Wilhelmina A. Leigh is senior research associate of the Economic Security Initiative of the Civic Engagement and Governance Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
On April 23, 2012, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its 2012 annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds (formally the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance Trust Funds). Like previous annual reports, this one contains estimates of revenues and expenditures of the Trust Funds for the current year and projections of the same for 75 years into the future. Also like previous reports, its findings lead many to conclude that Social Security won’t be there for them when they need it. This doesn’t have to be the case.
In its deliberations to develop a plan to reduce the federal deficit by more than a trillion dollars over the next decade, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction considered a proposal to calculate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) in all government programs using the Chained Consumer Price Index-Urban (C-CPI-U), rather than the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U).