Millionaire Corner (blog)
COLA, Medicare and Retirement Security
Medicare Part B premiums, typically deducted from Social Security payments, are projected to increase by more than 9 percent in 2013, according to the IRI. Any offset of the COLA, designed to protect seniors from inflation, will reduce the overall purchasing power of the 56 million elderly Americans receiving Social Security benefits. Nancy Altman and Eric Kingston, co-chairs of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, predict that increases in monthly Medicare premiums will “eat up all of the COLA of some beneficiaries and much of it for many.”
Fire Dog Lake (Blog)
The Next Grand Bargain Negotiations Will Begin January 1
The question becomes why, if this is such an advantageous position for Democrats to find themselves in, is it necessary to loop in programs like Medicare, which was substantially altered by the Affordable Care Act in ways that we don’t know will work yet, and Social Security, which has nothing to do with the budget? The answer: because. The elites want a deal on these issues, and the Administration thinks they’ve figured out a way to secure that deal.
Fire Dog Lake (Blog)
White House Vows to Veto Any Fiscal Cliff Actions Without Increase in Top Marginal Rates
However, the leverage does change after January 1 if all of the Bush-era tax cuts expire. Then Democrats could put forward a large tax cut package that neglects the top marginal rates. Republicans could resist, but they would at that point be voting against a tax cut rather than a tax increase, a situation they would find harrowing and potentially damaging.
What's your rate of return on Social Security?
It showed that some workers might beat Social Security's returns in some years if they took risks in the stock market. But over a lifetime, Social Security's consistent, risk-free and inflation-adjusted returns would be very tough to beat.
Washington Post (NAT)
Romney focuses on economy, Medicare, Social Security with new debate ad
ANALYSIS: Romney uses one of his strongest moments from the debate in an ad designed to hammer home his economic message. The clip chosen by Romney’s campaign is a part of his core campaign message, though some of his statements are misleading. Median income is down under Obama, but Romney’s assertion that 23 million Americans are out of work is an exaggeration. That figure actually combines those who are unemployed, those who are working part time when they want full-time jobs and those who have given up looking for work.
Washington Post (NAT)
The problem for premium support: Seniors don’t always choose the best plan
There are other forces that could push seniors to chose the wrong plan, like health insurers structuring benefit packages in a way that would lure the healthier — and less costly — seniors to pick their products. There’s already some evidence of this happening in Medicare Advantage right now, where plans with a gym membership benefit tend to have healthier members. This isn’t an indictment of seniors: Shopping for insurance is an incredibly difficult task for any individuals. Between co-pays, premiums and the unpredictability of health needs, its really difficult to know which plan offers the best value. What we do know of the one private market we have in Medicare right now, however, is that beneficiaries don’t always chose the least expensive plan to meet their needs.
Huffington Post (NAT)
AARP Wants Congress To End Social Security Payroll Tax Holiday
"When Congress and the President originally enacted and then extended the temporary payroll tax holiday, AARP recognized and appreciated that economic conditions had been devastating for millions of Americans and that there was a need for short-term action," AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said in his letter to lawmakers. "In addition, our position on the temporary payroll holiday was contingent on several conditions in order to protect Social Security and its beneficiaries in both the short and long-term."
San Francisco Chronicle (NAT)
Face the Facts USA: Average woman's Social Security lower than average man's
ACT #80: Lower Lifetime Wages Put Women at Disadvantage
The average female retiree on Social Security gets a monthly benefit $300 smaller than the average male retiree. Because retirement benefits are tied to average lifetime earnings, and women have tended to earn less than men, the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit is $1,023 for women, $1,323 for men. The difference -- $300 – is about what the average American household spends on groceries per month.
Could small Social Security hike be a bad omen for seniors?
"They count on every single penny of their annual COLA boost," said Mary Johnson, policy analyst for the league. "Even so, a 1.7 percent COLA will not increase benefits by much, leaving little left over after paying rising Medicare premiums."
Washington Post (NAT)
Obama’s plan: Push Republicans off the fiscal cliff
That veto threat is the center of the Obama administration’s second-term strategizing. The Obama administration believes – and, just as importantly, they believe Republicans believe — that they’ve got the leverage here. The Republican position on taxes is less popular than the Democratic position. The outcome of gridlock is much higher taxes, which is more anathema to Republicans and arguably cheering to Democrats. The big, dumb spending cuts, despite being poorly timed and inanely constructed, are very progressive in their effect, falling heavily on military spending while exempting Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare beneficiaries.
The Day (CT)
Final debate: Murphy, McMahon wrangle over Social Security
McMahon, the Republican in the race, was asked by a moderator to give specifics on how she would work in a bipartisan way to reform Social Security for future beneficiaries. McMahon promised to “not support any budget that will reduce the benefits of what our seniors are getting today.” But McMahon said she has been hesitant to give specifics while campaigning “because they get demagogued.” Murphy’s retort: “She says she’s going to get demagogued, that may be another way of saying she’s going to lose votes.”
GOP’s problems exposed in struggle for Senate
David Catanese and Manu Raju
Republicans fell short of power in 2010 largely because three out-of-the-mainstream candidates — in Nevada, Delaware and Colorado — lost states that clearly were winnable if more electable politicians had been on the ballot. In 2012, the early exuberance about GOP prospects was based largely on simple math: Democrats were defending 23 seats, some of which looked clearly vulnerable, while Republicans were defending only 10 seats.