Brenton Smith

Brenton Smith (A.K.A. Joe The Economist) writes nationally on the issue of Social Security reform with work appearing in Forbes, FedSmith.com, MarketWatch, TheHill.com, and regional media like The Denver Post.

CBO’s Improving, Pessimistic View of Social Security’s Future

By on October 30, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
CBO’s Improving, Pessimistic View of Social Security’s Future

A new CBO report highlights improvements to the financial health of Social Security but remains pessimistic about its future overall.

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Double Taxation of Social Security

By on October 16, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Double Taxation of Social Security

The author says that what he describes as double taxation of Social Security benefits is unfair, but Congress has little option to address the situation.

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Social Security: It’s All Part of the Plan

By on August 15, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Social Security: It’s All Part of the Plan

The author says that Social Security is gradually heading towards a financial crisis, and the worst part about it is there seems to be no plan to deal with it.

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Social Security’s Deficits Still Rising According to 2017 Trustees Report

By on July 14, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Social Security’s Deficits Still Rising According to 2017 Trustees Report

The 2017 Trustees report shows some significant improvements for Social Security, and yet the costs to fix the program are exploding higher.

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Social Security Needs More Independent Oversight

By on July 10, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Social Security Needs More Independent Oversight

Social Security hasn’t had Public Trustees in two years, and the author says the fact that President Trump hasn’t nominated a replacement should frighten the average person worried about the financial stability of the program. Who is producing the numbers that guide the discussion of Social Security?

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Is Social Security a Safety-Net or a Stipend For Wealthy Seniors?

By on May 16, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Is Social Security a Safety-Net or a Stipend For Wealthy Seniors?

Most people consider Social Security a safety net, but new research suggests that benefits fall disproportionately to the wealthy in retirement. The author provides an analysis.

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Debating Privatizing Social Security

By on April 4, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Debating Privatizing Social Security

Two writers debate the pros and cons of privatizing Social Security. The author summarizes their positions and offers his analysis.

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Challenges for Social Security Under a New Administration

By on March 28, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Challenges for Social Security Under a New Administration

2016 was a great year for Social Security, however, the author says that this doesn’t mean President Trump has an easy job of balancing Social Security for the next four years.

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COLA Wars

By on March 2, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
COLA Wars

Recently proposed legislation would apply a new COLA for all federal benefits programs. While the bill claims to be an improvement for benefits recipients, the author says that “better” in this case means that everybody would ultimately pay more.

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Where is Esurance Beatrice When You Need Her?

By on January 31, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Where is Esurance Beatrice When You Need Her?

The author says that it appears that the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget has a fundamental misunderstanding of Social Security’s relationship to the federal debt.

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