When lawmakers debate the tools they have to manage the transition of the country’s social-insurance programs into the next century—how to tax, what to spend, and various policy changes—they work with a variety of assumptions about what the United States and its economy will be like. Long-term trends are just as important as short-term shocks. Changes in four key areas, alone or in concert, could help alleviate the financial pressure driving the entitlements debate—or raise the stakes.
PICTURES: Four Major Changes That Could Ease the Entitlements Battle
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