This week’s Public Affairs Discussion Group to examine social security disability insurance

whiteThe Public Affairs Discussion Group will continue with a talk by Joe White, the Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy, titled “The Attack on Social Security Disability Insurance (?).”

The trust fund for Social Security Disability Insurance is on the verge of running dry. This fund is one of two associated with Social Security. Workers and their employers each pay 6.2 percent of payroll, up to a cap. Of these 6.2 percent contributions, 5.3 percent goes into the Old Age and Survivors Insurance fund and 0.9 percent into the DI fund.

Economic and demographic conditions change, so the share needed for each fund can change; on six occasions since 1970, contributions have been shifted from one pot to the other. As they adopted the Rules of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress, however, House Republicans made reallocating funds out of order unless that is part of a larger law that “improves the overall financial health of the combined Social Security Trust Funds.”

Is this part of a plan to hold DI hostage in order to force Social Security cuts? What are the merits, and what are the likely politics? Join the discussion Friday, Jan. 23, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Kelvin Smith Library’s Dampeer Room.

Since 1989, faculty, emeriti, students and staff have gathered on Fridays for a brown-bag lunch and to discuss topics in public affairs.

For updates and more information about the Friday lunch schedule, visit