Social Security and Government Deficits: When Should We Worry?

35 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2007

See all articles by Neil H. Buchanan

Neil H. Buchanan

University of Florida Levin College of Law


In this Article, I critically examine the assumption that the Social Security system faces a financing crisis and that the government can avert the crisis only by acting now to cut benefits or to raise taxes. The best conclusion we can draw from the current evidence is that the system is not doomed and that it is not necessary to institute immediate changes. We should, of course, continue to monitor the situation closely to determine whether future changes become necessary. This conclusion is further strengthened by the likelihood that any changes the government makes to the Social Security system today will be regressive, harming the middle class and the least fortunate in order to forestall a crisis that may never occur or that future progressive changes in policy will be able to address.

Keywords: Social Security, Government Deficits

JEL Classification: E62, H55, H61, H62

Suggested Citation

Buchanan, Neil H., Social Security and Government Deficits: When Should We Worry?. Cornell Law Review, Vol. 92, p. 257, 2007, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 242, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 242, Available at SSRN:

Neil H. Buchanan (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

PO Box 357069
Gainesville, FL 32635
United States

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