Veghte

Benjamin Veghte

Vice President of Policy, National Academy of Social Insurance
Areas of Expertise:
  • Economic Security
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Aging

Connect with Benjamin

About Benjamin

Veghte's research explores how capitalist democracies can effectively mitigate social inequality. He has published on issues related to Social Security, retirement security, Medicare, health insurance, social insurance, and housing policy. Veghte holds a Ph.D. in European intellectual history from the University of Chicago and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. He taught comparative social policy and comparative politics as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Bremen, Germany, until 2008, and served as a social policy consultant for the European Union. He is a member of National Academy of Social Insurance.

Briefs

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

  • Eric Kingson
  • Nancy J. Altman

Social Security is in Good Shape – And Does Not Drive the Deficit

  • Benjamin Veghte

Publications

Social Justice, Legitimacy and the Welfare State (with Steffen Mau) (Ashgate, 2007).

Provides an overview of public opinion research on the legitimacy of social benefits and willingness to pay the taxes needed to finance them.

"Social Policy Preferences, National Defense and Political Polarization in the United States" (with Greg M. Shaw and Robert Y. Shapiro), in Social Justice, Legitimacy and the Welfare State, edited by Steffen Mau and Benjamin Veghte (Ashgate, 2007), 145-168.

Analyzes shifts in public preferences for spending on defense and social programs, and explores how Republicans successfully framed spending issues for the 2004 election.

"Strengthening Social Security for the Long Run," (with Janice M. Gregory, Thomas N. Bethell, and Virginia P. Reno), National Academy of Social Insurance, Washington, DC, October 31, 2010.

Traces the long-term cuts in benefits flowing from Social Security reforms enacted in 1983, and documents strong public support for maintaining and improving the program.

"Economic Status of the Aged" (with Virginia P. Reno, Thomas N. Bethell, and Elisa A. Walker), in Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, 7th edition, edited by Robert H. Binstock and Linda K. George (Elsevier, 2010), 175-192.

Analyzes why American elders saw sharp gains in their incomes and declines in poverty during the 1960s and 1970s, while subsequent gains have been smaller; shows that U.S. elders are more likely to be poor than elders in other western countries.

"Should Social Security’s Cost-of-Living Adjustment be Changed?," (with Virginia P. Reno, Thomas N. Bethell, and Elisa A. Walker), National Academy of Social Insurance, Washington, DC, March 31, 2011.

Studies the consequences of shifting the basis of cost of living adjustment for Social Security to the chained Consumer Price Index – a change proposed by many recent deficit reduction commissions.

"Social Security – Past, Present and Future" in Social Policy and Social Justice, edited by Michael Reisch (Sage, 2014), 309-346.

Analyzes key features of the program and how they evolved, the role of Social Security in the economic security of various groups of Americans, the sources of the system's funding challenges, and reform options and their implications.

In the News

Benjamin Veghte quoted on expanding Social Security to help counter inequality in Richard Eskow, "The #RepublicanClassWar's New Front: Social Security for the Disabled" Huffington Post, February 12, 2015.
"Health Care Consumes over a Third of Social Security Check," Benjamin Veghte, Huffington Post, January 22, 2014.
Benjamin Veghte quoted on health care costs, "Elder Poverty - However You Measure It - Is Not Going Away" Reuters, February 11, 2014.
Benjamin Veghte quoted on why differential between Social Security COLA and chained CPI will be low in 2014, "The House GOP Dials a Wrong Number on the Chained CPI" Los Angeles Times, November 5, 2013.
Benjamin Veghte quoted on role of Social Security in federal budget negotiations, "Interest Groups Eye 'Grand Bargain' with Alarm" Congressional Quarterly, October 21, 2013.
Guest to discuss Social Security Expansion and the Retirement Security Crisis on Al Jazeera America's Inside Story, Benjamin Veghte, October 24, 2013.
"5 Reasons Why a Grand Bargain Would be a Grand Betrayal," Benjamin Veghte, Huffington Post, October 7, 2013.
"Republicans' Latest Ransom Note: Cut Social Security or the Economy Gets It," Benjamin Veghte, Huffington Post, October 14, 2013.
"House Ways and Means Committee Misleads Hill on Chained CPI," Benjamin Veghte, Huffington Post, November 6, 2013.
"Orszag Underestimates Chained CPI Cut," Benjamin Veghte, Huffington Post, May 16, 2013.
Guest to discuss President Obama's Fiscal Year 2014 Budget on Fox 5 (DC) News, Benjamin Veghte, April 11, 2013.
"Don't be Fooled by Misleading Report Calling for Chained CPI," Benjamin Veghte, Huffington Post, March 24, 2013.
"Contributions or Taxes? Two Social Security Funding Paradigms," Benjamin Veghte, National Academy of Social Insurance, Discuss blog, April 15, 2010.
Interview on the Condition of Social Security from a Global PerspectiveBenjamin Veghte, Voice of America, August 24, 2010.