The Hill (DC)
On Medicare's birthday, a call to make it universal
As Medicare supporters are celebrating the program's 45th birthday Friday, several Capitol Hill liberals are wondering: Why not expand it to everyone?
Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) joined Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) this week in calling on Congress to adopt their bills creating a single-payer healthcare system based on the successes of Medicare.
The Stand (Blog)
Medicare’s birthday: ‘We need to fight for it’
To mark the 47th birthday of Medicare and Medicaid, area retirees with the Washington Alliance for Retired Americans, Physicians for a National Health Program and community allies celebrated in full force in downtown Seattle on Saturday, July 28 with a sidewalk parade from the Seattle Center through Pike Place Market to Victor Steinbrueck Park with music and street theatre.
The Hill (DC)
Distorting the truth about disability insurance
Charles Martin and Debra Shifrin, National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR)
Steve Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration testified about these trends before the United States Congress just a few months ago. Even though this information is publicly available, nearly every article pretending that there is a link between June's job numbers and disability claims ignores the facts.
LA Times (NAT)
Deficit debate driven by the wealthy
In any environment of serious debate, Simpson-Bowles would be dismissed out of hand. Praised for its sober bipartisan spirit, it's a compendium of flatulent platitudes ("We all have a patriotic duty to make America better off tomorrow than it is today"), vague prescriptions ("cut all excess spending" and "avoid excessive taxation" — as if reaching broad agreement on the meaning of "excessive" is a snap), and the occasional nostrum that earns a "not" on the gonna-happen scale (strip down the mortgage-interest deduction). According to some estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the plan's sample cuts in the tax deductions wouldn't replace the revenue lost to its proposed reductions in marginal tax rates
Huffington Post (NAT)
Retirement Is Golden for the Rich, Ominous for the Rest
In 2005, Hewlett-Packard paid Carly Fiorina $40-million if she promised not to come to work anymore. The absurd payoff followed the company's stock plunge during Fiorina's six-year tenure as CEO. That $40-million could have gone to staff, shareholders or new hires.
Since then, most Americans -- for whom the phrase "retirement package" is a cruel joke -- have watched their net worth collapse while CEO payouts have reached heights far beyond the reach of mortal men.
Huffington Post (NAT)
The Senate's Plan for Our Retirement: Inadequacy for All
On Friday Sen. Tom Harkin, who heads up the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, announced a proposal to make "bold changes to the private retirement system and Social Security."
The changes? No reforms at all to the drastically underfunded 401(k) plans. Employers who don't offer a 401(k) plan would have to set up a retirement plan in which employers must withhold an unspecified portion of their employees' pay and deposit it to "privately-run, hybrid pension plans." In addition, employers would have to make "modest contributions" to employee accounts. And Social Security payments will be boosted by a measly $60 a month. This is bold?
Campaign for America’s Future
Another New York Times Columnist Attack On Social Security And Medicare
The New York Times contains another elite-columnist attack on our Social Security and Medicare systems today. This time it's in the form of an op-ed by Bill Keller. Recently and regularly, New York Times columnists David Brooks and Tom Friedman have also gone after the things We, the People do for each other.
Huffington Post (NAT)
The CEO Plan to Steal Your Social Security and Medicare
The corporate CEO crew is also considering a plan to raise the normal retirement age for Social Security to 69. And, they want to reduce the benefit formula for high income workers, which incredibly they define as people who earn more than $40,000 a year.
Their main trick for Medicare is to raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67. Apparently our CEO gang has not discovered that the health insurance market for older people is a disaster. They also continue to promote the misconception that the problem is Medicare and Medicaid.
These programs are actually much more efficient than private insurers. The real problem is our private sector health care system which already costs more than twice as much person as the average in other wealthy countries, with few obvious benefits in outcomes.
Federal Times (NAT)
Q. I am a full-time FERS employee born in 1959 with a minimum retirement age of 56 but with 21 years with the Department of Transportation, two years in the Defense Department and six years in the military. What is the earliest age I would be able to retire given years of service? What would be the effects (reduction in benefits) of retiring at that minimum age? What is the minimum age I could retire without a reduction in benefits?
CBS News (NAT)
Worried about outliving your money? Americans aren't alone
A large majority of people worldwide -- 93 percent -- realize they'll need to rely partly or wholly on their personal savings to cover their post-retirement financial needs. But more than two-thirds don't know how much they need to save to ensure a secure retirement. These results will sound familiar to anyone following the retirement scene here in the U.S.
Concord Monitor (NH)
Social Security and Medicare advocates to endorse Kuster
Molly A.K. Connors
Annie Kuster, the Hopkinton Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass in the 2nd Congressional District, is expected to be endorsed by a key health care advocacy group tomorrow, the campaign announced Monday.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare will endorse Kuster, who lost to Bass, a Peterborough Republican, by 3,500 votes in 2010, at a press conference in Concord tomorrow.
Wall Street Journal (NAT)
A Split Not Taken at Citigroup
Under the plan, the combined behemoth would have been broken up along customer lines, Mr. Reed recalled last week.
One company would have housed the retail businesses: Citicorp's consumer bank and Travelers' brokerage and insurance units. Another would have contained the wholesale operations, combining Citicorp's international corporate bank with Travelers' securities unit, the old Salomon Brothers.
First Thoughts: Recapping Romney's Israel stop
But what Romney DIDN’T SAY was almost as striking -- if not more so. Not once did he utter the phrase “peace process” nor the words “Palestine” or “Palestinian,” and that also means he never talked about or made the case for a two-state solution. Was the speech for anyone other than base Republicans? This trip to Israel felt like a primary trip, not one aimed at the general election.
Washington Post (NAT)
Romney faces Palestinian criticism for Jerusalem remarks as he heads to Poland
Philip Rucker, Joel Greenberg and David A. Fahrenthold,
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney angered Palestinian leaders on Monday when he suggested here that the Israeli economy had outpaced the economy of the Palestinian territories in part because of advantages of “culture.”
Yahoo News (NAT)
Democrats target House members on upcoming tax vote
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to target 23 House Republicans before the House votes this week on two tax bills. The first is a Democrat-supported bill that will extend current tax rates for households earning $250,000 per year or less; the second is a Republican-supported measure that will extend the rates for all income earners.
Christian Science Monitor (NAT)
How Bill Clinton's prime-time convention speech could hurt Obama
“There will be people who say it helps Obama, but they’re already voting for him,” says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. “And it will just remind people that Obama is no Bill Clinton when it comes to the economy.”
Clinton, of course, governed during a rare stretch of peace and prosperity, leaving office with the federal budget in surplus. There’s no doubt that he will point out the dire economic straits that Obama inherited from his predecessor, President George W. Bush. But increasingly, voters are tired of the blame game and just want Obama to present a credible plan for the next four years.
John McCain hits back at Dick Cheney
Ariz. Sen. John McCain responded Monday to Dick Cheney’s criticism of his 2008 vice presidential pick with a dig of his own, saying he’s “always glad to get comments four years later” and noting he disagreed with the former vice president on the use of torture.
Huffington Post (NAT)
John McCain: Mitt Romney Needs To Do More To Court Hispanic Vote
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Mitt Romney, in an interview published Monday at The Daily Beast, that the presumptive GOP nominee needs to soften his rhetoric on immigration if he wants to win Latino voters.
In the interview, McCain said that he and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called Romney in January to urge him to tone down his rhetoric, and he did. The candidate hasn't used the phrase "self-deportation" since, according to the Daily Beast.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Gay Marriage Plank Will Be In Democratic Party Platform At Convention
Sam Stein & Luke Johnson
A Democratic Party source confirmed to The Huffington Post that the party will include a plank supporting marriage equality in its official platform at the upcoming convention.
New America Media (NAT)
Most Aging Latinos Struggle, Some Get Active, Inspiring Others
According to a recent AARP report, middle-aged and older Hispanics are having the hardest time coping with the Great Recession. About one in five of them have delayed retirement, and one in 10 have taken on a second job.
As the huge baby boom generation—78 million people in the United States born from 1946 through 196, about 10 percent of them Latino—reaches age 65, many aging Hispanics are continuing to work because they need the income. But others keep active willingly and like to inspire people in their communities.
New Yorker (NAT)
In a 2005 speech to a group of Rand devotees called the Atlas Society, Ryan said that Rand was required reading for his office staff and interns. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he told the group. “The fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.” To me he was careful to point out that he rejects Rand’s atheism.