Fox 5 (DC)
Benjamin Veghte on Fox 5 to discuss Chained CPI in President Obama's budget
Social Security Works' Research Director Benjamin Veghte explains why the President's proposed Social Security cuts--the Chained CPI--would be damaging for everyone who depends on Social Security, now and in the future.
New York Times (NAT)
Congress Is Socially Insecure
But if you take it in concert with the rest of the budget, Obama’s proposal does speak, in a very modest way, to the fact that this country currently spends a ton of its resources on the elderly and relatively little on the young. I’d trade a dramatic new commitment to funding quality early childhood education for a change in the way cost-of-living increases are computed for Social Security, as long as the oldest and neediest of the recipients are protected.
National Journal (NAT)
‘Chained CPI’ Could Hit Middle-Class Retirees Hardest
When President Obama proposed so-called chained CPI in his 2014 budget, he outraged his Democratic base, the labor unions, and the AARP. Republicans weren’t bowled over by the idea, either. They appreciated it as an opening salvo at reducing federal spending, but hardly thought it went far enough in overhauling entitlement programs.
National Journal (NAT)
Democrats Risk Alienating Young Voters by Opposing Cuts in Entitlement Spending
My National Journal colleague Ron Brownstein wrote a column for last week’s magazine that I thought was the most important piece of the week. In it, he argues that “large portions of the Democratic base still don’t understand the political and economic dynamics of the party’s changing electoral coalition.” Brownstein is absolutely right.
LA Times (NAT)
How an Excel error fueled panic over the federal debt
In their analysis of growth rates of 20 industrialized countries, including the U.S., from the postwar period through 2009, Rogoff and Reinhart excluded data for three countries that had both high debt-to-GDP and high economic growth, which contradicted their finding. They tweaked other figures in a way that minimized overall growth rates for some high debt/GDP countries.
Kaiser Health News
Five Ways The President's Budget Would Change Medicare
President Barack Obama's fiscal 2014 budget includes a variety of what he says are "manageable" changes for Medicare's 54 million beneficiaries as well as for the hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers that serve them.
Columbia Journalism Review (NY)
Medicare Uncovered: Figuring out the president’s plan
You have to give the AP an A for effort, for at least trying to tell its huge audience about one aspect of the president’s major Medicare proposal. But when it comes to judging the quality of the AP’s story, a grade of C minus might be more appropriate. The piece conveys the nub of the president’s plan to raise premiums for some Medicare services but that’s about it. Not much context. The piece loses people in a fog of numbers that obscure rather than clarify.
The Social Security Changes You Can Expect
You’ve probably heard a lot lately about President Barack Obama’s Chained CPI(Consumer Price Index) budget proposal, which would cut future Social Security annual cost of living increases, as I’ll explain shortly. But I’d like to tell you about other ways Social Security may be changing to remain solvent — and the one strategy for claiming benefits you might want to take advantage of before it disappears.
Daily Kos (NAT)
Poll: Public rejects Obama budget
While Democrats overall approve the Obama budget, with 52 percent approval, they disapprove of the chained CPI proposal at the same rate, and on this one are in agreement with 49 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of independents. And the people most likely to vote in 2014.
Social Security cuts are inexcusable
The deficit is shrinking. How can Obama defend dismantling one of the country's most popular government programs?
Huffington Post (NAT)
Will Social Security Cuts Be the Democratic Party's 'New Coke'?
If there is one thing that the Democratic Party is "known for" -- their "brand" -- it is starting, expanding and protecting Social Security. It was the New Deal and its government jobs programs for the unemployed, investment in infrastructure, heavily taxing the wealthy and corporations, but mostly Social Security that created "brand loyalty" for Democrats for generations.
Campaign For America’s Future
“Divide and Lose”: A Bad Democratic Strategy For Social Security
If some pundits have their way, the new blueprint for the Democratic Party will pit generation against generation and ethnicity against ethnicity, fragmenting us into ever-smaller social groups competing for slices of an ever-shrinking economic pie.
Huffington Post (NAT)
On Friday, Kill the #ChainedCPI Cut to Social Security & Veterans' Benefits
At my local Congressional office -- Rep. Rodney Davis, R-IL-13, in Champaign, Illinois -- we'll be delivering these two petitions: "Cut Social Security & Veterans' Benefits? Cut the Pentagon Instead!" and "#ChainedCPI? For Every Social Security Judas, a Primary Challenge."
National Review (NAT)
The Chained CPI Trap
Essentially, the Obama administration is characterizing a significant tax increase on middle-income households as a concession to Republicans by linking it to a reduction in Social Security benefits that does not actually help the program become sustainable. The congressional GOP shouldn’t go for it. The problem, however, is that the failure of congressional Republicans to advance a more ambitious Social Security reform agenda — the kind that would actually benefit Social Security beneficiaries over the long term by introducing a pre-funded savings component and a stronger minimum benefit that would increase retirement incomes — has left them with limited options in countering the chained CPI proposal
CNN Money (NAT)
Retirement plan providers misleading savers, report finds
Financial firms often encourage workers who are leaving a job to roll over existing 401(k) assets into an IRA also managed by the firm, even if remaining in the employer's plan or rolling it into a new employer's plan would be the better move, an investigation by the Government Accountability Office found. And, in some cases, they misrepresent the costs involved in an IRA switch.
Why Expanding Social Security Is a Bad Idea
Andrew G. Biggs
“Expanded Social Security,” a New America Foundation (NAF) policy white paper by Michael Lind, Joshua Freedman, Robert Hiltonsmith, and Steven Hill, argues for expanding Social Security by paying each retiree a flat annual benefit of $11,669 in addition to their traditional Social Security benefits.
U.S.News & World Report (NAT)
Retirement Crisis a 'Looming Catastrophe' for Boomers?
"I'm not sure what would be worse," he added, "millions of elderly unable to house and feed themselves … or the intergenerational strife that surely would erupt if young people are forced to lower their standard of living to pay for our failure to act in a timely manner to avert this crisis."
On Wall Street (NAT)
Expected Fiduciary Rules Could Worsen Retirement Crisis, Fidelity Chief Warns
A top executive with Fidelity on Wednesday urged congressional action to stave off what he described as "a looming retirement crisis," appealing to lawmakers to pressure the Department of Labor to avoid an expansive redefinition of fiduciary responsibilities for advisors, among other things.
Baby boomers may die with college debt
Baby boomers are easing into retirement, but some may find their golden years are haunted by student loan debt that could follow them until they die.
Boston Globe (MA)
Should baby boomers jump back into the stock market?
The adviser persuaded him to move money back into stocks and bonds — rather than holding so much in the bank. But he also helped Goldstein to focus on investments that would earn a steady income while giving him peace of mind. He has put about 40 percent of his money into dividend-paying stocks and 40 percent in individual bonds he intends to hold to maturity, and 20 percent in stock or bond mutual funds.
Think Progress (DC)
As Baby Boomers Age, Nursing Homes Face A Growing Labor Shortage
Direct-care health aides — the people who care for elderly Americans by helping them bathe, dress, and eat — represent the nation’s fastest-growing occupation. Nevertheless, as the Baby Boomer generation of Americans are about to enter old age, this health care sector is facing a serious labor shortage. That’s largely due to the fact that those positions don’t pay much more than minimum wage, even though they’re incredibly demanding jobs.
The Street (NY)
3 Tips to Ending Retirees' Long-Term Care Fears
Be realistic. Many boomers aim to retire before the traditional retirement age, but one of the biggest challenges in retiring early is paying for health care without insurance through an employer and before Medicare benefits kick in. There are several options to help bridge this gap, but a health crisis during these years can affect your retirement income long term, so determine how you will afford health care during this period well before you near your planned retirement age.
Letters to the Editor
LaCrosse Tribune (WI)
Sue Guthrie: Change in federal benefits adds up
Using “chained CPI” would reduce cost of living allowances by an estimated 0.3 percent per year. Because this difference would multiply over time, this change would result in estimated yearly benefits 3 percent lower after 10 years, 6.2 percent lower after 20 years and 9.4 percent lower after 30 years.
Chained CPI will harm older Americans
Letter: Martha McKinney
The chained-CPI assumes that if the relative prices of goods and services rise, consumers will substitute less expensive alternatives. This assumption may be true for young and middle-aged adults, but seniors are far more likely to incur medical costs not subject to substitution
Post Bulletin (MN)
Well-paid members of Congress take aim at Social Security
Letter: Robert Fenske
I find myself questioning the qualification of members of Congress to make certain decisions. Blessed with their sweetest retirement program, they are considering reducing my last $12-per-month Social Security increase, in the future, by cleverly recalculating the percentage of future increases.
St. Louis Post Dispatch (MO)
Seniors will feel more pressure with chained CPI
Letter: Donald L. Foley
I’d have to thank David Nicklaus ("Inflation change will affect elderly; it’s no piggy bank raid," April 12) for, at least, letting his readers in on the meaning of chained CPI. But his conclusion that this modification to cost-of-living adjustments will have little consequence for seniors living on Social Security is cynical and mean-spirited. He provides the explanation that, "If the price of beef goes up, people eat more chicken." And according to Mr. Nicklaus, therefore, they need less cost-of-living adjustment. Of course, he fails to follow that logic to its rational conclusion.
Superior Telegram (WI)
LETTER: Hands off Social Security
Chained CPI” cost-of-living reduction would impose benefit cuts on Social Security recipients, with deeper losses over time. Grandma doesn’t deserve blame or punishment for our current fiscal mess. The senior-advocacy group AARP has an online calculator that allows folks to see how much money will be deducted if this scheme is implemented.
Smithsonian to Close Some Galleries Because of Sequestration
The mandatory federal budget cuts that went into effect earlier this year will start eating into the Smithsonian Institution next month, Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough told Congress today. In prepared testimony to the House Oversight Committee, Clough told lawmakers that beginning May 1, the Smithsonian will have to start cutting back on the amounts it spends on various functions, including maintenance jobs, gallery acquisitions, and, perhaps most importantly, contracted security guards.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Rural Elderly, Disabled Could Lose Low-Income Housing Subsidies Due To Sequestration
MARY CLARE JALONICK
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says 15,000 low-income elderly and disabled people in rural areas could lose rental subsidies because of across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect earlier this year.
The News Tribune (WA)
Sequestration fears spook local consumers
After Thurston County consumer confidence rose to a new high in the fourth quarter of 2012, it fell sharply in the first quarter of 2013 as a result of concerns about the federal government’s “sequestration,” the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that are set to be phased in.
Baltimore Business Journal (MD)
Cardin says sequestration is hurting small business
Sequestration is hurting small business, Maryland U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin told an informal town hall gathering of local business leaders and elected officials in Howard County at week's end, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The Buffalo News (NY)
Letter: People feeling effects of sequestration cuts
Wayne R. Robbins
Almost on a daily basis, we hear of more programs and grants being eliminated and people losing hours of employment as cuts are put into place. Any savings allegedly accrued by these “cost-saving” measures in the short run will ultimately be paid for by the taxpayers in the long run, not only monetarily, but in terms of opportunity.