February 12, 2013 |
You might not realize this if you've been listening to all the warnings about "entitlements" emanating from Congress, but Social Security remains the nation's most popular government program -- and the vast majority of Americans want lawmakers to protect it, without cutting benefits. In fact, a sizable majority want Congress to raise benefits. Those conclusions, drawn from a recent opinion poll conducted for the National Academy of Social Insurance, an organization of social insurance experts, are worth keeping in mind as President Obama addresses the state of the union tonight and as budget battles continue in Washington.
November 11, 2012 |
Click here to download TV listings for the week Nov. 4 - 10 in PDF format This week's TV Movies SERIES Richard Hammond's Crash Course: Richard trains to be one of the crew tasked with changing a wheel in an IndyCar race in Sonoma in an episode that features a drive around the racetrack with legendary driver Mario Andretti (7 and 11 p.m. BBC America). How I Met Your Mother: Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) decides to take action when Robin (Cobie Smulders)
November 8, 2012 |
BEIJING - China's new leaders, set to be unveiled next week at a once-a-decade transition, will soon be handed the keys to the world's second-largest economy. But unlike their predecessors, who embraced growth at all costs to spur the country forward, China's incoming rulers will be tasked with steering the economy toward a more sustainable path. China must boost its private sector, reduce its reliance on low-cost exports and big-ticket public projects, and put more money into the hands of ordinary Chinese, experts said.
November 7, 2012 |
You know all that talk about how Superstorm Sandy will revivify efforts in Washington to address climate change? Write it down somewhere, because a few days or weeks from now it will be forgotten. So will concerns about income inequality, and pledges to protect Social Security and Medicare from harm. They may be heading to the back burner after having only momentarily made it to the front. These predictions are based on these issues' weight in the recent presidential campaign, which is barely any weight at all. Both candidates tirelessly reminded us that this election was "important," but the most important issues at stake for individual voters, for business and for the economy at large flitted by in their stump speeches and the three debates faster than you can say "attention span.
October 16, 2012 |
The questions asked at Tuesday night's presidential debate will be left to a coterie of undecided voters assembled by Gallup pollsters, so don't be surprised if they invite President Obama and his Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, to pander to address concerns unique to their lines of work, their favorite causes or the problems they face as individuals. For example, that might include questions about whether the government is doing enough about cancer or Alzheimer's disease, or why Washington bailed out the big banks but not a local business whose line of credit dried up. Personally, I like those questions.
September 16, 2012
A new Census Bureau report confirms that the slowly rising tide of the U.S. economy hasn't lifted all boats. The 20% of Americans with the highest incomes captured an even larger share of the earnings in 2011, while the rest collected the same share or less. The widening income inequality is disturbing, but as the report shows, things could have been considerably worse. Without such safety net programs as unemployment benefits and food stamps, millions more families would have fallen into poverty.