Archive for the ‘social security’ Tag

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took two Bloomberg TV hosts to school on Wednesday after they suggested that Social Security was the root of an “entitlements crisis” that was driving the nation’s budget deficit.

In an interview on Market Makers, host Stephanie Ruhle confronted the Massachusetts Democrat for her recent call to increase Social Security benefits.

“When I think about imbalance, I think about our children,” Ruhle said. “In the next 10 years, between Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending, it’s going to grow to $780 billion. Our spending on children is $20 billion. Are you not worried about kids? Why should these senior citizens be getting more money?”

“Of course, I’m worried about our children and I want to see more investment in our children,” Warren replied. “But we cannot ignore the fact that we have a retirement crisis in the United States right now.”

“Social Security is not driving our deficit,” the senator continued. “Social Security is a system that pays for itself. If we did absolutely nothing to Social Security, we would make payments for more than 20 years exactly at this level. And then they would drop by roughly by about 25 percent and pay forever into the future… We can make modest adjustments now in Social Security and make sure it will be there to pay on into the future. And if we make some more adjustments, we could see an increase in Social Security benefits for those who count on it.”

Warren pointed out that two out of three seniors relied on Social Security for food and housing so it was the last thing that should be cut during a retirement crisis.

Co-host Erik Schatzker, however, insisted that the U.S. was also facing an “entitlements crisis.”

“Social Security is not creating a deficit in our budget right now or in the future,” Warren declared. “So, let’s just pull that one out of it, because that is not a conversation.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/12/elizabeth-warren-destroys-bloomberg-hosts-on-social-security-entitlements-crisis/

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Joshua Holland:

In our nation’s capitol, calls for cutting Social Security benefits and shifting the ever-rising costs of health care from Medicare onto the backs of American seniors are ubiquitous. But context matters, and these ideas are nothing short of perverse given the depths of the massively painful retirement crisis that working America faces today.

Social Security was never designed to provide real retirement security. It was conceived as one leg of a three-legged stool, supplementing pensions and personal savings. But traditional pensions are becoming a thing of the past, replaced by 401(K) plans — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the share of private sector workers responsible for their own retirement savings increased nearly four-fold between 1980 and 2008. And while Americans socked away almost ten percent of their incomes back in 1970, decades of stagnant middle-class wages has made saving up for retirement much harder – by 2010, we were only saving around four percent of what we made.

Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at the New School for Social Research, says that, as a result of these trends, “75 percent of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts.” Two-thirds of Americans over age 65 rely on Social Security for over half their income, and for over a third of all seniors, those checks make up more than 90 percent of their income. “The specter of downward mobility in retirement is a looming reality for both middle- and higher-income workers,” says Ghilarducci, and “almost half of middle-class workers, 49 percent, will be poor or near poor in retirement, living on a food budget of about $5 a day.”

This sorry state of affairs isn’t only hurting America’s seniors. It’s forcing many of them to remain in the workforce longer than they would otherwise, which is, in turn, hurting the job prospects of younger workers, who face a sky-high unemployment rate.

This is the backdrop for calls to cut benefits, which averaged just $14,760 last year. But a coalition of progressive groups are now coalescing around a proposal by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) to increase Social Security payments by an average of $70 per month.

And while the Obama administration has floated the idea of adopting a new way of calculating cost-of-living increases that would gradually decrease benefits over time, Harkin’s plan would create a new formula which would capture increases in the real-world costs that seniors pay, including higher health care costs.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/07/a-growing-coalition-of-progressives-tries-to-expand-social-security-instead-of-cutting-it/

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Ezra Klein “Today’s Republican Party thinks the key problem America faces is out-of-control entitlement spending. But cutting entitlement spending is unpopular and the GOP’s coalition relies heavily on seniors. And so they don’t want to propose entitlement cuts. If possible, they’d even like to attack President Obama for proposing entitlement cuts. But they also want to see entitlements cut and will refuse to solve the fiscal cliff or raise the debt ceiling unless there are entitlement cuts.

You can see why these negotiations aren’t going well.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/30/the-republican-party-in-one-tweet/

 

 

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From Ezra Klein

The latest offer: “Obama laid out a counteroffer that included significant concessions on taxes, reducing the amount of new revenue he is seeking to $1.2 trillion over the next decade and limiting the hike in tax rates to households earning more than $400,000 a year. Obama had previously sought $1.4 trillion in new revenue, with tax increases on income over $250,000. Obama also gave ground on a key Republican demand — applying a less-generous measure of inflation across the federal government. That change would save about $225 billion over the next decade, with more than half the savings coming from smaller cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries.”

“In addition, Obama increased his overall offer on spending cuts and dropped his demand for extending the payroll tax holiday, which has benefited virtually every worker for the past two years. But he is still seeking $80 billion in new spending on infrastructure and unemployment benefits and an increase in the federal government’s borrowing limit large enough to avert any new fight over the issue for two years. Boehner has offered a one-year debt-limit increase, and the fresh stimulus spending remains a sticking point, according to senior Republican aides, who also complained that the overall deal remains too tilted toward new taxes.” Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery in The Washington Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/18/wonkbook-obamas-latest-fiscal-cliff-offer/

 

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President Barack Obama may have pulled his punches during his first debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney but the GOP running mate didn’t have the same luck when he met up with Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday.

During a segment about the economy, Biden repeatedly took shots at Rep. Paul Ryan over a secretly-recorded video where Romney was seen telling wealthy donors that 47 percent of Americans were “dependent” on government.

“Gov. Romney says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their lives,” Biden pointed out, adding that Ryan had also said that “30 percent are takers.”

“These people are my mom and dad, my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Gov. Romney pays,” the vice president continued. “They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security, they are veterans who are — quote — not paying taxes.”

“I’ve never met two guys more down on America across the board. We’re told everything is going badly. 5.2 million new jobs, private sector jobs. We need more. But 5.2 million. If they would get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class and make it permanent. If they would get out of the way and pass the jobs bill. If they would get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people who are struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down but they never missed a mortgage payment.”

Biden added: “Just get out of the way. Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/11/bidens-debate-rant-rips-ryan-gop-needs-to-get-out-of-the-way/