Tag: ‘Social Security’

"The Long and Winding Road... Will Never Disappear..."

By :: July 24th, 2015

The Senate’s six-year highway bill inches forward, after dropping a Social Security provision. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won 14 Democrats’ votes for the bill after he agreed to drop a $2.3 billion offset. The money would have come from barring people with felony warrants from getting Social Security benefits. The Senate will keep voting on […]

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How Many Americans Get Government Assistance? All of Us

By :: June 4th, 2015

The other day, the Census Bureau put out a new report that concluded about one-in-five Americans received government benefits in 2012. But the study, called Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Participation in Government Programs, 2009–2012: Who Gets Assistance, takes a far too narrow view about who gets the help. A more accurate estimate of the share of Americans […]

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CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

By :: August 28th, 2014

Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income […]

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Taxing Employer-Sponsored Insurance Would Hike Social Security Benefits But Boost Federal Coffers

By :: May 8th, 2014

The tax subsidy for employer-sponsored health insurance is huge. Not only are the premiums exempt from income tax, they are also immune from Social Security payroll tax. The two subsidies combined will add more than $1.6 trillion to the deficit over the next five years alone. But because that income is not included in the […]

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Congress Shouldn’t Forget About Tax Entitlements In Its Search for Deficit Reduction

By :: October 22nd, 2013

Yesterday, Washington Post columnist Bob Samuelson urged lawmakers to “just eliminate…the whole notion of entitlements.”  His provocative argument: The very word “entitlement” makes people believe these programs are somehow untouchable. They are, for instance, effectively exempt from the sequester’s cuts even though they represent two-thirds of all government spending. Bob is on to something but he […]

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The “Other” Social Security Issue: Disability Insurance

By :: June 18th, 2013

Since the George W. Bush Administration, Social Security reform has been atop the federal government’s list of top policy challenges. But when people talk about Social Security, they usually have in mind the Old Age and Survivors piece of the program. There is another critical element, however–Social Security Disability Insurance. And SSDI is suddenly getting lots […]

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An Opportunity to Really Fix Social Security

By :: April 9th, 2013

The White House has put out the word that President Obama’s budget will propose changing the way government adjusts benefits for Social Security and other programs (as well as the income tax). Liberal Social Security advocates are furious. By shifting to a measure called the chained Consumer Price Index, the retirement system would boost benefits […]

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Changing Government's Inflation Measure Would Raise Taxes as Much as it Would Cut Spending

By :: March 5th, 2013

Changing the way government adjusts spending and taxes for inflation is one of those issues that continues to hang around the edges of the budget debate. Republicans and many economists argue for shifting to a more accurate inflation measure, called the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI). President Obama would support a version as part of a […]

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Bowles-Simpson II: A New Plan to Avoid the Sequester

By :: February 19th, 2013

With 10 days to go until the dreaded sequester—the automatic across-the-board spending cuts that most lawmakers profess to hate—the Washington drama machine is starting to get in gear. Today, President Obama stood in front a group of uniformed first responders and warned darkly of layoffs if the spending cuts kick in. At the same time, […]

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The Risks of Dumbing Down Fiscal Goals

By :: February 1st, 2013

In one of the more dangerous fiscal developments of recent months, some on the left are defining successful deficit reduction as merely stabilizing the federal debt at about 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2022. While there is no magic target, this one is far too modest and threatens to leave future fiscal policy […]

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