Social Security

  Social Security is a perennial election year issue.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock the program must be kept safe. 

Stephen Gottlieb: Universalism Vs. The What-About-Mes

May 10, 2016

This primary season has made plain Americans’ dissatisfaction with American politics – dissatisfaction because someone else seems to be getting all the goodies and concern. The right wing thinks the poor are the government’s favorites. The left wing sees its wages and taxes mostly benefitting the super wealthy. Both Sanders and Trump mined the political backlash from special interest politics. Trump’s apparent nomination increases the urgency for both parties to respond to this problem.

Spotlight On John Kasich

Apr 12, 2016
Gov. John Kasich speaks in Troy Monday.
Dave Lucas

Eight days before the New York primary, Ohio Governor John Kasich took a three-stop tour of the area on Monday, making stops in stops in Albany, North Greenbush and Saratoga Springs. WAMC caught up with the Republican presidential candidate at La Salle Institute.

Where does Hillary Clinton stand on the various issues related to Social Security?    Does she agree with former President Bush that Social Security is going bankrupt or with former Texas Governor Rick Perry that it is a “Ponzi scheme”?   [I have commented on this issue before but just to re-iterate – a Ponzi scheme is a situation where a fraudster sells future profits of an organization that actually has no revenue stream other than the “income” from selling share to the next round of buyers.   In other words, I sell you something for $1000 and promise a 20% return.  The only way I get that money to you is to sell two other people something for $1000.  Now I have $2000 and I give you $1200 and keep the $800 for myself.   Then I have to find four people to sell “shares” for $1000 each, give, the two new people $2400 and keep the $1600 for myself.  It works until I run out of people to sell to or until someone figures out that there’s no way my organization is truly “earning” the money I claim.   Social Security is nothing like that.  It has a guaranteed revenue stream from the payroll tax.]

Family leave for New Yorkers, and possibly all American workers, is getting closer to becoming a reality. The idea is being embraced by state legislators and by one of New York's representatives in Congress.

During a budget committee hearing on Wednesday ranking member Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders railed at business leaders who are suggesting program cuts for the poor to help balance the budget.

  A growing chorus of prominent voices in Congress and elsewhere are calling for the expansion of our Social Security system—people who know that Social Security will not “go broke” and does not add a penny to the national debt.

Eric Kingson is the co-author of the new book, Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All.

Social Security Administration/Public Domain

A New York congresswoman will join with senior citizens in Westchester County Saturday afternoon to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Social Security.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, will appear at The Esplanade Senior Residences in White Plains to talk about the importance of Social Security benefits. Senior citizens will share stories about how Social Security has positively affected their lives. They will then enjoy a celebratory cake. The first Social Security check was issued on January 31, 1940.

Social Security Administration/Public Domain

In one of its first actions the new House of Representatives voted to approve a rule that blocks the transfer of funds from the Social Security’s larger retirement and survivors’ trust fund to the disability trust fund. Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders, a critic of the action, notes that such transfers have been done routinely in the past under both Republican and Democratic presidents.  Vermont’s junior Senator is working with The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to assure the reallocation occurs.  WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley spoke with Max Richtman, the President and CEO of the National Committee, about its concerns over the House rule.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who represents the Democrats on the Budget Committee, is vowing to fight efforts by Republicans to prevent money dedicated to paying retirement benefits from being shifted to the disabled.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

A New York congressman Wednesday morning is holding a telephone town hall focused on issues affecting senior citizens.

  Social Security and Medicare are part of an ongoing budget debate in Washington.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the benefits need to be protected from the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

  The debate over Social Security now includes the phrase “Chained CPI.”

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that benefit programs like Social Security are in fine shape for the future.

official photo

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — U.S. Rep. and Democratic senatorial candidate Stephen Lynch says the income cap on Social Security contributions should be raised at a faster pace to help keep the retirement system solvent.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation that would make the wealthiest Americans pay the same Social Security payroll tax as nearly everyone else.

Today we’re talking about what the so-called fiscal cliff means for Medicare and Social Security. Joining us for this discussion are two experts on these topics.

Cheryl Matheis is a senior policy strategist and executive with AARP. As senior vice president for policy, she heads the effort to enlist opinion leaders in an informed dialogue to engage the American public in the future of Social Security and Medicare.

Neal Lane is the former director of the New York State Office for the Aging. He is widely recognized as an innovator for aging services.

Advocates for the elderly across the region are raising red flags over potential cuts to Medicare and Social Security as federal leaders argue over what should be done to avoid the fiscal cliff.

AARP Vermont is concerned that last minute budget deals in Washington could have a negative impact on Vermonters.  The group has issued an analysis of how a budget deal that may include Medicare and Social Security changes would impact the state’s seniors.

AARP

The AARP is holding a series of forums across the region to collect voter input on federal policies affecting Social Security and Medicare.

The AARP has started its “You’ve Earned A Say” campaign, holding forums, town halls, webcasts and meetings to get people to discuss Social Security and Medicare. Launched in March, the AARP will soon hold a series of meetings in New York and Vermont. AARP Senior Vice President for Campaigns John Hishta.

AARP

The AARP is holding a series of “You’ve Earned A Say” forums across the region to collect voter input on federal policies affecting Social Security and Medicare.

The AARP has started its “You’ve Earned A Say” campaign, holding forums, town halls, webcasts and meetings to get people to discuss Social Security and Medicare. Launched in March, the AARP will soon hold a series of meetings in New York and Vermont. New York State AARP Executive Council and National Policy Council member Neil Lane says non-partisan voter information will be provided at the forums.

WAMC

Rallies are being held to celebrate the anniversary of Social Security and call on Congress to protect its benefits.  A group of individuals in Plattsburgh were  in front of the Social Security office on Monday to highlight the importance of the federal program and express their concerns about the Republican vice presidential selection.

WAMC

A group of individuals were in front of the Social Security office in Plattsburgh Monday to highlight the importance of the federal program.

The rally to celebrate the 77th anniversary of Social Security was also designed to focus attention on challenges facing the program as potential cuts are considered in Washington.  Clinton County Legislator Tom Wood, the Area Representative for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, organized the local rally.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

On the occasion of the release of a report about income taxes on the wealthy by the advocacy groups Americans for Tax Fairness, Citizens for Tax Justice and the National Women's Law Center---  and marking Monday's 47th anniversary of the 1965, signing of the federal law to establish the Medicare retirement health care program by President Lyndon Johnson---  representatives of advocacy and labor groups rallied in Beacon - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report.