SSSC/SSW mention **
The Hill (DC)
Labor unions, liberal groups fear lame-duck betrayal by Obama
“In the choice between Romney and Obama, [Obama’s] much more favorable,” said Nancy Altman, a co-chairwoman of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition. “Having said that, I think the president has shown more concern about the deficit than we think is warranted, and less concern for how crucial these programs are.”
Americans don't want 'grand bargain'
When I hear people say we need to cut Social Security benefits, I wonder whether they know that millions of people lost their retirement savings in the Great Recession and that traditional pensions are increasingly hard to come by. Do the benefit cutters think seniors are sitting around wondering how to spend their lavish retirement benefits — now averaging the princely sum of $14,500 per year? Do they think near-seniors are suddenly realizing that their savings and pensions are much more secure than they had ever imagined possible? Are the people who want to raise the retirement age aware that life expectancy for Americans who lack a high school diploma is actually declining? Do they understand that raising the retirement age is a benefit cut, no matter what age you retire?
Why even President Obama won't champion social security
It is remarkable that social security hasn't been a more prominent issue in the presidential race. After all, Governor Romney has proposed a plan that would imply cuts of more than 40% for middle-class workers just entering the labor force. Since social security is hugely popular across the political spectrum, it would seem that President Obama could gain an enormous advantage by clearly proclaiming his support for the program. But President Obama has consistently refused to rise to the defense of social security. In fact, in the first debate, he explicitly took the issue off the table, telling the American people that there is not much difference between his position on social security and Romney's.
Des Moines Register (IA)
After editor's blog, President Obama releases transcript of Register interview
THE PRESIDENT: ….So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place, the commitment of both myself and my opponent -- at least Governor Romney claims that he wants to reduce the deficit -- but we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business.
It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs.
And we can easily meet -- “easily” is the wrong word -- we can credibly meet the target that the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and even more in the out-years, and we can stabilize our deficit-to-GDP ratio in a way that is really going to be a good foundation for long-term growth. Now, once we get that done, that takes a huge piece of business off the table.
New York Times (NAT)
The Austerity Trap
The data provide objective support for what has been clear to just about everyone except pro-austerity German officials and deficit-crazed Republican politicians. Namely, deep government budget cuts at a time of economic weakness are counterproductive, complicating, if not ruining, the chances for economic growth.
Face the Facts: Family Caregivers Work
Here we go again. More black-and-white confirmation that elder responsibilities often negatively impact both employees and companies. A new fact sheet out from the AARP Public Policy Institute, in chilling percentages, shows the enormity of the issue and the need to implement or enhance workplace programs. Let me lay it out. Here are the statistics I found particularly revealing: 61 percent of family caregivers age 50-plus work either full-time (50 percent) or part-time (11 percent). 42 percent of U.S. employees have cared for an older relative or friend in the last five years. 45- to 64-year-olds make up the biggest age group in the workplace to care for a parent (22 percent).
Washington Post (NAT)
Study: Romney-like plan cuts $1.7 trillion in Medicaid
The Kaiser Family Foundation is out this morning with a deep dive into a plan that looks a lot like Romney’s. The big takeaway: Medicaid funding would be reduced by $1.7 trillion, with hospitals and nursing homes seeing payments fall by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Romney’s Social Security Plan Hides a Tax Hike
So it's worth understanding what Romney has proposed. A close look reveals just how difficult it will be to close Social Security’s ballooning trust fund shortfall without new taxes, which he promises to avoid. It also shows that Romney’s approach will hit middle-income workers harder than the wealthiest, which may come as a surprise given his oft-repeated comment that he'll slow the growth rate of Social Security benefits for those with "higher incomes." As outlined, Romney’s plan closely resembles one proposed in 2006 by another Republican, former Utah Senator Robert Bennett. Both exempt people 55 and up, raise the retirement age to keep up with longevity gains (about one month every two years) and adopt some form of progressive price indexing that has benefits for the top grow only with inflation, while benefits for the lowest earners continue to reflect real wage gains.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Richard Mourdock On Abortion: Pregnancy From Rape Is 'Something God Intended' [UPDATE]
"As I was reading about the extreme stands of Richard Mourdock I was thinking, 'Hey, there's hope for this guy.' A lot of the stuff that he said was correct," Horning said, referring to Mourdock's suggestions that entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security may not be constitutional. "He has repudiated a lot of those statements. Some of it was about the unconstitutionality ... right on," Horning said. "We need somebody who is going to stick with principles."
Associated Press (NAT)
Senate candidates discuss future of social security, abortion
While Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly said he does not support the privatization of social security, arguing that the government shouldn’t take the chance with people’s money, Republican Richard Mourdock said he is for privatization.
Mourdock added that he thinks the government should start immediately telling younger workers, which he defined as those under the age of 55, that there will be different rules regulating social security. He also said that he would like to give people the chance to decide between saving their own retirement money or choosing a government plan to help them do so.
Chicago Tribune (NAT)
Foster ad hits Biggert on Social Security, Medicare
Foster's latest line of attack in the 11th District contest focuses on two areas of concern for seniors — Social Security and Medicare. The spot accuses Biggert of voting to privatize Social Security, making reference to two 2001 votes the veteran Hinsdale Republican cast in Congress. One case involved a procedural vote Biggert took against a Democratic plan opposing President George W. Bush's Social Security Commission that was recommending a portion of the program be privatized. The ad also cites Biggert's vote for a budget that year that included funding for privatized Social Security accounts.