Blue Virginia (VA)
Video: Kaine Speaks to Social Security, Medicare Forum in Fairfax; Allen Blows It Off
Yesterday in Fairfax, Tim Kaine spoke to dozens of advocates for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The forum was convened by Social Security Works and We Act Radio, and both Tim Kaine and George Allen were sent invitations a couple weeks ago. Guess which candidate showed up and which candidate completely blew them off (with no explanation, by the way)? Hint: the one who showed up is in the video on the right, and also in the video on the "flip" (about Medicare). The one who didn't show up? Hmmmm...I believe his initials are G.A. :)
SSSC/SSW event **
Washington Examiner (DC)
Political sniping muddles bipartisanship claims in Virginia Senate race
Republican George Allen released a new television ad Wednesday boasting of his bipartisan achievements as governor of Virginia. Just days before, his Democratic rival for the U.S. Senate, Tim Kaine, did virtually the same thing. But even as the two former governors portray themselves as reasonable men willing to negotiate with the other side, Allen and Kaine are at the same time hurling at each other the same sort of partisan attack lines so common in a Congress paralyzed by politics.
NBC News (NAT)
Social Security raise next year may be tiny
CHICAGO - Last October seniors got some really good news about their Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. This October? Not so much.
This year seniors have benefited from the robust 3.6 percent 2012 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Adding to the good news, they learned Medicare premiums wouldn't take much of a nick out of their inflation raise.
Next year, the Social Security COLA for 2013 is expected to be 1.4 percent - and for many seniors, much of that will be eaten up by a higher Medicare Part B premium.
We won't get the final word on the 2013 Social Security COLA until October 16, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases inflation numbers for September. But it's not looking good for retirees on a fixed income.
ABC News (NAT)
Biden Proposed Social Security Freeze in 1984
The year was 1984 and Senator Joe Biden was sounding the alarm over Ronald Reagan’s budget deficits. His proposal, which was co-sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., included a one-year freeze of all federal spending including Social Security (no cost of living increase) and defense (no pay increase for the troops).
“So, when those of my friends in the Democratic and Republican Party say to me, ‘How do you expect me to vote for your proposal? Does it not freeze Social Security COLA’s for 1 year? Are we not saying there will be no cost-of -living increases for one year?’ The answer to that is ‘Yes,” that is what I am saying,” Biden said in a speech on the Senate floor on April 24, 1984
Tim Kaine Answers Your Questions
Social Security and Medicare are earned benefits that our seniors have paid into and depend on during their retirement. Throughout the programs’ histories, the government has had to make changes to strengthen them and similar changes must be made now. Instead of privatizing Social Security, leaving seniors vulnerable to volatile markets, or turning Medicare into a voucher program, forcing seniors to negotiate directly with insurance companies themselves, we need to look at other alternatives. After listening to seniors across the Commonwealth, I have proposed changes to strengthen these essential programs. For Social Security, we can raise the income payroll tax cap so that it covers a similar percentage of income as it did in the 1980s under President Reagan, which would greatly extend the solvency of the program. For Medicare, allowing the government to negotiate prescription drug prices would save up to $24 billion every year. Action should be taken, but we must ensure seniors receive the benefits they’ve earned.
Washington Post (NAT)
How to be a deficit hawk without pushing Simpson-Bowles
To most Democrats’ chagrin, Walker’s group wants to block-grant Medicaid, repeal and scale back parts of the Affordable Care Act, and raise taxes on Americans who are above the poverty live but pay no federal income taxes, as it outlined in a 2011 fiscal reform plan. “There are a lot of people well above the poverty rate who aren’t paying income tax,” says Walker, the former Comptroller General who previously ran Pete Peterson’s foundation. He acknowledges that the tax change won’t be a big money saver. “That’s not going to generate a lot of money, but we’ve got to have more people have a stake in government finance,” he explains, adding that the framework would hold middle-class taxpayers harmless.
The Hill (DC)
DSCC hits McMahon on Social Security in new ad
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad features seniors expressing concern over McMahon's position on the program. The ad uses McMahon's previous comments -- that she would include a "sunset" provision in legislation like Social Security -- to characterize her as being in favor of letting the program phase out, and it says that she would end the Medicare guarantee. "Linda McMahon is just not for us," one woman says in the ad.
Concord Monitor (NH)
DNC chair: GOP to privatize Social Security
Electing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as president and vice president could lead to the privatization of Social Security, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said yesterday during a campaign swing through New Hampshire.
The Republican candidates, she told the Monitor, would "turn Social Security from a guaranteed safety net to a guaranteed gamble by supporting privatization schemes that allow seniors to invest in the stock market."
New York Times (NAT)
This Election, a Stark Choice in Health Care
Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear
If Mr. Romney wins and Republicans capture the Senate, much of the law could be repealed — or its financing cut back — and the president’s goal of achieving near-universal coverage could take a back seat to Mr. Romney’s top priority, controlling medical costs. Given the starkness of the choice, historians and policy makers believe this election could be the most significant referendum on a piece of social legislation since 1936, when the Republican Alf M. Landon ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal programs. (Nearly eight decades have passed, but the debate sounds strikingly familiar: Landon described the Social Security Act, passed in 1935, as “the largest tax bill in history” and called for its repeal.)
Five things to watch for in vice presidential debate
Peter Hamby and Paul Steinhauser
Will Biden put Social Security in play?
In the House, Paul Ryan has backed moving Social Security funds to private investment accounts as a way to make the popular entitlement program more solvent.
Ryan's past proposals would seem to tee up what's usually a winning political argument for Democrats: that the Republican ticket wants to gut Social Security to help their old pals on Wall Street…
Make Up Your Mind, Mitt! Romney Expresses Support For Bi-Partisan Legislation With Federal Insurance Mandate
He’s done it again. In an interview conducted Tuesday with the Des Moines Register, GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, took President Obama to task for failing to have supported an existing, bi-partisan health care reform bill sponsored by Republican Senator Robert Bennett and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden before introducing the Affordable Care Act.