March 12, 2013 |
I'd like to offer my thanks to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) for doing so much to validate my list of the five biggest lies about "entitlement" programs published on Sunday. Ryan's proposed federal budget , released Tuesday, uses four of them. As a dividend, he exploits a few that I didn't mention. The ones from my list are: He uses the thoroughly discredited "infinite horizon" projection to claim that Social Security and Medicare are "tens of trillions" of dollars in the hole; he suggests that retirees aren't paying their fair share for their benefits; he suggests that the programs are hammered by benefits going to the wealthy; and he treats Medicare and Social Security as though they're similar programs with similar issues.
March 8, 2013 |
Everybody loves lists. Most of those you see in the papers or online tend toward the inconsequential (The Six Best "Fast & Furious" Movies). So here's a list with a bit more gravitas: The five biggest lies you're being told about entitlement programs. Never mind that the very word "entitlement" is a lie. Social Security and Medicare got that name because workers became "entitled" to those benefits by paying into the system. In recent years, however, the term has become distorted to signify benefits people are entitled to without earning them.
March 3, 2013
Re “ Seniors vs. kids claim is a sham ,” Business, Feb. 27 As a senior, I am concerned about my Social Security and Medicare benefits. However, I am also concerned about the future prosperity of my children and grandchildren. Your writer correctly points out that the chatter about “generational theft” in the debate over national fiscal policy is an intentional distraction. This false proposition that we must choose between spending on seniors' benefits or spending on our children's futures diverts attention from the national economic policies of the last 30 years, which have damaged the economic security of most Americans.
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.
February 12, 2013 |
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the fresh face Republicans chose to respond to the State of the Union address, sounded familiar party themes Tuesday night, accusing President Obama of stifling economic growth through an overreliance on taxes and spending. The opportunity "to make it to the middle class or beyond, no matter where you start out in life, it isn't bestowed on us from Washington," Rubio said in his nationally broadcast remarks, but comes from "a vibrant economy. " That is something presidents in both parties, from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, have recognized, Rubio said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2013 |
A Santa Ana man was charged with fraudulently collecting more than $100,000 of his deceased father's Social Security benefits Tuesday after bones believed to be those of his father were found in the backyard of his former home, officials said. Larry Thomas Dominguez, 65, faces a felony count of theft by embezzlement, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime over $100,000, the Orange County district attorney's office announced. Dominguez's arraignment was postponed Tuesday.
December 21, 2012
Re "Calculating the cost of living," Editorial, Dec. 19 The editorial about the proposal to change to a "chained-CPI" for calculating cost-of-living increases for Social Security entirely misses the problem with using this type of calculation. It mentions that the current calculation doesn't consider the fact that if prices rise on meat, seniors on fixed incomes may replace meat with pasta. The proposed changes, however, will necessitate that seniors continually downgrade their standard of living, eventually to the point that it won't be a choice between meat and pasta but between dog food and cat food.
December 19, 2012
Conservatives argue that Washington never cuts programs, it just increases spending on them more slowly than planned. But to recipients of federal benefits, that type of "cut" can seem just as painful. That's why there is an intense battle looming over a proposal to reduce the cost-of-living adjustments applied to numerous federal programs, including Social Security. The change is billed as a more accurate way to calculate the effects of inflation, but it's really just a way to make Washington's financial picture marginally brighter.
December 18, 2012 |
The details of the deal being worked out by President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are in flux, but the bad news is that one element that seems to be all but decided is -- there's no other way to put it -- a benefit cut for Social Security. The instrument of this egregious and totally unnecessary cut is the "chained" consumer price index, which will be replace the conventional CPI in adjusting Social Security benefits to inflation. The key point to note is that the chained CPI rises at a consistently slower level than its traditional cousin.
December 18, 2012 |
Forget the 47%. A new study finds that 71% of Americans live in a household in which at least one member has benefited from one of the federal government's major entitlement programs. The new data, based on a survey by the Pew Research center, underscore the wide reach of the spending programs that make up the lion's share of the federal budget. More than half of Americans (55%) have personally benefited from one of the government's six best-known entitlement programs, including 53% of people who voted for Mitt Romney in November's election and 59% of those who voted for President Obama.