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Eric Kingson
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Eric Kingson, professor of social work at Syracuse University's School of Social Work, is also a Senior Research Associate in the Maxwell School’s Center for Policy Research.

Kingson served as policy advisor to two presidential commissions -- the 1982-3 National Commission on Social Security Reform and the 1994 Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. Previously on the social work faculties of Boston College and the University of Maryland, he directed the Emerging Issues in Aging Program of the Gerontological Society of America (1984-5). He received his doctorate in 1979 from Brandeis University’s Florence Heller School for Social Policy and Management; his M.P.A. in 1976 from Northeastern University.

A founding board member of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), he is a past-chair of the Social Research, Policy and Practice section of the Gerontological Society of America, a member of the board of directors of the Foundation of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and chairs a NASI advisory committee to its program, "Innovative Projects to Strengthen Social Security for Vulnerable Populations." His scholarship examines the politics and economics of population aging, Social Security, and the public and private exchanges across generations. He is primary author of Ties That Bind: The Interdependence of Generations (Seven Locks Press, 1986) and Social Security and Medicare: A Policy Primer; author of The Diversity of the Baby Boom (Washington, DC: AARP, 1992) and co-editor of Social Security in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 1997). He also authored Lessons From Joan: Living and Loving with Cancer, A Husband’s Story (Syracuse University Press, November 2005), and In Their Own Voices (Center for Spiritual Care, SUNY Upstate Medical University, May 2009), a small book that presents the experiences and advice of 14 children and youth who face life-threatening illness.

Entries by Eric Kingson

Congressman John Larson's Important Plan to Expand Social Security

(2) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 6:27 PM

The idea of expanding Social Security is gaining momentum. Senators from the blue states of Massachusetts and Vermont (Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders), the swing states of Iowa and Ohio (Senators Tom Harkin and Sherrod Brown), and the red state of Alaska (Senator Mark Begich),...

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Happy Birthday Social Security: Time to Expand Your Protections

(12) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 9:52 AM

Today marks 79 years since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Social Security into law on August 14th, 1935. Today, our Social Security system celebrates nearly eight decades of ensuring basic economic security for America's workers and their families when wages are lost as the result of death, disability, or old...

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United We Win: How Progressives Defeated the Chained CPI

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 4:02 PM

Last week, progressive groups won a huge victory when the White House announced the chained CPI Social Security cut will be not be in President Obama's budget for the upcoming year. We should reflect on two lessons from this victory. The first is the strength and power that comes when...

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Stealing From Federal Civil Servants: You May Be Next

(688) Comments | Posted December 8, 2013 | 3:59 PM

Imagine that an employer wishes he hadn't paid you so much in the past, so he goes into your bank account and takes what he wants. Sound outrageous? That's essentially what the federal government may be about to do to its workers!

And if that doesn't make you angry,...

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Chained-CPI Supporters Believe This Year's Tiny Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Is Too Generous

(53) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 11:15 AM

To ensure that Social Security benefits do not erode over time, they are adjusted every January. Notwithstanding the annual adjustments, those benefits do not keep pace with inflation. Shockingly, rather than make those adjustments more accurate, some politicians support making them more miserly, through a change, known as the "chained...

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Dear Journalists: Please See and Report the Good News in the 2013 Social Security Trustees Report

(23) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 3:41 PM

Beginning in 1940 when the first Social Security retirement check was mailed out to Ida Fuller, a retired legal secretary living in Brattleboro, Vermont, and continuing to this day, no public policy has done more to protect the financial security and dignity of Americans. No public policy has charged our...

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One Group of Lawmakers Is Thinking Seriously About America's Future, And Another Group Isn't

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 4:18 PM

This week is a week of tremendous excitement for those who are interested in the Congressional budget process -- which is likely to be a relatively small group of folks. Beneath all the eye-glazing numbers, though, are values. And real people whose lives will be shaped, for better or worse,...

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Cancel the Sequester! It's Really That Simple for Congress

(161) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 9:34 AM

Co-authored by Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, Founding Co-Directors of Social Security Works and Co-Chairs of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition.

It's not usual for politicians to admit error.

The "sequester" poses an unnecessary and huge danger, potentially inflicting deep wounds to the economy and to...

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President Obama: We the People Thank You for Defending Social Security in Your Second Term

(10) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 1:16 PM

In his stirring second inaugural address, President Barack Obama demonstrated that he understands what Social Security means to the American people. In saying, "[W]e reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build...

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Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire?

(37) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 4:31 PM

Notwithstanding the White House claim that the fiscal-cliff deal is "A Victory for Middle Class Families and the Economy," we worry that it will play out as a defeat for both. Intended or not, the deal set the agenda for negotiations that will threaten the future of Social Security, Medicare,...

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Dear Congress: A Vote for the Chained CPI Is a Vote to Cut Social Security Benefits

(77) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 3:25 PM

The following letter was co-authored by Eric Kingson and Nancy Altman, co-chairs of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, and sent to every Congressional office.

Our coalition of 320 organizations representing a broad cross-section of the American people respectfully urges you to reject the use of the less-generous and...

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Our 'How-to Manual' for Betraying Seniors and People with Disabilities

(23) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:17 AM

Pity those poor politicians who want to cut Social Security benefits by changing the way cost of living adjustments (COLAs) are calculated.

They want to be counted as among the "serious people in the room." You know, the folks who are willing to "compromise" the well-being of everyday Americans...

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Lame Duck Whip Count

(4) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 2:23 PM

Once again, politicians are quietly scheming about ways to implement Wall Street austerity plans, including cutting important systems like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

That's why we're asking every member of Congress to promise:

  • NO benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • NO tax cuts for the top...

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Attention All Journalists: 8 Things You Need to Know Before Reporting on the Social Security COLA

(4) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 9:35 AM

On October 16, at 8:30 a.m., the Social Security Administration will post on its website the size of the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2013. Experts estimate that the 2013 COLA will increase Social Security benefits in nominal dollars by between 1.5 and 1.7 percent. The adjustment...

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How the GOP-Backed Ryan Plan Threatens Middle-Class Retirement Security

(14) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 1:00 PM

by Nancy Altman, Social Security Works, Eric Kingson, Syracuse University, and Benjamin W. Veghte, Scholars Strategy Network, Harvard University

This piece was originally published by the Scholars Strategy Network, and the full brief is available as a PDF here.

Generations of Americans have worked together to build...

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Alan Simpson: Pulling Apart Social Security, And Proud of It

(10) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 5:42 PM

The Honorable Alan Simpson
United States Senator (retired)
1201 Sunshine Avenue
Cody, Wyoming 82414

Dear Senator Simpson,

Your plan would begin pulling apart our Social Security system brick by brick. Unfortunately, you seem to think that bigotry and bullying will silence those of us who are trying...

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An Open Letter About Alan Simpson's Recent Comments

(9) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 6:59 PM

The Honorable Erskine Bowles
Co-Chair
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Dear Mr. Bowles:

While we have extremely serious objections to the Social Security provisions proposed in the Bowles-Simpson plan and, indeed, its inclusion at all in a deficit reduction package, this is not why we are...

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Washington Post Continues Attack on Social Security

(141) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 4:41 PM

The Washington Post doesn't seem to want to take any prisoners in its on-going assault on Social Security. On October 31st, the paper ran a front page, above the fold, "news" article ("The debt fallout: How Social Security went 'cash negative' earlier than expected") falsely claiming that Social...

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Message to the 99%: Help Stop the 1% From Using the Super Committee to Rob the American People

(473) Comments | Posted October 29, 2011 | 1:11 PM

The 1% is using the super-secret Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a. the Super Committee), to reach directly into the pockets of the 99% and steal hundreds of billions of dollars from them. This committee has unprecedented power. It has been meeting behind closed doors for weeks. Finally, though,...

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Reflections on the Importance of Security -- Social Security -- on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

(148) Comments | Posted September 11, 2011 | 2:35 PM

A Social Security Administration employee's story about 9/11: "The most difficult, and at the same time most gratifying, work I did was to help relatives of 9/11 victims file for Social Security... One woman, in particular, stands out in my mind. Her husband was only in...

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