Columbia Journalism Review (NAT)
What makes Paul Ryan tick?
For those closely observing the attacks on Medicare and Social Security, Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker profile piece in the August 6 issue is a must read. Lizza spent a lot of time with US Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, the chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, who has pushed his ideas for privatizing Medicare into mainstream GOP thinking. If he gets his way—and the votes—the program that provides healthcare for nearly 50 million seniors and people with disabilities would become radically different.
Think Progress (DC)
Missouri GOP Picks Guy Who Thinks Medicare Is Unconstitutional For U.S. Senate
If elected, Akin would join at least two other Republican senators who believe that Medicare is unconstitutional. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered a lecture while he was campaigning for his current job in which he stated that “health care” is not something that can be addressed by the federal government. Likewise, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told a town hall meeting in 2011 that protecting the “frail elderly” is “a family responsibility, not a government responsibility.”
Wall Street Journal (NAT)
For Unpaid College Loans, Feds Dock Social Security
It's no secret that falling behind on student loan payments can squash a borrower's hopes of building savings, buying a home or even finding work. Now, thousands of retirees are learning that defaulting on student-debt can threaten something that used to be untouchable: their Social Security benefits.
Non-retired Baby Boomers anxious about more than jobs
The AARP surveyed Americans aged 50-64 who are still working, and found that they share younger voters’ worries about the economy ahead of the Nov. 6 election, but their economic concerns extend well beyond jobs. These members of the “Baby Boom” generation worry about rising prices, healthcare costs, financial security when they retire and taxes.
“We know the issue of jobs is very important to voters age 50-plus, but any meaningful discussion of the economy and this year’s election has to include the future of Social Security and Medicare,” Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of the 37 million-member AARP, said in a statement. “For these voters, ‘retirement security’ and ‘economic security’ are largely the same thing,” she said.
Miami Herald (FL)
AARP FL seniors-Boomer poll: Obama 44%-Romney 46%, Sen. Nelson 39%-Mack 42%
Despite repeated attempts to paint Republicans as bad for Medicare and Social Security, President Obama and Sen. Bill Nelson are essentially tied with their Republican rivals when it comes to Florida retirees and baby boomers, a new AARP poll shows.
Obama garners 44 percent of the vote to Mitt Romney's 46 percent and Nelson trails Republican Rep. Connie Mack by a 42-39 split. The Republican leads are well within the 4.4 percent error margin for the poll of the 503 registered voters surveyed by Hart Research Associates.**
Cicilline flier may mislead elderly on Doherty, Social Security
Doherty’s Social Security policy focuses on the program’s benefits – as mentioned above, he would raise the eligibility age for those born after 1960 along the lines proposed by Simpson-Bowles, which would effectively reduce benefits for younger Americans.
Cicilline’s Social Security policy focuses on the program’s revenue side – he co-sponsored legislation to eliminate the cap on payroll taxes, which currently aren’t levied on earnings above $110,100. The bill would also change the cost-of-living estimate used to calculate annual benefit increases and provide supplemental $250 payments during economic downturns.
In addition, Cicilline co-sponsored a resolution saying “appropriate reform to strengthen Social Security’s long-term outlook should happen in a bipartisan fashion … without further increasing the retirement age or otherwise decreasing benefits.”
San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Social Security and You: Pensions and benefits
Will my retirement pension reduce the amount of my Social Security benefit?
A: If your pension is from work where you paid Social Security taxes, it will not affect the amount of your Social Security benefit. However, if any part of your pension is from work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, it could affect the amount of your Social Security benefit.
US News (NAT)
10 Critical Retirement-Saving Mistakes
Americans are worried about retirement, but many are making classic mistakes that can easily be avoided with the right planning.
Nearly a third of baby boomers ages 55 to 65 are worried that they won't be able to cover basic living expenses in retirement, according to a recent survey by Allianz Life. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said they don't know when retirement planning should begin.
Sun Sentinel (FL)
Half of Florida boomers fear they will never retire
Some 69 percent believe they will have to delay retirement, and the same percentage is somewhat or very worried they won’t have enough money in retirement. Some 51 percent worry they will never be able to retire.
By more than two to one, Florida voters age 50-64 say the recent economic downturn will force them to rely more on Social Security and Medicare.
Washington Post (NAT)
How lobbyists take advantage of Congress’s time crunch
From the outside, it sure looks like this Congress is getting nothing done. From the inside, Hill staffers tell a different story: Their schedules are totally overloaded. Jessica Lee, a legislative aide to Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), rattles off the hodgepodge of issues that she’s responsible for covering: “Foreign policy, defense, women’s issues, veterans’ issues, and immigration,” Lee said Tuesday at an New America event on Congress. “It’s pretty impossible portfolios that a lot of staff members [have] to manage. . .It’s a very stressful job.”
Huffington Post (NAT)
Bill Clinton Calls Mitt Romney Welfare Reform Ad 'Especially Disappointing'
"The recently announced waiver policy was originally requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment," Clinton said.
Clinton added that Republican governors, including Mitt Romney, sought a similar policy in 2005 (a charge the Romney campaign has denied).
National Journal (NAT)
Expect Romney to Surprise With Running Mate Pick
Given that Romney is a largely undefined figure, his selection of a running mate matters a lot more to him than it did for past presidential nominees. Voters know he was a successful businessman, but don’t have a sense of how he would govern. Romney has been unusually hesitant to tout his own story so far. Polls and focus groups show that the wave of attack ads blasting him as out-of-touch with the middle class is beginning to take a toll on his image.
Romney needs to fill in those blanks, and there’s no better way to do so than by picking a like-minded running mate to articulate what his campaign stands for.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Obama Leads In Virginia And Wisconsin, Romney In Colorado: Polls
Mark Blumenthal & Ariel Edwards-Levy
The new surveys, conducted jointly by Quinnipiac University, CBS News and The New York Times, says Obama lead Romney by four points, 49 percent to 45 percent in Virginia, and by six points, 51 percent to 45 percent, in Wisconsin. In Colorado, he trailed by five points, with 45 percent to Romney's 50 percent. In 2008, Obama won all three states.
Washington Post (NAT)
Economists to Romney campaign: That’s not what our research says
Each of these sections include supporting documents from independent economists. And so I contacted some of the named economists to ask what they thought of the Romney campaign’s interpretation of their research. In every case, they responded with a polite version of Marshall McLuhan’s famous riposte. The Romney campaign, they said, knows little of their work. Or of their policy proposals.