SSSC/SSW mention **
Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Strengthen Social Security
In his role as the head of the Defending Social Security Caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders is warning that some in Washington want to cut benefits by changing the way annual cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. It was announced this week that there will be a 1.7 percent increase next year.
"The fact of the matter is that the current formulation as to how you determine a COLA is, in my view, inadequate and does not fully take into consideration the type of inflationary pressures that seniors face in terms of the high cost of prescription drugs and of health care," the senator told radio host Stephanie Miller. "There is a plan afoot right now - and this is a hugely important issue in Washington - in which virtually all of the Republicans and some Democrats are talking about reformulating how we determine a COLA, which would lower Social Security benefits for seniors and for disabled veterans."
SSSC/SSW mention **
Petition: Stop Dismantling Social Security and Medicare
Senator Bernie Sanders and Social Security Works
To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama NO benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. NO tax cuts for the top 2%
Huffington Post (NAT)
The Latest Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA): Is It Accurate?
Social Security's benefits are modest by virtually any measure, but vital to the millions of seniors, people with disabilities, and survivors who rely on them. To ensure that these crucial benefits do not erode over time, the law requires that they be automatically adjusted to take into account inflation. The annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is not a benefit increase, but a part of the basic benefit.
Social Security: 6 Facts You Need to Know
Karin Feldman and Shaun O'Brien
Social Security has become increasingly important because people can’t count on pensions or retirement savings. Just 15% of workers in the private sector have a real pension at work. Just 60% of families closest to retirement (ages 55 to 64) have any retirement savings at all in a 401(k), IRA or similar account. Even a $100,000 account, for a couple retiring at age 65, translates into just about $400 per month in income. See "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2007 to 2010: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances."
Huffington Post (NAT)
Medicaid: The Forgotten Issue
Many Americans don't realize that the largest component of Medicaid is long-term care for America's elderly followed by the disabled. People should be asking -- what will happen to those 30 million or more Americans who will likely lose their Medicaid coverage during a Romney/Ryan administration? Where will they go for health care coverage? As is often the case, there are no answers to these critical questions because so few people even know to ask them.
Fire Dog Lake (Blog)
Democrats Begin Talking About Extending Payroll Tax Cut
After giving up the payroll tax cut for dead, a few Democrats have tentatively returned to reanimate the policy, arguing that the economy could benefit from another year of fiscal accommodation. But the approach is so hedged and conflicted, that I don’t see it as a game changer.
Fire Dog Lake (Blog)
2 Social Security Plans and Inequality: Black coffee and stale bread
Washington, D.C. technocrats have advanced two Social Security reform plans to address projected future deficits. But there is a shared problem with both plans. The Diamond-Orszag plan and the Bowles-Simpson plan (p.48) reinforce and increase pre-existing income inequality.
Wall Street Journal (NAT)
How Much Is Social Security Worth?
Ellen E. Schultz
Your Social Security benefits might be worth more than you think. Despite widespread gloom over the health of the system, it will be still be able to pay at least 70% of benefits in coming decades, even if no action is taken. That means you need to take the benefits into account when estimating your retirement income, how much you'll need to save and how to allocate your investments to achieve your goals.
Associated Press (NAT)
Retirement worries grow; 30-somethings most uneasy
WASHINGTON — Younger Americans in their late 30s are now the group most likely to doubt they will be financially secure after retirement, a major shift from three years ago when baby boomers nearing retirement age expressed the greatest worry. The survey findings by the Pew Research Center, released Monday, reflect the impact of a weak economic recovery beginning in 2009 that has shown stock market gains while housing values remain decimated.
Rapid City Journal (SD)
Social Security Announces 1.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2013
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2013, the Social Security Administration has announced. The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2013. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 31, 2012.
Michigan Live (MI)
Letter: Voting Republican will end Medicare and Social Security
Your choice in the November elections is clear. Vote for Republicans if you want Medicare and Social Security ended; more corporate welfare through the tax code; higher deficits to pay for more colonial wars in the Middle East; and your wife, mother, daughters and sisters treated as second-class citizens.
Talking Points Memo (NAT)
David Gregory: Bowles And Simpson Say Romney’s Tax Math ‘Simply Doesn’t Work
"Now here's the thing, I know the Romney campaign has six studies that say it does add up but we don't know exactly how. I've talked to Erskine Bowles and Senator [Alan] Simpson of the Simpson-Bowles commission and they say it simply doesn't work -- that either the middle class will have to pay more in taxes or you have to blow up the deficit."
The Missoulian (MT)
NEWS ANALYSIS: The Tester, Rehberg records on Social Security
While Tester has said the Simpson-Bowles plan is a good starting point on how to reduce the federal deficit, he never supported its Social Security proposals, campaign spokesman Aaron Murphy said last week. “Cutting the debt and deficit will be about priorities, and Jon believes cutting the safety net from seniors is not what we should be discussing,” Murphy said. Tester knows changes are needed in Social Security to preserve it past 2033, but believes benefits should not be cut for those who rely on them, Murphy added. As for Tester supporting higher taxes on Social Security benefits, Rehberg’s campaign points to Tester’s votes in 2007, 2008 and 2009 against a failed amendment offered by former Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.
Issa subpoenas documents on Medicare demo
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa subpoenaed the Obama administration Monday for documents he believes will expose Medicare malfeasance by Department of Health and Human Services officials.
The move, confirmed by an aide to the California Republican, makes good on a threat Issa issued last week, when he demanded reams of data from HHS by 5 p.m. on Thursday. Although the agency dumped 1,300 pages at his doorstep just before the deadline, he contended that the information was garbled and unresponsive to his request.
Washington Post (NAT)
The bizarre case of the Romney/Ryan position on Simpson-Bowles
LEHRER: Governor, what about Simpson-Bowles? Do you support Simpson-Bowles?
ROMNEY: Simpson-Bowles, the president should have grabbed that. LEHRER: No, I mean, do you support Simpson-Bowles? ROMNEY: I have my own plan. It’s not the same as Simpson-Bowles. But in my view, the president should have grabbed it. If you wanted to make some adjustments to it, take it, go to Congress, fight for it. Doesn’t anyone else find this completely bizarre?
Simpson-Bowles Supporters Get Campaign Backing in Return
Republican Representative Charlie Bass was among only 38 U.S. House members who voted in March for a deficit-cutting measure based on a proposal by the leaders of President Barack Obama’s Simpson-Bowles commission.
Last week, the co-chairmen -- Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson -- returned the favor, supporting Bass in an uphill fight for an eighth term in a Democratic-leaning New Hampshire district. Earlier, Bowles endorsed former Maine Governor Angus King, an independent, for an open Senate seat. Simpson and Bowles appeared at a “fiscal summit” with Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a Democrat on the Nov. 6 ballot.