SSW/SSSC mention **
Leading the golden goose to slaughter
As the anniversary of Medicare was recently being celebrated, the Alliance for Retired Americans and the left-leaning Social Security Works joined calls to kill another golden goose.
The Alliance, closely tied to the AFL-CIO, and Social Security Works seem to believe that saving Medicare and Social Security is as easy as making the rich pay more or putting the goose on a starvation diet so it can slim down.
A Social Security Works study argues that FDR's safety net can be saved by removing the cap on Social Security taxes which currently applies to incomes up to $110,100 — thus making the rich pave the golden road to solvency.
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Noticias Univision (NAT)
Noticias Univision (NAT)
Tulsa World (OK)
Office of Representative Jan Schakowsky
WCHS TV (WV)
WOWK TV (WV)
Huffington Post (NAT)
On Social Security, Say It IS So, Joe!
Ryan's Social Security plan would have drained nearly five trillion dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund which Americans rely upon for future benefits, according to Social Security's Chief Actuary. It would have cut guaranteed benefits by nearly 40 percent when it was fully implemented. Ryan's bill would have funneled billions to Wall Street bankers - and this supposedly "fiscally serious" politician's plan would have forced the government to borrow $1.2 trillion which it wouldn't have been able to repay until 2083.
Meet the Democratic Congressman who is astonishingly using Medicare to get re-elected
“We now have a [Republican] presidential candidate who has embraced the Republican House budget,” says Cicilline. “People get to decide whether they want to send a Republican who’ll strengthen the Tea Party-backed budget in the House, which’ll weaken Medicare, which will keep tax breaks for big oil, which gives another big tax break to millionaires and billionaires, which guts Pell grants, which guts education generally.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Game Changer: Biden Guarantees No Changes in Social Security
Robert L. Borosage
This is good policy. Social Security is not in deficit, and has not contributed to our debt and deficits. Addressing its currently projected long-term shortfall (unlike any other government program, CBO reports it is fully funded through 2038) should not be folded into the deficit hysteria triggered when Wall Street excesses blew up the economy, lifting our debt from 40 to 70% of GDP. Any necessary reforms - like lifting the cap on payroll taxes so that millionaires like Romney pay the same rate as their secretaries - should be the product of a bipartisan commission focused on preserving Social Security, not paying for Wall Street's mess.
With Ryan's Ascent, A Few Thoughts On 'Entitlement'
But to make that linguistic fusion work, you have to bend the meanings of the words to fit. When people rail about the cost of government entitlements, they're thinking of social benefit programs like Medicare, not the price supports or the tax breaks that some economists call hidden entitlements. And what people call the culture of entitlement is elastic enough to include both the high school senior who's been told he has a right to get into Harvard and the out-of-work plumber who isn't bothering to look for a job because he knows his unemployment check is in the mail. But it rarely stretches to include the hedge-fund manager who makes a life model of Ayn Rand's Howard Roark, who is the most conspicuous monster of entitlement in all of modern American literature.
No question, it would be useful to have an adult conversation about entitlement and entitlements. Not that politicians or pundits are about to abandon the words or the semantic sleight of hand that's built into them. But with more people paying close attention, those moves may be a little harder to get away with.
Columbia Journalism Review (NY)
Medicare, Paul Ryan, and beyond: a primer
What’s in the wind? There’s Beltway talk of requiring people whose incomes are not considered high by today’s standards to pay more. Some proposals call for changing the way the income thresholds for the higher premiums are determined. That would mean people who do not have high incomes now would be considered having high incomes for the purposes of paying more. As I recently explained, about 5 percent of seniors now pay an income-related premium for Part B; by the end of the decade 10 percent will. For drug, or Part D benefits, the proportion of seniors paying higher premiums would grow from 3 percent today to 8 percent by 2019 if these changes are enacted. Look for some politicians from both parties to support this one.
Think Progress (DC)
How Mitt Romney Would Quickly Bankrupt Medicare
The Obamacare savings slow the growth of Medicare over the next decade by, in part: eliminating overpayments to private insurers in Medicare Advantage, reforming provider payments to encourage greater efficiency, tying reimbursements to improvements in economic productivity, and reducing fraud and abuse. The law does not impact patient benefits. CMS offers a partial breakdown:
Current TV (NAT)
President Obama didn’t steal money from Medicare — he’s saving the US more than $700 billion
Obama’s plan saves the country $716 billion in Medicare over the next 10 years by:
Cutting overpayments to Medicare Advantage, private insurers who said they could do Medicare better and have proven they only do it more expensively.
Stopping waste, fraud and abuse, such as when now Florida Governor Rick Scott was CEO of Columbia/HCA and the hospital group made money by defrauding Medicare.
Slowing growth of payments to hospitals, health insurers and other providers. All trade associations agree with this (because of getting 32 million new people in the pool). Insurers did not.
Washington Post (NAT)
How Ryanization threatens the GOP
E.J. Dionne Jr.
On top of that, Price said, “the issues of Medicare and Social Security are toxic for Ryan.” White voters in the current over-65 generation, more conservative than the New Deal era electoral cohort that has largely passed on, are now the base of the Republican Party. By putting Medicare on the ballot, Ryan threatens to push away core Republican voters.
Des Moines Register (IA)
Loebsack recounts childhood; promises to preserve Social Security
QUOTE: “As long as I’m around I’m going to fight with every fiber of my being to make sure that we never privatize Social Security, that we protect Social Security. I promise you that.”
REACTION: There were no hecklers or interruptions from the audience. The crowd applauded at several key points in the talk and again after he concluded. Loebsack didn’t take questions. He spoke for about 14 minutes
Ashburn Patch (VA)
LTE: Kaine Highlights Position on Social Security
During his last term in the U.S. Senate, my opponent George Allen supported one of the plans to shift Social Security funds into private accounts. In 2005, George Allen argued that seniors should be allowed to invest a portion of the Social Security funds in homes and mortgages and the stock market. Fortunately for our seniors and future retirees, he was unsuccessful. Three years later, the housing bubble popped and the stock market bottomed out – proving just how disastrous privatization would have been.
Lorton Patch (VA)
LTE: George Allen Counters Kaine on Social Security
President Obama’s own fiscal reform commission (Simpson-Bowles) warned that "Unless we act … demographic changes will bring the Social Security program to its knees [and] the benefits currently pledged under Social Security are a promise we cannot keep."
US News (NAT)
Paul Ryan’s Radical Budget Vision
Ryan's 2010 "Roadmap" budget plan would cut benefits and privatize substantial portions of Social Security. But as my colleague Kathy Ruffing points out in wishing Social Security a Happy 77th Birthday, "this highly successful program" is "the single most important source of income for its elderly beneficiaries, contributing on average two-thirds of income for recipients over age 65."