Altman

Nancy J. Altman

Affiliations
President, Social Security Works
Areas of Expertise:
  • Social Security
  • Aging

Connect with Nancy

About Nancy

Altman has long been an expert on Social Security, in both its history and current policy matters. As a legislative assistant, she advised Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO) on Social Security matters from 1977 to 1981. She has gone on to write extensively, in books and articles, about issues surrounding retirement income. Currently she chairs the Board of Directors of the Pension Rights Center, an organization that advocates for beneficiary rights and provides resources to the public.

Briefs

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

  • Eric Kingson
  • Nancy J. Altman

Podcast

Publications

Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All (with Eric Kingson) (The New Press, 2015).

Calls for the expansion of the Social Security system and offers an antidote to the three-decade-long, billionaire-funded campaign to make Americans believe that this institution is destined to collapse. Argues that Social Security is a powerful program that can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality.

The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

Illuminates the politics and policy of the current struggle over Social Security in light of the program's compelling history and ingenious structure.

"Social Security and the Low-Income Worker" American University Law Review 56, no. 5 (2007): 1139-1161.

Asserts that Social Security is of particular importance to low-income Americans and presents a plan to eliminate the program’s long-range shortfall while continuing to support the most vulnerable members of society.

"Protecting Social Security’s Beneficiaries: Achieving Balance without Benefit Cuts,"

Briefing Paper No. 206

, Economic Policy Institute, October 31, 2007.

Argues for the importance of maintaining and strengthening Social Security benefits, and points out reforms to achieve long-term financial balance without cutting benefits.

"Social Security and Intergenerational Justice" George Washington Law Review 77, no. 5 (2009): 1383.

Discusses other scholarly arguments for intergenerational equity in social insurance; ultimately suggests a synthesis of prevalent ideas and proposes new solutions for closing the funding gap and protecting the rights of all generations.

"Mr. Social Security: The Extraordinary Contributions of Robert M. Ball" in Social Insurance and Social Justice: Social Security, Medicare, and the Campaign against Entitlements, edited by Leah Rogne, Carroll Estes, Brian R. Grossman, Brooke Hollister, and Erica Solway (Springer Publishing, 2009), xix-xxiv.

Highlights and celebrates the work of Altman’s late colleague Robert M. Ball, an advocate for social justice through social insurance policy reform.

"Social Security from the Great Society to 1980: Further Expansion and Rekindled Controversy" (with Theodore R. Marmor), in Conservatives and American Policy Development, edited by Brian J. Glenn and Steven M. Teles (Oxford University Press, 2009), 155-188.

Examines the role of conservatism in the Social Security policy setting during a time period otherwise often viewed from a predominantly liberal narrative frame.

In the News

Nancy J. Altman quoted on social security in Charles S. Clark, "Social Security Plan to Shutter Field Office Prompts Street Protest" Government Executive, May 3, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on the Social Security backlog in Terrence McCoy, "Spending Bill Addresses Crushing Backlog of Federal Disability Claims" The Washington Post, March 28, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted in Liz Posner, "Republicans Have a Sinister New Way of Cutting Social Security" Alternet, February 9, 2018.
"The Latest Devious Republican Attack on Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Linda Benesch), The Hill, February 12, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted in Ann Leonard, "No Child is Alien or Illegal" The Union Democrat, February 15, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted in Michelle Singletary, "Attention, Seniors: Trump’s Budget is Coming for Your Medicare Benefits" The Washington Post, February 19, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted in Richard Eskow, "Forget Trump; His Party is the Problem Now" Nation of Change, February 13, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman's research on Liz Posner. Nancy J. Altman, "One Republican's Disastrous Plan Would Make Student Debt an Even Bigger Problem," Alternet, January 10, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted in Russ Wiles, "Changes May be Ahead for Social Security, Observers Say " The Republic, October 22, 2017.
on FAIR, Nancy J. Altman, March 10, 2017.
"Donald Trump’s New ‘Health’ Secretary Wants to Destroy Medicare," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, November 29, 2016.
"Clinton and Sanders Debate How Much to Expand Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, February 12, 2016.
"Seniors and Veterans Deserve a Raise," Nancy J. Altman (with U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL 8th District)), Huffington Post, December 21, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on Social Security in William Greider, "The Big Idea That Could Bring Disaffected Voters Back to the Polls" The Nation, November 18, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on Social Security funding in Alan Pyke, "Final Major Budget Deal of the Obama-Boehner Era Forces GOP to Release Social Security Hostages" Think Progress, October 27, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on Social Security expansion in Greg Sargent, "A Temporary Outbreak of Sanity in Washington" The Washington Post, October 27, 2015.
"Ending the Student Debt Crisis and Expanding Social Security: We Will Win Together," Nancy J. Altman (with Natalia Abrams), Huffington Post, September 16, 2015.
"Happy Grandparent's Day! They - and We - Deserve an Expanded Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, September 13, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on GOP attacks on Social Security in Helaine Olen, "Attacks on Social Security are Attacks on Women" Slate, August 20, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on Social Security, "Health Care Should be a Birthright" Brattleboro Reformer, July 30, 2015.
"Medicare at Age 50: Building on Its Success," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, July 30, 2015.
"Independence Day, Thomas Paine and Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Huffington Post, July 2, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on the difficulty of maintaining pre-retirement standard of living in retirement in Pamela Yip, "Middle Class Struggle for Retirement" News.com, May 22, 2015.
"A Living Wage when Working, a Poverty-Free Old Age when Retired," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Huffington Post, April 15, 2015.
Guest to discuss the debate surrounding Social Security on Newsmax TV, Nancy J. Altman, March 10, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on the state of America's Social Security program in Anthony Man, "Ted Deutch Preaches to Constituent Choir on Social Security" Sun Sentinel, March 10, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on the origins of Republican opposition to Social Security in Dylan Scott, "The 80-Year Conservative War on Social Security is Back for More" Talking Points Memo, January 14, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on defending America's Social Security program in Bud Meyers, "The True Advocates for Social Security" Economic Populist, February 22, 2015.
"The New Republican Attack on Social Security Starts Now!," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Common Dreams, January 7, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on Republican attacks on social security in Jon Queally, "'Hostage-Takers:' Republicans Go after Social Security on Very First Day" eNews Park Forest, January 7, 2015.
"Survivor Security," Nancy J. Altman, New York Times, November 21, 2001.
"Can the Social Security Program Really Go Bankrupt?," Nancy J. Altman, Aging Today, October/November 2005.
"Obama Will Renew Faith in Federal Programs," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 18, 2008.
"Why Older Americans Will Support Obama," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), San Francisco Chronicle, February 29, 2008.
"Mississippi’s Primary Illustrates Gains of the Civil-Rights Movement," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 2008.
"The Right Fixes for Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2008.
"John McCain and Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 2008.
"The Danger of Privatizing Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Mert Bernstein and Eric Kingson), St. Louis Post Dispatch, September 25, 2008.
Guest to discuss Social Security on PBS NewsHour, Nancy J. Altman, April 23, 2012.
Interview on U.S. Social Security policy with Al SharptonNancy J. Altman, MSNBC's Politics Nation, June 30, 2012.
Regular contributionsNancy J. Altman to Neiman Watchdog.
Regular contributionsNancy J. Altman to Huffington Post.