N. Altman

Nancy J. Altman

Co-Founder and President, Social Security Works
Areas of Expertise:

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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.

Contributions

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

  • Eric Kingson
  • Benjamin Veghte

In the News

"Democrats Must Protect Social Security by Raising the Debt Ceiling," Nancy J. Altman, Opinion > Congress Blog, The Hill, November 19, 2022.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on the expansion of Social Security by Mark Miller, "Social Security: Where Do the 2020 Candidates Stand?" The New York Times, February 7, 2020.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on support for wealth tax by Naomi Jagoda, "Progressive Tax-The-RIch Push Gains Momentum" The Hill, September 16, 2019.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on proposals to use taxes on wealthy to fund Social Security by Naomi Jagoda, "Progressive Tax-the-Rich Push Gains Momentum" The Hill, September 16, 2019.
Nancy J. Altman's research on Social Security changes discussed by Sarah O'Brien, "Social Security Expansion Bill Poised to Gain Traction in Congress, Targeting those who Earn Over $400,000," CNBC, February 23, 2019.
"Why Employers Should Support the Expansion of Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Forbes, December 6, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman's research on social security discussed by Alessandra Malito, "What You Probably Don’t Know About Social Security," MarketWatch, August 18, 2018.
"Author Delves into U.S. Social Security's Origins to Debunk Myths," Nancy J. Altman, Interview with Mark Miller, Reuters, August 2, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted by Alessandra Malito, "Social Security: What to Know, What to Expect, How to Make it Better" Marketwatch, July 17, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman's research on social security discussed by Joe Davidson, "Social Security Recipients Could be Collateral Damage of Trump's Workforce Orders," The Washington Post, July 17, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted by Mike Elk, "Trump’s Crackdown on Social Security Judges Seen as An Attack on the Disabled" Payday Report, July 14, 2018.
"Social Security Closures Show 'Callous Disregard'," Nancy J. Altman, The Baltimore Sun, June 21, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on social security by 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 by Terrence McCoy, "Spending Bill Addresses Crushing Backlog of Federal Disability Claims" The Washington Post, March 28, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted by Michelle Singletary, "Attention, Seniors: Trump’s Budget is Coming for Your Medicare Benefits" The Washington Post, February 19, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted by Richard Eskow, "Forget Trump; His Party is the Problem Now" Nation of Change, February 13, 2018.
"The Latest Devious Republican Attack on Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Linda Benesch), The Hill, February 12, 2018.
Nancy J. Altman quoted by 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 funding by 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 by 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 by Helaine Olen, "Attacks on Social Security are Attacks on Women" Slate, August 20, 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 by 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 by Anthony Man, "Ted Deutch Preaches to Constituent Choir on Social Security" Sun Sentinel, March 10, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on defending America's Social Security program by Bud Meyers, "The True Advocates for Social Security" Economic Populist, February 22, 2015.
Nancy J. Altman quoted on the origins of Republican opposition to Social Security by Dylan Scott, "The 80-Year Conservative War on Social Security is Back for More" Talking Points Memo, January 14, 2015.
"The New Republican Attack on Social Security Starts Now!," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Common Dreams, January 7, 2015.
"Can the Social Security Program Really Go Bankrupt?," Nancy J. Altman, Aging Today, October/November 2005.
Interview on U.S. Social Security policy with Al Sharpton Nancy J. Altman, MSNBC's Politics Nation, June 30, 2012.
Guest to discuss Social Security on PBS NewsHour, Nancy J. Altman, April 23, 2012.
"The Danger of Privatizing Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Mert Bernstein and Eric Kingson), St. Louis Post Dispatch, September 25, 2008.
"John McCain and Social Security," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 2008.
"The Right Fixes for Social Security," Nancy J. Altman, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2008.
"Mississippi’s Primary Illustrates Gains of the Civil-Rights Movement," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 2008.
"Why Older Americans Will Support Obama," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), San Francisco Chronicle, February 29, 2008.
"Obama Will Renew Faith in Federal Programs," Nancy J. Altman (with Eric Kingson), Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 18, 2008.
"Survivor Security," Nancy J. Altman, New York Times, November 21, 2001.
Regular contributions by Nancy J. Altman to Neiman Watchdog.
Regular contributions by Nancy J. Altman to Huffington Post.

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.

"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 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.

"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.

"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 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.

"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.