The Motley Fool (NAT)
5 Huge Myths About Social Security
Social Security has been providing Americans with old age, disability, and widow and orphan insurance for as many as 77 years. But like so many of today's crucial financial topics, it's also shrouded in myth. Here are five big ones.
Washington Post (NAT)
A not-so-grand bargain on the fiscal cliff
Research analysts at the Bank of America are predicting that the most likely outcome will be a compromise that consists of relatively modest spending cutbacks and minor changes to the tax code. It would be enough deficit reduction to avoid the sequester, allowing about half of the $720 billion of the cliff’s contraction to take effect in 2013. But the report anticipates that Congress will only agree to moderate deficit reduction as a substitute for the cliff, rather than using the looming fiscal contraction to maximize it, as the deficit hawks want. As such, the bank’s analysts say the most likely outcome would be a far cry from the sweeping plans from Simpson-Bowles or the Gang of Six that would fundamentally reform spending, entitlements and taxes.
Washington Post (NAT)
‘Accelerated regular order’: Three boring words that could avert the fiscal cliff
Deficit hawks are dreaming that a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction will come out of the fiscal cliff standoff. But how could you possibly get a sweeping plan to reform spending, taxes, and entitlement through a paralyzed Congress that has already failed so many times to come to an agreement? The Bipartisan Policy Center thinks it has the answer.
The Motley Fool (NAT)
Are 401(k) Plans a Failed Experiment?
Sara E. Murphy
Only about half of American workers have access to a 401(k) plan, and only about 30% of American workers actually take advantage of that plan.
According to the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, about 75% of 401(k) account holders have balances below the frequently cited average of $60,000. The median account balance is less than $20,000.
More than a third of U.S. households end up at retirement with only Social Security.
Tim Kaine Rejects the Simpson-Bowles Plan To Cut Social Security
VIDEO: Tim Kaine Rejects The Simpson-Bowles Plan To Cut Social Security
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles want to cut your Social Security and Medicare benefits. They’ve assembled a $30 million warchest and have promised lawmakers that support their austerity plan will get “financial support.” But Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine dealt a blow to their hopes last night during his debate with his Republican opponent George Allen.
Is Social Security a Good Deal or Not?
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.
Huffington Post (NAT)
The National Debt and Our Children: How Dumb Does Washington Think We Are?
While much of the country is focused on the presidential race, the Wall Street gang is waging a different battle; they are preparing an assault on Social Security and Medicare. This attack is not exactly secret. There have been a number of pieces on this corporate-backed campaign in the media over the last few months, but the drive is nonetheless taking place behind closed doors.
US News (NAT)
Social Security Makes Even More Public Service Cuts
"Beginning November 19, 2012, we will close Social Security field offices to the public 30 minutes early each day," she wrote. "For example, a field office that is usually open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm will close daily at 3:00 pm; and beginning January 2, 2013, we will close Social Security field offices to the public at 12:00 pm on Wednesdays." Staffers will not lose normal hours, but will be much less likely to require overtime to finish helping members of the public who arrive at the offices late in the day.
CBS News (NAT)
Looming large for 2012 candidates: Social Security
Mitt Romney says he would not change anything for people already retired or older than 55. But he has proposed a gradual increase in the eligibility age for Social Security -- one month per year beginning in 2022. Romney told "60 Minutes" that benefits should be reduced for high-income Americans. "People with higher incomes won't get the same high growth rate in their benefits as people of lower incomes," he said. President Barack Obama has not outlined a comprehensive plan to overhaul Social Security. He opposes raising the retirement age or privatizing the system. But the president says he's open to slowing the program's growth by limiting cost-of-living increases.
Ironton Tribune (OH)
Looking at Social Security, Medicare
However there would be a cost transfer to patients if health care costs continue to rise faster than inflation, a fact for each year of the past two decades. The risk would transfer entirely to individuals.
The Sacramento Bee (CA)
Social Security is main income for many older Californians
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. -- For the nation's 45 million elderly Social Security recipients, the bad news tempered the good: They learned this week that a 2013 cost-of-living increase will raise their monthly Social Security income – but by only a fraction. The 1.7 percent adjustment, which comes to an average of less than $24 per recipient per month, is the smallest increase in decades.That amount "obviously says that Social Security is not likely to keep up with the costs facing our world," said Christopher Hoene, executive director of the California Budget Project, which advocates for low-income Californians. "We haven't been in a period of inflation, but it's hard to believe such a small increase will keep up."
Connecticut GOP Senate Candidate Won’t Talk About Social Security Reforms Because Of ‘The Media’
At a tea party gathering in April, McMahon said programs like Social Security should have “sunset provisions” that require Congressional action to continue them once they expire, a plan that would constantly put the long-term future of Social Security at risk. She blamed the media for distorting those comments, and now she won’t reveal specifics about how she would change America’s most popular entitlement program until after the election, in order to avoid criticism, CT News Junkie reports
San Francisco Gate (NAT)
Smith, Casey tangle over Medicaid, Social Security
Pennsylvania, at nearly 16 percent, has one of the highest proportions of residents who are at least 65 years old.
Casey went on the attack in a Philadelphia news conference Thursday, highlighting his opposition to Smith's support for giving future Medicare recipients the option to take a government check to help buy coverage from a private insurer.
Washington Examiner (DC)
Cicilline and Doherty sparr over the economy and social security
Social Security: When asked a question on social security, both Congressman Cicilline and Republican Doherty had strong answers. Both men believe in a stronger future for social security and medicare. Dan McGowan of GoLocalProv reported that both Cicilline and Doherty oppose the privatization of social security and the transformation of medicare into a voucher system in the future.
Go Local Prov (RI)
Cicilline/Doherty Debate: Winners and Losers
Both candidates are opposed to privatizing Social Security or making Medicare a voucher system (Cicilline is against raising the age for Social Security altogether, however) and they each support lowering the corporate tax rate, the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), certain parts of the Affordable Care Act and focusing on infrastructure to create jobs in Rhode Island.
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Allen, Kaine clash over leadership, economy in final debate
Wesley P. Hester
"You and I are both fathers and this one is very personal to me," he said. "I have a son who has just started a career in the military. I'm not going to do things that are going to hurt the troops or hurt the vets." One thing the two candidates did agree on — eventually — was that neither would support in its entirety a $4 trillion bipartisan deficit-reduction plan, known as Simpson-Bowles, the leaders of a presidential commission. The plan, which did not have the support of all members of the commission, called for debt reduction through a 3-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases and entitlement reforms. Kaine said he could not support the entirety of the plan, noting that he did not feel Social Security reform needed to be a part of it, but that he did favor the balanced approach it called for. When asked if he would vote for the plan, Allen said he thought there were some good ideas that he could support, but that Obama had "walked away from it as if it was a dead animal on the front porch." When repeatedly prodded to answer the question with a yes or no, Allen replied: "I would amend it."
Queens Tribune (NY)
Congressional Candidates Engage in Debate
For a crowd that skewered towards an older age group, Social Security was one of the most passionately-discussed topics of the evening, especially in regards to coverage decades down the line. Chou believed in removing the Social Security cap at $100,000. The cap means that those who make more than $100,000 stop having to contribute to the fund when they hit that amount per year. Chou supported a progressive tax plan to keep Social Security moving forward, but he said he does not think the system is broken. Meng agreed with Chou that there is no crisis today, but said there will be one in the near future.
CBS Local (NY)
Sen. Schumer: President’s Veto Threat Will Bring ‘Grand Bargain ‘As Fiscal Cliff Nears
“You need to find cuts, particularly in wasteful programs, but you also have to find revenues. And there are only two choices, two places to find revenues – from middle class people or from the very wealthy. What the President is saying, it should come from the very wealthy,” said Schumer. “The Congress for the first time has a real sword hanging over its head and it makes me optimistic that if each side gives some, we can actually come to a deal.”