Economic Policy Institute
The five serious flaws of Bowles-Simpson
Yesterday, a selection of past members of the Bowles-Simpson commission, anti-deficit groups like the Peterson Foundation and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and a handful of retired politicians launched the Fix the Debt Campaign in order to push a deficit reduction package in line with the original Bowles-Simpson framework (full disclosure: I served on the Bowles-Simpson commission staff in fall 2010).
Associated Press (NAT)
Scalia says no 'falling out' with Roberts
Jesse J. Holland
In an interview that aired Wednesday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," the justice said that, despite reports that he and Roberts had clashed, there is not a personal feud going on between the court's two leading conservatives.
"There are clashes on legal questions but not personally," Scalia said of the court.
Wall Street Journal (NAT)
Demography, Saving and Entitlement-Program Reform
Ben J. Wattenberg's suggestion that the funding problems with Social Security are due to demographics is demonstrably false ("What's Really Behind the Entitlement Crisis," op-ed, July 13). A properly funded program of benefits works regardless of demographics if benefit amounts are not increased above what payments can support, and accumulated funds and related investment earnings are invested wisely and not diverted to other uses.
Roll Call (DC)
Payroll Tax Cut Gets No Love
Steven T. Dennis
A giant middle-class tax hike looms at the end of the year, and both parties and the White House — for now — seem content to ignore it.
As the two parties close in on the climax of a decade-long clash over Bush-era tax cuts, neither party has proposed preventing a looming $120 billion yearly payroll tax hike.
The Government We Deserve (DC)
The Budget Crunch for Children—An Update
The Urban Institute recently released Kids’ Share 2012: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2011, by Julia Isaacs, Katherine Toran, Heather Hahn, Karina Fortuny, and myself. It looks comprehensively at trends in federal spending and tax expenditures on children over the past 50 years. This sixth annual report is well worth a look if you are at all interested in how children fare in the federal budget.
CNN Money (NAT)
Where can I get my Social Security statement?
Could you tell me the easiest way to get an updated Social Security statement? When I called on the phone I was put on hold and never got through. ― Bruce C.
The Social Security Administration's new online statement is the best way to keep track of your Social Security information, according to Kia Green of the SSA's press office.
With Rates Low, It Pays to Delay Social Security
“As Social Security benefits are paid as a life annuity, delayed claiming reduces the expected length of time over which benefits are claimed,” the authors wrote. “Thus, the benefit calculation rules call for an actuarial adjustment so that individuals who claim later receive larger monthly payments.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
City Council secretary charged with stealing Social Security checks
A longtime secretary for City Council has been charged with multiple counts of theft and other crimes after being accused of stealing Social Security checks from an elderly woman in her care.
Financial Advisor (NAT)
Social Security Beat: Advisor Helps spouses Boost Benefits
Spouses can use each other’s earnings records to increase their Social Security benefits in ways that are sometimes overlooked, says J. Graydon Coghlan, president of CFG Wealth Management in San Diego.
U.S. News (NAT)
5 reasons to pay off your mortgage before retiring
You may be tempted to plan on prolonging the note for as long as possible—even well into your retirement years—while you try to eke out a higher investment return. But before you decide to stick with minimum payments, consider the following benefits of having no mortgage payments in retirement:
Citizens Voice (PA)
Scranton to make full payroll this week, but not back wages previously withheld
City police and firefighters went from earning minimum wages two weeks ago to earning a full paycheck this week, plus a 2 percent raise, officials said.
New York Times (NAT)
Suicide Attacker With Fake U.S. ID Blamed in Bus Bomb
Nicholas Kulish and Matthew Brunwasser
The attack on a tour bus carrying Israeli vacationers outside the airport here was carried out by a suicide bomber using fake American identification, Bulgarian officials said Thursday.
Washington Post (NAT)
Russia, China veto U.N. resolution on Syria as shelling in Damascus continues
Babak Dehghanpisheh and Liz Sly
Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a U.S.-backed U.N. Security Council resolution threatening the Syrian government with sanctions, upending four months of diplomacy aimed at stemming a crisis that has left more than 14,000 people dead.
Washington Post (NAT)
What voters are really choosing in November
Below all the mudslinging lies a real divide. Obama has been making the case that the U.S. economy needs investment — in infrastructure, education, training, basic sciences and technologies of the future. Those investments, in the president’s telling, have been the key drivers of American growth and have enabled people to build businesses, create jobs and invent the future.
The Fiscal Times (NAT)
Everything You Need To Know About The Political Event That Could Plunge America Into A New Crisis
What is the fiscal cliff?
The “fiscal cliff” is what Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke has called the many major fiscal events that could happen simultaneously at the close of 2012 and the dawning of 2013. The events include the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts, the payroll tax cut and other important tax-relief provisions. They also include the first installment of the $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts of domestic and defense programs required under last summer’s bipartisan deficit reduction agreement.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Timothy Geithner Peppered TARP Inspector General Barofsky With F-Bombs: Book
"I never would have imagined that one day one of the most powerful government officials in the world would be dropping f-bombs on me."