Good News for Seniors in Medicare That You Won’t Hear About from Conservatives and more...

Good News for Seniors in Medicare That You Won’t Hear About from Conservatives

In spite of years and years of doom-and-gloom predictions from conservatives that Obamacare will hurt Medicare, the facts just continue to tell another, very different story.  Earlier in the month the annual Medicare Trustees report showed how the ACA continues to extend the program’s solvency.  Now, the Congressional Budget Office has even more to say: “You’re looking at the biggest story involving the federal budget and a crucial one for the future of the American economy. Every year for the last six years in a row, the Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years. The latest reduction came in a report from the budget office on Wednesday morning. The changes are big. The difference between the current estimate for Medicare’s 2019 budget and the estimate for the 2019 budget four years ago is about $95 billion. That sum is greater than the government is expected to spend that year o ...

     

 

 

When Privatize Means Protect and Slash Means Save - the 2014 Campaign Continues

It must be campaign season! GOP candidates, under Karl Rove’s tutelage, have doubled-down on their Medicare and Social Security dodge and deflect strategy. The heart of this political strategy is to avoid talking about GOP candidates’ true plans for Social Security and Medicare while simultaneously portraying their opponents as the “enemies of seniors.” Greg Sargent offers this perspective: “It is remarkable to watch Rove’s group try to position multiple Democratic Senators as the real threat to social insurance for the elderly, for the third straight cycle — and even more intriguingly, to use Simpson Bowles to do so. After all, Simpson Bowles is still widely treated as a paragon of unimpeachable fiscally responsible centrism, and Dems have long been pilloried by Beltway fiscal scold types for refusing to embrace its sanctified prescriptions for deficit reduction. Indeed, this sort of Crossroads rhetoric should outrage fiscal conservatives. As Philip Klein put ...

     

 

 

What Do Swatting Mosquitos and Cutting Social Security Have in Common?

John Nichols at The Nation has this week’s must-read story on Rep. Paul Ryan’s never-ending quest to cut Social Security benefits.  Nichols has read Ryan’s new book (so we don’t have to) and provides this analysis: The well-regarded second-term congressman met with Vice President Dick Cheney, who was at the peak of his co-presidency powers. Like Cheney in his younger years, Ryan was a former congressional aide who had worked the conservative think-tank circuit before getting himself elected to the House. The Washington insiders should have gotten on famously. But the vice president was not buying what the man, who is now described as “the intellectual leader of the Republican Party,” was selling. Ryan recalls the meeting this way: “The surplus has given us a huge opportunity,” I explained. “If we dedicate the Social Security surplus to reform, we can shore up the program and end the raid on the trust fund.” I talked about the opportunity t ...

     

 

 

Social Security Made the Difference in Hawaii Senate Primary

Hawaii’s Democratic Senate primary win for Sen. Brian Schatz sends an important signal to candidates nationwide about the huge role Social Security can and will play in their Congressional re-election bids.  From the chained CPI to the Bowles-Simpson amendment, many centrist “new Democrats” like Hawaii’s Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, have quietly cast votes for proposals designed to cut benefits to millions of retirees, people with disabilities and their families, while at the same time promising to protect benefits back home. In Rep. Hanabusa’s case, there were clear differences between her and opponent Sen. Brian Schatz on Social Security.  While Schatz supports boosting benefits and co-sponsors legislation to do that, Rep. Hanabusa voted in support of the Bowles-Simpson amendment to HR 444 which advocated for Social Security benefits cuts, raising the retirement age and deficit reduction through 75% in cuts an only 25% in revenue. The Bowles-Simpson plan would be disastrou ...

     

 

 

79 years old and Still Hard at Work – Happy Anniversary Social Security

Each year we mark Social Security’s anniversary in a different way.  But ultimately the goal is always the same...to remind us all how vital America’s most successful program is to millions of families. “As we celebrate Social Security’s 79th anniversary today, it’s important to acknowledge the program’s vital role in protecting both current and future generations of Americans. Social Security has made a profound improvement in the economic security of millions of families, especially during these tough economic times. For too many Americans, personal savings have been difficult to accumulate because middle class wages have remained stagnant for three decades.  More than half of all workers have no retirement plans at work and millions more have no retirement savings.  It’s time Washington addresses our nation’s retirement deficit and its potentially devastating impact on the lives of working class families. This economic recession has clearl ...

     

 

 

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