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  • Commentary posted December 3, 2014 by Rachel Greszler As the Pension Agency Falters, Who Gets Stuck With Bill?

    The latest annual report from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation makes for some very uncomfortable reading. The deficit in PBGC’s multi-employer program quintupled in 2014, soaring to $42.4 billion from “only” $8.3 billion in 2013. That massive deficit is problematic for millions of workers who now stand to receive mere pennies on the dollar in promised pension…

  • Commentary posted October 8, 2014 by Rachel Greszler For the Economy’s Sake, it’s Time to Deep-Six the Death Tax

    Death and taxes are two of life’s certainties, but the tax on death itself should certainly be eliminated. A recent analysis by The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that doing away with the federal death tax would provide a much-needed, long-lasting boost to the nation’s economy. Indeed, it would increase economic growth by $46 billion over the next 10…

  • Backgrounder posted September 23, 2014 by John L. Ligon, Rachel Greszler, Patrick Tyrrell The Economic and Fiscal Effects of Eliminating the Federal Death Tax

    The federal estate tax (often referred to as the death tax) is a tax on a person’s lifetime accumulated property. In 2014, the death tax applies a 40 percent tax to all accumulated wealth above $5.34 million.[1] While the death tax applies to relatively few Americans and raises only tiny amounts of revenue for the federal government, it imposes substantial costs on the…

  • Commentary posted August 21, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Federal disability fund needs reform, not a bailout

    Money’s tight for the federal disability insurance program. Unless Congress acts, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund will run out of money in 2016. At that point, nearly 11 million Americans would see their disability benefits cut by nearly 20 percent, leaving the average beneficiary below the poverty level. Unfortunately, most of the talk about how to solve this…

  • Backgrounder posted August 14, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Payroll-Tax Reallocation Would Rob Social Security and Prevent Necessary Disability Insurance Reforms

    A‌lthough Social Security’s 75-year shortfall is nearly 10 times as ‌large as that of the Disability Insurance (DI) program, the DI Trust Fund is projected to be exhausted much sooner. According to the Social Security trustees’ 2014 projections, the Social Security (Old-Age and Survivors Insurance—OASI) Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2034, but the DI Trust Fund will run…

  • Backgrounder posted August 4, 2014 by Rachel Greszler, Romina Boccia Social Security Trustees Report: Unfunded Liability Increased $1.1 Trillion and Projected Insolvency in 2033

    Social Security ran a $71 billion deficit in 2013, closing out four years of consecutive cash-flow deficits as the program’s unfunded obligations continue to grow.[1] According to the 2014 annual report from the programs’ trustees, the combined 75-year unfunded obligation of the Social Security and Disability Insurance Trust Funds (referred to collectively as the OASDI…

  • Backgrounder posted August 1, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund Will Be Exhausted in Just Two Years: Beneficiaries Facing Nearly 20 Percent Cut in Benefits

    A‌fter five consecutive years of deficits, the Social Security Disability ‌Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund will run dry in just two years.[1] If Congress does not act before 2016, benefits will be cut across the board by almost 20 percent. This would mean a $218 reduction in monthly benefits—from $1,146 to $928—for the average beneficiary,[2] lowering the average benefit…

  • Backgrounder posted August 1, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Raising the Social Security Payroll Tax Cap: Solving Nothing, Harming Much

    A‌lthough often brushed aside as the lesser of our nation’s ‌entitlement problems, the Social Security and Disability Insurance Programs’ $13.4 trillion (and rising) unfunded liability demands substantial reform.[1] Raising the payroll tax cap (from its current level of $117,000) should not be an option. Raising, or even eliminating, the payroll tax cap would not solve…

  • Testimony posted June 27, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Reducing the Challenges Women Face in Retirement Through Economic Growth and Savings Reforms

    Testimony Before the Joint Economic Committee United States Congress I am Rachel Greszler, Senior Policy Analyst in Economics and Entitlements in the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Vice-Chair Klobuchar,…

  • Testimony posted June 18, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Empowerment in the Workplace

    Testimony Before the Joint Economic Committee United States Congress I am Rachel Greszler, Senior Policy Analyst in Economics and Entitlements in the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Vice-Chair Klobuchar,…

  • Issue Brief posted May 22, 2014 by Rachel Greszler, James Sherk Equal Pay for Equal Work: Examining the Gender Gap

    The White House and many in Congress argue that employers pay women less than men for the same work. They point to figures showing that women earn 77 cents for each dollar men earn.[1] Such statistics ignore other factors that influence pay. Education, choice of industry and occupation, hours worked, experience, and career interruptions all affect the productivity—and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 18, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Job Creation: Policies to Boost Employment and Economic Growth

    Nearly five years since the official end of the great recession in June 2009, 10.5 million Americans are unemployed, and the labor force participation rate remains near a 35-year low.[1] The weak labor market exists despite trillions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus aimed at boosting employment and economic growth. Rather than increase the size of the federal…

  • Issue Brief posted April 17, 2014 by James Sherk, Rachel Greszler Paycheck Fairness Act Would Reduce Pay and Flexibility in the Workplace

    In the name of protecting women from discrimination, the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) would allow employees to sue businesses that pay different workers different wages—even if those differences have nothing to do with the employees’ sex. These lawsuits can be brought for unlimited damages, giving a windfall to trial lawyers. Any financial benefits they reap, however,…

  • Commentary posted April 16, 2014 by Rachel Greszler How the Paycheck Fairness Act Will Hurt Women

    As a working woman and mother of four young children, I strongly support fairness in the workplace. And that is why the Paycheck Fairness Act worries me. It would unintentionally harm working women by taking away some of the freedoms and choices we currently enjoy. The Paycheck Fairness Act seeks to equalize wages. Under the Act, employers would have to prove that any…

  • Issue Brief posted February 28, 2014 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., Rachel Greszler, John L. Ligon Chairman Camp’s Tax Reform Plan a Milestone for Dynamic Analysis

    House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R–MI) released a plan for comprehensive tax reform. Setting aside its merits, Camp’s proposal is noteworthy on two accounts: (1) It presents the most comprehensive tax reform proposal in decades, and (2) it includes a dynamic estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). The latter is a long overdue and welcome…