Fox Business (NAT)
On an August 27th appearance, Eric Kingson tells Fox Business News that Social Security is a solution, not the problem.
Addicting Info (Blog)
The Importance Of Joe Biden’s ‘No Changes To Social Security’ Pledge
Ever since Captain Capitalist selected the private-sector boy wonder to unite the conservative base, it has ignited, re-ignited and re-reignited the debate on the future of Social Security. Although Romney has distanced himself from Paul Ryan’s radical budget plans like they were his tax returns, it’s painfully clear that the multi-millionaire mannequin with no core appears willing to blindly take a chainsaw to the entire edifice of the New Deal without so much as poking a stick at defense and deficit reduction. Paul Ryan may have dreamy eyes, but the thoughts behind them bode disaster for America’s seniors and struggling middle class. The MSM so quickly fell for this 1950s prom king and his so-called gallantry in putting some of our most sacred cows on a chopping block it’s kind of embarassing. However, in doing so they so blatantly overlook Ryan’s decidedly partisan fiscal austerity (his 2011 budget plan allowed for bloated defense spending and he voted for huge entitlement expansions under George W. Bush), his lack of specifics on how he plans to pay for continued tax cuts for the very wealthy, and the truly sinister nature behind the cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Washington Post (NAT)
Republicans steal Medicare from the Democrats
At a breakfast hosted by Bloomberg News on Monday morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign brain trust claimed to welcome a fight with President Obama over the future of Medicare. I say “claimed” because the Romney team surely recognizes that putting Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on the ticket means not being able to run away from Ryan’s plan — endorsed by House Republicans — to transform Medicare into a voucher program.
This radical change would, as Democrats claim, “end Medicare as we know it.” Instead of the current guarantee that the program pays for medical costs, Ryan’s plan would give seniors a set amount of money each year to buy private health insurance. If that sum isn’t enough to pay for the necessary coverage — or to pay for traditional Medicare — seniors would have to make up the difference.
“I think we’re winning the Medicare battle because the facts are on our side,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney’s communications chief. “It’s not usual that Republicans have the upper hand in this argument.”
To say the least.
Rapid City Journal (SD)
Poll: Raise taxes to save Social Security
Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has been a leading proponent in Congress of allowing workers to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal investment accounts. Romney has not fully embraced the idea, but Democrats are using it to accuse Republicans of trying to privatize Social Security.
Policy Shop (Blog)
A Revenue Fix for Social Security is A-Okay With Voters
There is such hysteria about the problems facing Social Security, that it's easy to forget a simple fact: Much of the program's shortfalls in future years will go away if we just raise payroll taxes. And, as it turns out, that solution is more popular with the public than cutting benefits.This is the finding of a new AP/GfK poll released yesterday.
When respondents were asked whether they favored higher taxes to keep benefits as they are or cutting taxes and reducing benefits, 53 percent opted for tax hikes and 36 percent wanted to cut benefits.Other polls have found the same thing, of course, and one reason Americans are willing to shell out more for Social Security is that the program enjoys very strong support and, in general, Americans are willing to pay higher taxes for more government when they think the public sector is doing a good job.
NRCC: No more Dem Medicare ads
TAMPA, Fla.— If Republicans are right, Democrats are going to stop the Medicare ad war within two weeks. That was the prediction National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director Guy Harrison made Monday at a briefing with reporters at the Republican National Convention.“I predict in two weeks the Democrats stop talking about Medicare because they will have officially lost this issue,” Harrison said. “You just watch— they’re going to start going to another issue. Because for all their talk, they know how bad Obamacare is for them. It’s the single issue that cuts with every single congressional district that we have. They understand it hurts jobs, it hurts seniors.”
Democrats seem to indicate that’s unlikely.
Postponing Retirement: Will You Have to Work Forever?
Suzanna de Baca
It can be a shock to realize that your much-anticipated retirement may not happen on the day – or month or year – you initially envisioned it and in the style you dreamed about. But many Americans are continuing to work past the traditional retirement age of 65 – or are re-entering the workforce after they’ve retired. July data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 7 million Americans age 65 and older were still in the workforce, up 63% from a decade ago. Some may continue working by choice, but many are likely still working due to financial necessity. According to new survey findings from the Society of Actuaries, more than 4 in 10 pre-retirees who do not expect to retire say it’s because they can’t afford to do so.
LA Times (CA)
Letters: Social Security insecurities
Social Security and Medicare are funded by employee and employer contributions. The solution to fixing them? Jobs, jobs, jobs. A stimulus package that creates jobs across the country would start refilling the coffers of the Social Security and Medicare. When you have a paycheck and the family supports the local stores and other businesses, everyone wins, including the U.S. economy.
Washington Post (NAT)
How the AP-GfK poll on Social Security was conducted
The Associated Press-GfK Poll on Social Security was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications from August 16-20. It is based on landline and cellphone telephone interviews with a nationally representative random sample of 1,006 adults. Interviews were conducted with 604 respondents on landline telephones and 402 on cellular phones.
Star Herald (NE)
OPINION: Social Security
In a sense, that’s encouraging. Younger workers recognize that Social Security is the sort of program that would have no chance of getting started today. It’s an entitlement program that transfers income from one class of citizens to another based solely on age, including to recipients who are often better off than those being taxed. It doesn’t apply to everyone; some government employees are exempt. It’s a better deal for the rich than it is for the poor. Any sensible reform will have to take all that into account.
At the same time, self-funded retirement plans, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans, enable responsible workers to undertake long-term planning for their own retirement, in vested funds that the government can’t touch. Sensible reform should also refrain from punishing them with cuts in their Social Security benefits.
But any reform is better than none. It’s time to have an honest national discussion about adjusting revenues and benefits to keep the system solvent.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Obama Holds Slim Lead Over Romney In Florida, Poll Shows
President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 50 percent to 46 percent among likely Florida voters, according to a Time/CNN/ORC poll taken just before Republicans arrived in the state for their party's convention. "Obama’s edge in Florida is bolstered by women voters, among whom he's beating Romney, 54%-42%, and by nonwhite voters, with whom he boasts a 70%-29% advantage," Time's Alex Altman writes. "There are signs the incumbent is stitching together the same demographic coalitions that helped him capture Florida’s 29 electoral votes four years ago."
The Atlantic (NAT)
Is Medicare Helping or Hurting the Republicans?
A new poll shows that registered voters by a small margin think Mitt Romney will do a better job with Medicare, but the same poll shows opposition to Ryan's plan for the program. Meanwhile polls in Florida and North Carolina show how the race is shaping up in convention states, and Michigan is race is once again tight. Here's our guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Asheville Citizen Times (NC)
Seniors oppose GOP Medicare plan
WAYNESVILLE — A group of Western North Carolina seniors overwhelmingly said they don’t like Republican-backed changes to Medicare, such as vouchers for those younger than 55. A group of seniors — Democrats and some unaffiliated voters — met with Democratic congressional candidate Hayden Rogers at the Haywood County Public Library on Friday. He is running against Republican Mark Meadows in the 11th District. The group as a whole opposed any move to privatize Medicare through vouchers. “It really scares us,” one lady in the crowd of about 30 people said when Rogers asked the group about proposed changes by Republicans like Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan. “Leave it like it is,” another said.
The New Republic (NAT)
Romney’s Crocodile Tears for the Uninsured
You’re probably getting tired of reading about Mitt Romney’s distortions on health care. I’m certainly getting tired of writing about them. We should be having a serious discussion about health care policy. And that discussion ought to include the very real flaws of the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare will provide financial security to tens of millions of Americans, while pushing the providers and financiers of medical care to operate in a more efficient way. Still, the law is far from perfect. We should be talking about why and what to do about it, so that someday every single American truly has access to quality, affordable medical care. But that's not a goal Romney wants to pursue and it shows in the arguments he keeps making.
Karl Rove predicts historic loss for Todd Akin
TAMPA, Fla.— Karl Rove on Monday predicted Rep. Todd Akin will lose by the widest margin of any Republican candidate in modern history if he remains in his Missouri Senate race against Sen. Claire McCaskill. “What he said was indefensible and the way he handled it made it worse,” Rove told POLITICO’s Mike Allen at the first POLITICO Playbook Breakfast at the Republican National Convention.