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Retirement Security Law Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Retirement Security Law

Social Security, Generational Justice, And Long-Term Deficits, Neil H. Buchanan Mar 2005

Social Security, Generational Justice, And Long-Term Deficits, Neil H. Buchanan

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This paper assesses current methods for evaluating the long-term viability and desirability of government activities, especially Social Security and other big-ticket budget items. I reach four conclusions: (1) There are several simple ways to improve the current debate about fiscal policy by adjusting our crude deficit measures, improvements which ought not to be controversial, (2) Separately measuring Social Security’s long-term balance is inappropriate and misleading, (3) The methods available to measure very long-term government financing (Fiscal Gaps and their cousins, Generational Accounts) are of very limited value in setting public policy today, principally because there is no reliable baseline ...


What Is Fiscal Responsibility? Long-Term Deficits, Generational Accounting, And Capital Budgeting, Neil H. Buchanan Apr 2004

What Is Fiscal Responsibility? Long-Term Deficits, Generational Accounting, And Capital Budgeting, Neil H. Buchanan

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This article assesses three basic approaches to assessing the future effects of the government’s fiscal policies: traditional measures of the deficit, measures associated with Generational Accounting, and measures derived from applying Capital Budgeting to the federal accounts. I conclude that Capital Budgeting is the best of the three approaches and that Generational Accounting is the least helpful. Acknowledging that there might be some value in learning what we can from a variety of approaches to analyzing fiscal policy, I nevertheless conclude that Generational Accounting is actually a misleading or--at best--empty measure of future fiscal developments. The best approach to ...