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Social Security's finances can be improved without cutting benefits by even a penny. Here's how.

Social Security's finances can be improved without cutting benefits by even a penny. Here's how.

Proposals to shore up what is thought to be Social Security’s shaky finances necessarily fall into two categories:

  1. Increase revenues.
  2. Cut benefits.

The received wisdom among the chattering classes in Washington long has been that some combination of both is necessary to close the program’s long-term actuarial deficit. Conservatives in particular argue that the nation “can’t afford” to raise Social Security taxes enough to do so on its own.

A new paper by economist Thomas L. Hungerford, an associate commissioner at...

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