The Fiscal Times (NAT)
One Simple Measure That Would Save Social Security
"It should be talked about much more," said Eric Kingson, a Syracuse University professor and co-director of the advocacy group Social Security Works. "Most people don’t know it exists. Only 6 percent of Americans earn above the $110,100 limit. Most people are stunned when they learn that some people pay a lower rate on their Social Security contributions."
Huffington Post (NAT)
Social Security Privatization Fight Revived By Dems To Attack Paul Ryan
"A national politician would do well to strongly identify themselves with Social Security, not just with rhetoric, but to be very clear that they understand the pain people are experiencing today, that they stand behind this program and they will protect the citizenry and they will not cut benefits," said Eric Kingson, a Syracuse University professor who co-founded Social Security Works. "I hope to hear that from the White House. I have not heard that yet."
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Denver Post (CO)
Bismarck Tribune (ND)
Kaal TV (MN)
Marin Independent Journal (CA)
AP Column Misleads Public About the Health of Social Security
It is easy to express the projected shortfalls in ways that would be understandable to readers. The Social Security trustees projection of the size of the shortfall is equal to approximately 0.9 percent of GDP over the 75-year planning horizon. The Congressional Budget Office's projection of the shortfall is equal to approximately 0.5 percent of GDP. Put another way, the shortfall projected by the Trustees could be fully met with a tax increase equal to roughly 5 percent of projected wage growth over the next three decades. It would have been much more informative to use such ratios to express the size of the shortfall, although perhaps somewhat less scary.
Proposed Expansion of US Social Security
According to HELP, Social Security is an efficient means of delivering retirement security to millions of Americans and one of the most effective ways to address the retirement crisis is to improve social security benefits in a fiscally-responsible way. A comprehensive plan to accomplish this is contained in The Rebuild America Act introduced in the senate in March 2012. This plan has three principal features: (i) increasing the amount of scheduled benefits; (ii) ensuring that cost of-living adjustments (cola) are appropriately designed to reflect typical costs for seniors including health care; (iii) improving the long-term solvency of the system by increasing the covered earnings subject to the federal insurance contribution act (fica) tax above the existing limit.
Huffington Post (NAT)
77 Years Later, Social Security Remains Vital for All Americans
Today, 55 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, including over 2 million Latino seniors as well as disabled Latino adults and children. Latino seniors are particularly vulnerable to cuts because Social Security benefits represent nearly all of their income. While Social Security's progressive benefit formula favors low-wage workers, average yearly benefits for Hispanic seniors are only $12,213 for men and just $9,536 for women. More than half of Latino seniors rely on Social Security for at least 90% of their income. To put it into perspective, with Social Security, about one in five Latino seniors is poor today; if our nation did not have Social Security, about half of all Latino seniors would be poor.
Alan Simpson: Paul Ryan speaks 'hard truth'
When asked if he was offended that the Simpson-Bowles plan “is collecting dust on a shelf,” Simpson predicted its return.
“No, because it’s maybe on the shelf, but it’s like Dr. Frankenstein is about to come by and inject some electrodes into the corpse and it’s going to rise from the shelf,” Simpson replied. “Let me tell you, everyone is saying — or a lot of people with the, you know, with clarity — are saying this baby has not gone away.”
Statesman Journal (OR)
Social Security program can be repaired
When is that money going to be paid back? Will it be paid back with interest? I am especially surprised that George W. Bush “borrowed” money from Social Security after repeatedly and emphatically stating the Social Security program was in trouble.
Times Union (NY)
Social Security fixable; changes politically tough
Despite Social Security's long-term problems, the massive retirement and disability program could be preserved for generations to come with modest but politically difficult changes to benefits or taxes, or a combination of both.
Kansas City Star (KS)
For many boomers, ‘retirement age’ is a moving target
Boomers cruising toward a traditional retirement suffered a financial comeuppance in the prolonged economic slump that began in late 2007. The downturn sapped jobs, stock and housing values, and interest on savings.
Many were also caught in the shift from defined-benefit pension plans to 401(k) plans that required workers to contribute toward their own retirement savings. Some didn’t, a choice that will leave them short financially.
Small wonder that, according to the Pew Research Center, boomers are the gloomiest of all age groups about the health and future of their finances. Boomers were more likely than other age groups to tell Pew researchers that they lost money on investments since the recession hit. Nearly six in 10 said their household finances worsened.
Ballston-Virginia Square Patch (VA)
Point/Counterpoint: Kaine, Allen Talk Social Security
Kaine, in part, criticized past positions Allen had supported in the Senate:
"I reject those privatization plans. They boil down to gambling with the retirement savings of hard working Americans and jeopardize the promise that we’ve made to generations. While we must continue to find common ground on solutions like altering the payroll tax cap to preserve Social Security's long-term integrity, we cannot take a knee jerk approach and push the panic button on a program that’s worked."
The Hill (DC)
Romney campaign criticizes Akin’s remarks on rape, abortion
Mitt Romney's campaign on Sunday quickly condemned a comment from Republican Rep. Todd Akin (Mo.) claiming that pregnancy from rape was rare and said the presumptive GOP nominee and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would not take steps to block abortions in cases of rape."Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," said Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg in a statement.
National Journal (NAT)
Romney's Abortion View Overrides Ryan's in Response to Todd Akin
Ryan, R-Wis., holds a 100 percent voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. As far back as Ryan’s 1998 campaign, he is described as only finding abortion acceptable if the life of the mother is in danger, according to multiple articles in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that are referenced in a fact-checking article about Ryan’s views. He also opposes any exceptions to a procedure known as partial-birth abortion, according to the article.
Ryan may have gone even further in his opposition to abortion last year when he co-sponsored the “Sanctity of Human Life Act” – also known as a “Personhood Amendment” – that seeks to designate the start of human life at fertilization. The bill does not designate what exceptions, if any, would be allowed.
Gibbs spars with Wallace over Medicare
Obama senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs sparred with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace on Sunday over the $716 billion Medicare cut contained in the new health care law.
Wallace challenged Gibbs's assertion that the administration could maintain the same level of Medicare services to seniors while making the cut to providers.
New York Times (NAT)
The 14 Potential Causes of the Income Slump
Why has median household income just endured its worst 12-year stretch since the Great Depression?
The immediate answer to that question is that economic growth has slowed and inequality has risen. The pie isn’t growing very quickly, and the few new slices are going to a disproportionately small portion of the population.
Sluggish job growth reflected in state unemployment rates
State employment and unemployment data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the continued lack of momentum in the national labor market is translating into sluggish job growth and slowly rising unemployment for the majority of states.