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Alicia Munnell, Ph.D., Center for Retirement Research, Boston College

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A simple question that I would like to pose to Ms. Munnell, in response to her op-ed article recently published in the New York Times, entitled “To Cut the Deficit, Look to Social Security.”

Please explain why you use the word “entitlement” to describe Social Security? No doubt, it was used deliberately. I found it shocking and disillusioning. Representative Paul Ryan also has made this same reference. I will welcome your explanation.

I do not see that Social Security is, in any way, akin to programs like welfare or food stamps or Medicaid. I look forward to your response. Thank you.


Is anyone aware of the fact that the SS Administration has started to cut back on future estimates of SS benefits? My statement this year shows my benefit to be lower than last years statement even though i made more money and paid more into fica. I could not get an answer from local SS office as to why, so i contacted my Congressman John Mica and he contacted SS on my behalf. SS informed him (in a letter i have a copy of)that, based on the economy effective 2008 earnings are now being indexed at a lower dollar value, thus lower SS benefits. I estimate that if i want to start to get my benefits in 5yrs when i turn 62, my benefit will be about $3000. a year lower than what i had planed.

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