The Hill (DC)
Sanders wants Obama to explain position on Social Security
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) demanded that President Obama clarify his position on Social Security.
“What I simply want to know is where does the president stand on Social Security,” Sanders said on the floor Tuesday. “Is he going to keep faith with the American people? … Is he going to tell them that we are not going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, sick and poor?”
Huffington Post (NAT)
The Road to Oligarchy
Senator Bernie Sanders
Today, the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of America -- 150 million people.
Today, one family, the Walton family of Walmart fame, with $89 billion, own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America. One family owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent.
Economic Policy Institute (DC)
U.S. poverty rates higher, safety net weaker than in peer countries
Elise Gould and Hilary Wething
Poverty rates in the United States increased over the 2000s, a trend exacerbated by the Great Recession and its aftermath. By 2010, just over 46 million people fell below the U.S. Census Bureau’s official poverty line (according to data from the Current Population Survey). This preview of The State of Working America, 12th Edition puts the U.S. experience with poverty in an international context, comparing the lower end of the wage and income distribution in the United States with that of “peer” countries, largely countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with roughly similar GDP per hour worked as the United States.
Financial Times (NAT)
US deficit-cutting duo step up mission
“We had hoped that common sense would overrule politics and people in this town would be hard at work on this now. But it looks like politics is going to overrule common sense and nothing is probably going to happen until after the election,” Mr Bowles said.
Wall Street Journal (NAT)
Accenture: Retirement Worries Highlight Opportunities for Financial Advisers
The study, which polled more than 8,000 people from 15 countries, says about 82% of people are worried about their finances after retirement, 89% say it is important for them to start saving now, and only 16% are confident their current level of savings is sufficient to cover their financial needs after retirement. The survey also reveals that 53% of respondents believe they lack the necessary information to prepare for retirement and 57% say they lack the financial capacity to invest in a private pension.
Christian Science Monitor (NAT)
Fiscal cliff: Will GOP put taxes on the table to avoid blow to economy?
In a bid to blunt attacks by Democrats, Sen. Pat Toomey reprises his 2011 offer of a GOP tax hike. Republicans, he says, are not determined to protect the wealthy at all costs and tax hikes could be part of a deal
Geithner Says Europe, Fiscal Cliff Threaten U.S. Economy
Cheyenne Hopkins and Phil Mattingly
“The slowdown in U.S. growth could be exacerbated by concerns about approaching tax increases and spending cuts, and by uncertainty about the shape of the reforms to tax policy and spending that are necessary to restore fiscal responsibility,” he said
Brookings Institution (DC)
Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff: A Conversation with Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn.)
So the first point I want to talk about is the truth. The truth is that our big entitlement programs, Social Security included, but especially the mandatory health care programs, are unsustainable. I think we all know that. They're driving the medium- and long-term fiscal disaster that's accelerating toward us.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Pat Toomey Signals 'Fiscal Cliff' May Push GOP To Accept Tax Increases
Alex Becker & Patrick Svitek
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) signaled Tuesday that Republican lawmakers may be left with no choice but to accept a deficit reduction deal that includes new revenues as the country approaches the "fiscal cliff."
"It's not clear to me that there may be another way to do it in the future," Toomey said at a Brookings Institution discussion when asked about his party's openness to raising taxes to avoid another fiscal crisis.
Dyersville Commerical (IA)
Social security and America’s females
Aug. 26 is known as Women’s Equality Day. On that date in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was signed, giving women the right to vote.
Social Security treats men and women equally. Men and women with identical earnings histories are treated exactly the same. However, there are things women in particular should know about Social Security. Although treated equally by Social Security, there are trends and differences in lifestyle that can affect benefits.
A Democratic split over the fiscal cliff?
Democrats in the House and Senate may not be seeing eye to eye on their plans to deal with the fiscal cliff.
Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), chairman of the Democratic caucus, suggested Tuesday that he disagrees with Sen. Patty Murray’s threat to push negotiations into next year to pressure Republicans to agree to tax increases as part of a grand debt bargain. If no deal is reached before Jan. 1, it would trigger $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts and the Bush tax cuts would expire.
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune (WI)
Residents urged to get involved in Social Security, Medicare debate
When federal officials decide how to solve future projected shortfalls for Social Security and Medicare, it will be important that the people paying for and using those programs get heard, officials said during a town hall meeting Tuesday in Wisconsin Rapids.
Town Hall Finance (Blog)
Why Is Everyone Filing for Social Security Early?
Carrie Schwab Pomerantz
Dear Carrie: I'll be 62 next month. All my friends seem to be taking Social Security on their birthday. I've heard this may not be the wisest choice. What do you think? --A Reader
Dear Reader: Turning 62 seems to be one of those magic milestones -- and more and more people seem to be celebrating by filing for Social Security benefits the first chance they get. According to the Stanford Center on Longevity, the majority of retirees choose to begin receiving Social Security payouts within a few months after age 62 or immediately after they stop working, regardless of economic or educational status.
Tribune Chronicle (OH)
Social Security has a birthday
A birthday celebration for Social Security and Medicare will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Eastwood Mall community room. There will be speakers, displays, music and free refreshments. Local representatives have been asked to attend the event by the Alliance for Senior Action, which is working with other groups. For information, call 330-677-3275.
Federal Times (NAT)
Spouse’s Social Security adjustment
Q. When I retire, I will give my wife a full spousal annuity. I am in CSRS. When I die and when my wife starts to receive her spousal annuity, will the Social Security payment she receives for her contributions be reduced? Is there any windfall or offset adjustment to her Social Security earnings?
The Atlantic (NAT)
How to Protest the Major Parties Without Throwing Away Your Vote
But what if third-party-curious Americans who stop themselves because they're averse to "throwing away their vote" took a more strategic approach to their role as voters? If you aren't crazy about the Republican or Democrat, but think of your vote from a utilitarian perspective and are uninterested in purely symbolic gestures, here's how to impact presidential elections in two easy steps:
Raising the Minimum Wage Is Cheap and Easy
The minimum wage is non-controversial. The vast majority of people across the political spectrum support the minimum wage. In fact, one of the big accomplishments of the Gingrich Congress in 1996 was a 22 percent increase in the minimum wage. The only real issue is how high it should be. There are good reasons for believing that the minimum wage should be considerably higher than it is today.
Helicopter parents flood super PACs
Kenneth P. Vogel
The first TV ad from Laura Ruderman’s congressional campaign featured her mother, a cancer survivor, and the candidate’s pledge to protect President Barack Obama’s health care law.
“I approved this message for her,” Ruderman says in the spot, which started airing last week.
Scott Walker knocks Mitt Romney campaign
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker criticized Mitt Romney’s campaign Wednesday for being too cautious and for assuming the election could just be a referendum on the president.
“I think there’s a lot of caution. I think the mistake that they’ve made is the feeling like it can just be a referendum on the president,” said Walker on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It’s certainly a part of it for any incumbent; it’s got to be a referendum on, do you like or dislike, not just the president, but his policies … but there’s got to be something more. People don’t just vote somebody out; they’ve got to vote somebody in.”
New York Times (NAT)
Obama Rewarded ’08 Fund-Raisers, Barring Some From Helping Now
When President Obama named Hillary Rodham Clinton secretary of state after the 2008 election, he turned a rival into a loyalist. But he also lost Mrs. Clinton as one of the most popular Democratic fund-raisers for his re-election effort, since the nation’s chief diplomat is not allowed to engage in campaigning.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Sandy Weill, In Stunning Reversal, Tells CNBC It's Time To Break Up The Banks
In a stunning reversal, a former big bank CEO who crusaded for policies that helped create the so-called "too-big-to-fail" banks now says we need to break up the banks.
AIDS Quilt Goes Digital: See The Full Quilt Online
With over 48,000 panels and 94,000 names, the AIDS quilt is constantly growing testament to the deadly toll the disease has taken the world. Its roughly 1.3 million square feet is so large that it is unable to be displayed in its entirety in one place. Parts of it are currently on display at the National Mall with volunteers constantly switching sections in and out.