What’s Changing For Medicare and Social Security?

For millions of Americans, Social Security, Social Security Disability, and Medicare is a crucial part of their livelihood, but it can also be extremely confusing to understand. Recently, President Obama signed into law a bipartisan budget bill that changes Social Security and Medicare. Regardless of what side of the political aisle you’re on, it’s important to know and understand the changes that were made and how the changes will affect millions of Americans.… [Read more]

Reduce The Risk of Getting Fixed: Solving Unsustainable Social Security Trends

It’s not secret that Social Security isn’t and won’t be around forever unless major change takes place. In fact, more than one-third of retirees rely on their social security for 90 percent of their income, reports AARP. The Social Security scare doesn’t only apply to your beloved parents and grandparents, it applies to people who are receiving Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.… [Read more]

The Crisis in Pensions and Retirement Plans

Despite being considered the financial centre of the world, it’s still very possible for the United States to learn from other countries. See the infographic below; it presents a brief history of retirement plans in the U.S. including state and local government pensions and Social Security. Now let’s put things in perspective: Countries with strongest pension programs (based on 2013 pensions, both public and private) rank the U.S.… [Read more]

Poverty: An American Epidemic

It seems hardly a day goes by without another news story about the 1%, the healthcare crisis or picketing laborers. The truth is that a shocking number of Americans are living at or below the poverty line.

By the Numbers

According to U.S. Census data from 2012

  • Nearly 46.5 million people are living in poverty, up from 46.2 million in 2011;
  • 18.9 million are white non-Hispanic, 13.6 million are Hispanic, 10.9 million are Black/African-American, and 1.9 million are Asian;
  • More than 16 million children (under age 18) live in poverty.
[Read more]

The Case for Expanding Social Security

Our friends at Democracy for America and MoveOn.org posted this infographic that we want to see shared far and wide. The mission is to “combat this growing retirement security crisis and tell Congress that Americans support expanding Social Security — not cutting it.”

On this site we’ve commented about this issue repeatedly; we note that when politicians talk about cutting so-called “entitlements” they neglect to note that if a person has worked and contributed to the system, s/he is ‘entitled’ to receive funds back from that system because it’s actually an earned benefit.… [Read more]

Into the Wayback Machine to 1000 CE

Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) stated that harnessing wind power will make the earth hotter because it will make the wind slow down. This is not the first time members of the Grand Ole Party have made absolutely astonishing statements when it come to science. The Party of No is the party of No because they know nothing.… [Read more]

Retirement Saving: Steps for the Sandwich Generation

Maybe you’re one of those people who has two major responsibilities right now – your kids and your aging parents. Of course, your folks can probably depend on Social Security and their personal retirement funds for a little while longer, but your children are wholly defenseless. At the same time, you have to start seriously considering your own future savings.… [Read more]

Will we keep the ‘social’ in Social Security?

“There is no more important domestic issue on which we have to have a national consensus than social security, because it affects just about all of us either as current beneficiaries or current taxpayers. Continuing the minimum benefit for present beneficiaries reflects a bipartisan consensus, which I strongly support.” ~ Ronald Reagan, December 29, 1981

Subsequent to that time, interfund borrowing ensued as what was supposed to be a temporary solution to fix financing difficulties faced by the Social Security program.… [Read more]

Immoral…

Religious leaders have called it immoral; some have even suggested that Jesus himself would oppose it. Various leaders of the Republican party have opposed it and even David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget director, called it a fairy tale. Many on the left have referred to it as ‘austerity on steroids.’

What has all of these different people so upset?… [Read more]

Budget Bargaining

Many of us are watching the next move in the political game of financial chess. Today, President Obama will submit his long-awaited budget proposal. Keeping focus on deficit reduction in the face of a slowly recovering economy and unemployment figures that hover in the upper end of the 7 percent level, the president’s proposal includes $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, which is expected to bring in total deficit savings to $4.3 trillion.… [Read more]

Fairness and Equality

The other day, I listened to a priest talk about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. As he spoke, I started to think about what it really means to be a Christian and a human being in America today.

By no means am I a religious person, but the philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth has always been one of my guiding lights.… [Read more]

Social Security’s Not on Negotiating Table, but Revenue-Raising Option Being Ignored

This week wraps up with the topic that promises to be the talk of Washington and the nation until it’s resolved one way or the other by January 1, 2013: the budget showdown, entitlement programs and the impending fiscal cliff. President Obama has repeatedly stated that Social Security is not on the fiscal cliff negotiating table but that message has been largely ignored by House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans, and maybe even some Democrats.… [Read more]

Dangling Opulence

I watched in horror as my home, New York City, was being blown away by Hurricane Sandy, and I was full of fear for my family and friends who were taking the mighty storm head on. I started thinking of the poor and the homeless and how they would survive the impact of the deviating storm.… [Read more]

Campaign 2012: Let’s Focus on the Big Picture

In the past few weeks the presidential campaign has seen its share of ups and downs on both sides. According to recent polls, Mitt Romney continues to experience a bounce due in large part to his debate performance, while President Obama’s declining poll numbers reflect what many perceive to be his lack of fight. Unfortunately for voters, with this shift has come a noticeable change in the issues presented to voters — and much of what receives attention is not what has the most impact on the populace.… [Read more]

S#!t Just Got Real

There is a lot of talk these days about the sandwich generation — people of a certain age who have both children and aging parents whom they care for. Some, like myself, may only have parents to care for. Even without the added duty of child rearing one may still feel ‘squeezed’ in the middle, only the last thing it feels like is being between two soft pieces of bread!… [Read more]

Let’s Hope the Debates Will Make Things Worse for Mitt

Perhaps it’s foul to put it quite that bluntly but, as is the case for many of us, election day can’t arrive soon enough. The campaign season seems endless; misleading ads, voter suppression efforts and full-throated lies may be what is expected but that doesn’t make it easier to endure. After all, while the follies go on there’s still a nation to run — and the more time we spend watching an extremely lackluster candidate who is supposed to represent the best that the ‘loyal opposition’ has to offer, it’s now just a matter of time and how disgusted the voting public can become.… [Read more]

An Open Letter to Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Cardinal Dolan has announced that he will be offering the closing prayer at this year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. I decided to write him a letter.

Dear Cardinal Dolan:

You posted this tweet on your Facebook page:

St Augustine said there will be peace in the Christian heart only as long as our faith is watchful.[Read more]

Are Republicans Secretly Plotting A Communist Takeover?

For all of the much heated attention focused from the right on the “tyrannies” of social safety nets like welfare, healthcare, and social security, these actually may be the only things keeping the country from turning itself inside out with a full-fledged Chinese inspired communist overthrow.

To today’s conservative, this might sound odd. Some, albeit very few, would claim that without these safety nets the economic downturn would have been much worse.… [Read more]

Let’s Call a Spade a Spade: Why Paul Ryan Is Anything But Nice

Since Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his presidential running mate there has been a barrage of commentary surrounding the seven-term Congressman from Wisconsin. Quite naturally there has been much talk of his influence by Russian-American novelist and atheist Ayn Rand whom he has credited as his inspiration for entering politics. Something which he now is adamantly distancing himself — actually flat-out denying.… [Read more]

Romney’s Choice Makes It Clear: This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s GOP

The GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney says that Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan is the guy who is willing to “make the tough decisions”.  Many of us can respect someone who is willing to analyse a situation (in which everyone has at least one opinion) and make a decision that could be unpopular. Quite often it appears that politicians on both sides of the aisle are completely content to kick the can of fiscal discipline and rational decision-making down the road.… [Read more]