Harvard Law School Professor Howell Jackson ’82 testified before the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board last week about his proposal to reform accounting for social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare. If adopted, the new standards could facilitate entitlement reform in the U.S.

“Federal accounting standards should be measured by the extent to which they communicate to the general public and our political leadership a) an accurate picture of the state of the nation’s fiscal affairs and b) the manner in which that state is changing over time,” Jackson said in his testimony. “A key weakness of existing reporting standards is that they do not recognize the substantial retirement benefits that current law promises both retirees and the aging baby boomer generation.”

Jackson has advised several federal agencies about federal accounting reform for entitlement programs and has written articles on the topic, appearing in publications such as the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Tax Notes, and The New York Times.

The James S. Reid, Jr. Professor of Law, Jackson joined the HLS faculty in 1989 and has served as the vice dean for research and special programs and as vice dean for administration and budget.

He holds a B.A. from Brown University, a J.D. from HLS, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.