Social Security News, Monday 1-14-13

SSW/SSSC mention

Salon (NAT)

Will Obama cave on Social Security?

Josh Eidelson


Kingson and fellow co-chair Nancy Altman told Salon they would recommend that the Strengthen Social Security coalition oppose any overall deficit deal that includes chained CPI. Altman, whom the AFL-CIO is urging Obama to nominate as Social Security commissioner, said, “I think we would certainly have the view that there should be a line in the sand that should not be crossed.” But she noted that individual coalition members would “have to weigh a lot of things” in deciding whether their own groups would also support torpedoing an overall deal over chained CPI.


SSW/SSSC mention


Philadelphia inquirer (NAT)

PhillyDeals: The continuing standoff for Social Security

Joseph N. DiStefano


"Social Security transformed the nation," argues Nancy Altman, a former Harvard pension expert who was former Federal Reserve boss Alan Greenspan's assistant on a 1980s Social Security reform commission, and who now co-heads Social Security Works, a Washington group that advocates expanding the program.


New York Times (NAT)

Misguided Social Security ‘Reform’


What is known is that elderly households tend to have lower incomes and lower expenditures than younger households, and that more of their purchases are for needs that cannot be met by switching to products and services in unrelated categories. That indicates that they do not have the same flexibility as younger households to respond to price changes while still maintaining their standards of living. And because of the way it is calculated, the chained C.P.I. would also result in delayed upward adjustments in the COLA in times of accelerating inflation. Such delays would translate into real benefit cuts, leaving retirees worse off.



Letter to Sen. Corker on Medicare Means Testing

Dean Baker


I’m curious as to the income levels where you would consider people to be so wealthy that they do not need Medicare or at least should receive less assistance from the government in paying for it?


Daily Kos (NAT)

Re: Social Security and Medicare, My letter to President Obama

Liberal Granny


Then there is, of course, the proposed reduction of cost of living increases on already stressed seniors.  How in any universe is that right?  Why “trim” the income of seniors? What does one do without, food, prescriptions?


Roll Call (DC)

Obama Warns Social Security Checks at Risk in Debt Limit Debate

Steven T. Dennis


President Barack Obama warned Monday that failure to quickly raise the federal debt ceiling would “wreck” the economy and hold up Social Security and veterans’ benefits.


Washington Post (NAT)

Obama: Social Security, veterans benefits at risk

Zachary A. Goldfarb


“If congressional Republicans refuse to pay Americans’ bills on time, Social Security and veterans benefits will be delayed. We might not be able to pay our troops,” Obama said in his press conference, ratcheting up the rhetoric over the looming deadline to raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. Is there a way for the government to keep paying Social Security benefits if we hit the debt ceiling? The Factchecker has investigated that question; the answer is murky.


Business Insider (NAT)

This Is An Insane Time To Consider Cutting Social Security

Kenneth Thomas


In the recent debate over the so-called "fiscal cliff," President Obama was reportedly at one point offering to raise the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 and Social Security. However, in view of the coming retirement crisis due to the decline in defined benefit plans guaranteeing a specific retirement income, this is a terrible idea. Given that proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare will be repeatedly floated in the coming debt ceiling and related budget fights, we need to understand just how bad an idea this is.




Washington Post (NAT)

Why Republicans should watch their language

Frank Luntz


Instead of entitlement reform or controlling the growth of Medicare and Social Security, talk about how to save and strengthen these programs so they are there when voters need them. After all, they paid for them.


Talking Points Memo (NAT)

Obama Puts Republicans In A Bind On Entitlements



In ruling out all executive options, such as minting a high-value platinum coin, the White House put the onus on congressional Republicans to agree to raise the nation’s borrowing limit — without spending cuts or strings attached — or permit the first ever credit default. President Obama has steadfastly rebuffed their calls to cut social spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, and Democratic leaders support his position.


New York Times (NAT)

California in Surplus

Paul Krugman


As this reality becomes more obvious, the deficit scolds will of course go wild. They have staked their careers on crusading against supposedly intractable deficits, and they have their hearts (and more important, their wallets) set on exploiting the alleged fiscal crisis to dismantle social insurance programs. Good news will be a blow to everything they want, and will be furiously and vigorously denied.


America Blog (Blog)

List of House “Progressive Caucus” members who voted against fiscal cliff deal

Gaius Publius


These are your House “Progressive Caucus” members who voted against the Obama–Boehner–McConnell fiscal “cliff” bill.


Washington Post (NAT)

Top Senate Dems to White House: If you unilaterally raise debt ceiling, we’ve got your back

Greg Sargent


In a move that will significantly ratchet up the brinksmanship around the debt ceiling, the four members of the Senate Democratic leadership are privately telling the White House that they will give Obama full support if he opts for a unilateral solution to the debt ceiling crisis, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide tells me.


The Hill (DC)

Colleagues say Sen. Rockefeller will be missed on healthcare issues

Sam Baker   


“He has been a strong defender of Medicare, as well, of course. But his special place as the voice of the vulnerable populations on Medicaid is his legacy,” Waxman said. “He has two more years of service during the critical period of budget negotiations and ACA implementation, of course, and he will remain critical to the defense and improvement of Medicaid and CHIP as long as he is in the Senate. But when he leaves the Senate, his presence will be sorely missed--most particularly by the more than 60 million beneficiaries of Medicaid and CHIP coverage.”


Politico (DC)

Double trouble: House GOP eyes default, shutdown

Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen and Jake Sherman


House Republicans are seriously entertaining dramatic steps, including default or shutting down the government, to force President Barack Obama to finally cut spending by the end of March. 


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