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18 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Name the three origins of Social Security
1. Great Depression
2. Demands by the Townsend Movement
3. Congress adopts social insurance program
What are the reasons for limited early cost in social security?
1. limited coverage
2. Early beneficiaries had “paid in” for a limited number of years
3. less generous benefit levels were rising
4. low life expectancy
What are the major contributions to social security?
1. 1965 was the creation of Medi care
2. 1972: Benefits indexed to inflation (Cost of living adjustment)
Explain how social security works?
1. Insurance principles: benefits based on contributions the individual has made
2. payroll tax funded equally by the employee and employer contributions
3. payroll tax applies up to a certain threshold (approximately $85,000)
4. Eligibility based on age, not income/wealth
5. Pay as you go system
Explain how the benefits of social security exceeds the contributions
1. Most retirees receive more in benefits than they have contributed in payroll taxes
2. More contributors (women, baby boomers)
3. Today’s workers earn more money
4. Payroll tax is higher than it used to be
Name the three reasons social security has political popularity
1. Programmatic structure (Universal)
2. Successful (lower poverty rate)
3. Incremental expansion over time (Savvy political movements)
What could be the future trouble for social security in America?
1. Increased demands on Social Security
-Retirement of the baby boomer generation will put unprecedented strain on the program
-Increased life expectancy
2. Limited supply of contributors
-No influx of new workers into the economy (Women already working)
-Shrinking families (Fewer people going into the workforce)
-Fewer workers for each program beneficiary
What can be the solutions to social security's future problems?
1. Slight increase in the payroll tax
2. Gradual increase in the retirement age
3. Reduce the rates at which benefits increase
Describe the PRWORA, or the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.
1. Enacted in 1996
2. Abolished aid to families with dependent children (AFDC)
3. Replaced AFDC with TANF (temporary assistance for needy families)
Why do most comprehensive reform initiatives fail?
1. They raise issues of race, class, and sex (most people that use welfare are blacks and latinos)
2. They force policy makers to confront a series of distinctive traps (can’t get something desirable without getting something undesirable)
Explain the difference between the dual clientele trap and the money trap
1. Dual clinetele Trap- Acknowledge that they serve two constituents, poor children and their parents

2. Money Trap- a)Short term increases
b) If you help poor children, you are also helping their parents and this seems like you are rewarding the parents for bad behavior, however, if you punish the parents, you are also punishing the children who don’t deserve it
Describe the problem stream in welfare reform
1. increased child poverty rate
2. Rising number of welfare recipients
3. Steady increase in (out of wedlock births)
4. intergenerational dependency evidence
5. Declining work effort among recipients
Describe the policy stream in welfare reform
1. Many alternatives from across the political spectrum were on agenda
2. Democrats and Republicans agreed that the existing system was deeply flawed
3. All wanted existing system to change
Describe the political stream in welfare reform?
1. Public Mood- Consensus that the country was spending too much on an unsuccessful program
2. The 1992 presidential election- Presidential campaign and Clinton’s pledge to “end welfare as we know it”- savvy (didn’t say what he stood for, just favored work and individual responsibility) important because Democratic and they are more generous to welfare
3. Increasing Innovation at the state level
Explain why social programs for senior citizens tend to be politically strong?
The overlying reason is political participation. In Depth...

1. senior citizens’ voter turnout rates are high and have been climbing
2. Support of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
3. Widespread political support
Explain why social programs for poor families with children tend to be politically vulnerable
The outlying reason is that children cannot vote. More in depth...

1. No interest group with a membership approaching that of the AARP
2. Groups working on these programs are not unified
Explain why policy outcomes for senior citizens are better than those for children
1. Poverty rates
a) Rates among senior citizens feel from 25% in 1970 to 10.5% in 1998 (fallen dramatically in poverty rates)
b) Rate among families with children increased from 15 to 20% between 1970 & 1998
2. Health outcomes
a) The U.S. is “the healthiest place to grow old bus [the] riskiest [in which] to be born”
Explain why public assistance programs are less user-friendly than programs for the elderly
1. Fewer cash benefits
a) Spending only 1/10 of Social Security (retired people get to spend it however; welfare isn’t like that-food stamps, housing vouchers
2. Less indexation
a) The cost of living goes up cost of benefits got up (buy them less overtime
3. They are based on assistance, not insurance: means testing
a) Program is targeting-have to demonstrate that your quality as low income
4. They are state programs, not national programs
a) S.S. is a national program so you can move from state to states but welfare recipients have a harder time since it changes from state to state
5. Benefits cannot supplement income
a)As you work, the benefits get taken away
b)Retired people don’t get cut back