Nancy Altman

Nancy Altman, author of The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision to Bush's Gamble, co-directs Social Security Works and co-chairs the Strengthen Social Security Coalition and Campaign.

Recent Articles

Social Security and the Deficit

Social Security is not part of the federal deficit: Even with no policy changes, it will be in balance for the next 26 years.

Conservatives in Washington have their knives out for Social Security. Soon after being named co-chair of President Barack Obama's deficit commission, former Sen. Alan Simpson -- who recently described Social Security as "a milk cow with 310 million tits" -- said unequivocally that Social Security has to be cut. He boasted, "It'll be a bloodbath." Simpson's co-chair, former chief of staff for Bill Clinton, Erskine Bowles, has been equally blunt: "We are going to mess with Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security." Commission member and retiring Sen. Judd Gregg jocularly defended cutting Social Security by quoting Willie Sutton who, when asked why he robbed banks, replied, "because that's where the money is." If one looks at the federal budget only as a unified whole, Social Security does indeed appear to be where the money is. Examining the budget that way is useful for analyzing broad fiscal policy, but it is a simplified, distorting view. It disregards the fact that Social Security...