated based on increases in prices—using the consumer price index—instead of increases in average national wages.1 Figure 1 shows that, with a price indexation formula, retiree benefits would have been cut substantially. Under the current wage indexation, the Social Security benefit for a person with average earnings over one’s lifetime and retiring in 2005 would be $15,336 per year, replacing 42% of the average worker’s income. If, however, price indexing had been used instead of wage indexing, that same 2005 retiree would receive only $6,180 per year, replacing just 17% of income. In other words, as the figure shows, a change from wage indexation to price indexation would have meant a 60% cut in Social Security benefits for today’s retirees.
November 10, 2004 | By Amy Chasanov | Economic SnapshotSee Snapshots Archive. Snapshot for November 10, 2004. Unemployment rate masks high share of long-term unemployed In March 2002 Congress enacted the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program, giving most workers who had exhausted their regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits an additional 13 weeks of coverage in most states, and an additional 26 weeks in high unemployment states.
October 6, 2004 | By Amy Chasanov | CommentaryOpinion pieces and speeches by EPI staff and associates. [ THIS PIECE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN TOMPAINE.COM ON OCTOBER 6, 2004 ] The Buck Doesn’t Have To Stop Here By Amy Chasanov Most Americans believe it’s wrong that a parent can work full time and still live and labor in poverty.
September 1, 2004 | By Amy Chasanov | Economic SnapshotSee Snapshots Archive. This Snapshot is a preview of the information now available on EPI’s revised UI Calculator and UI Issue Guide, which have been updated to reflect state law and policy as of August 2004.
July 15, 2004 | By Amy Chasanov | CommentaryOpinion pieces and speeches by EPI staff and associates. [ THIS OP-ED FIRST APPEARED IN THE HILL ON JULY 14, 2004. ] Minimum wage can stand some maximizing By Amy Chasanov For a while it looked like minimum wage workers might finally be getting a long-overdue raise.
June 1, 2004 | By Amy Chasanov | Policy MemoOpinion pieces and speeches by EPI staff and associates. [ THIS POLICY MEMO WAS PREPARED ON JUNE 1, 2004. ] Missing the mark “Personal Reemployment Account” pilot program fails to address real needs of jobless workers By Amy Chasanov and Rick McHugh The Bush Administration’s fiscal year 2005 budget proposes spending $50 million to create “personal reemployment accounts” (PRAs) for jobless workers. Rep.
May 11, 2004 | By Amy Chasanov | Briefing PaperNo Longer Getting By An Increase in the Minimum Wage Is Long Overdue By Amy Chasanov No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.
March 30, 2004 | By Amy Chasanov | Policy MemoOpinion pieces and speeches by EPI staff and associates. [ THIS POLICY MEMORANDUM WAS PREPARED ON MARCH 30, 2004 ] Reed Act distributions won’t provide unemployment insurance benefit extensions to workers By Amy Chasanov In late December 2003, Congress failed to extend the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program, despite a weak economy and an unprecedented number of workers who had been unemployed for six months or more. This Wednesday, March 31, final unemployment insurance (UI) checks will be sent to thousands of workers who have been unemployed for 8 months or more. The expiration of the TEUC program makes no sense—unemployment spells are at their longest average duration in 20 years, more than 1.1 million workers will have exhausted their benefits by the end of March, and U.S.