Officials in Washington State reported Tuesday that a resident was diagnosed with the coronavirus which was first detected in Wuhan, China last month, leading federal public health agencies which have suffered billions of dollars in cuts in recent years to issue warnings and post information about the illness.
“This is an evolving situation and again, we do expect additional cases in the United States and globally,” Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Washington Post.Continue reading →
“Donald Trump and his advisers know that this will kill people, and they do not care. Every current and future Social Security beneficiary must band together to defeat this horrific proposal, or else all of our earned benefits will be next.”
Activists are working to raise public awareness and outrage over a little-noticed Trump administration proposal that could strip life-saving disability benefits from hundreds of thousands of people by further complicating the way the Social Security Administration determines who is eligible for payments.
The proposed rule change was first published in the Federal Register last month but has received scarce attention in the national media. Last week, the Social Security Administration extended the public comment period on the proposal until January 31, 2020. Continue reading →
The benefits of Social Security, a program designed to help vulnerable and low-income people, have since the 1980s become increasingly skewed toward the wealthy due to demographic shifts and soaring inequality, according to a new report.
Proponents of Social Security expansion, responding to the report (pdf) by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, said the New Deal-era program’s increasing regressivity was not inevitable, but the result of lawmakers’ refusal to enact basic progressive reforms such as lifting the cap on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax. Continue reading →
A handful of Senate Democrats joined forces with Republicans last week to advance sweeping budget legislation that would establish an “automatic deficit-reduction process” that could trigger trillions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs—and potentially hobble the agenda of the next president.
The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act (S.2765), authored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), passed out of the Senate Budget Committee on November 6. The legislation is co-sponsored by five members of the Senate Democratic caucus: Whitehouse, Mark Warner (Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Chris Coons (Del.), and Angus King (I-Maine). Continue reading →
On Friday, the second day of the Chicago Teachers Union strike, union leaders said that contract negotiations have seen some progress but that teachers and Chicago Public Schools have more work to do before achieving “educational justice” for the city’s 300,000 public school students—not just raises for teachers.
Before heading into negotiations Friday morning, CTU President Jesse Sharkey said the city offered $8 to $10 million to reduce class sizes—an improvement over the $1 million it initially offered. Continue reading →
Donald Trump speaks at the UN General Assembly, 2018. Photo: White House
With a Wednesday morning tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump cast a global spotlight on the United Nations’ multimillion-dollar funding crisis and the over $1 billion in budget payments the United States owes the world body.
In response to a CBS News report that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres sent a letter Monday to the 37,000 employees at the U.N. Secretariat notifying them of the deficit, Trump tweeted, “So make all Member Countries pay, not just the United States!” Continue reading →
Charles Rettig testifying at his confirmation hearing on June 28, 2018. Screenshot: C-SPAN
The IRS audits the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1%. Now, in response to questions from a U.S. senator, the IRS has acknowledged that’s true but professes it can’t change anything unless it is given more money.
Republicans, Democrats and Independents, of all ages, races and genders, overwhelmingly agree. We understand that Social Security is more important than ever. We overwhelmingly reject any cuts to its modest benefits.
Congress should address our nation’s looming retirement income crisis by increasing Social Security’s modest benefits. (Photo: Courtesy of AFGE, Flickr | CC 2.0)
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) just said out loud what Republican politicians usually only talk about in secret meetings with their billionaire donors: The GOP wants to cut our earned Social Security benefits—and they want to do it behind closed doors so that they don’t have to pay the political price.
At a recent town hall, Ernst stated that Congress needs to “sit down behind closed doors” to “address Social Security.” She vaguely asserted, “A lot of changes need to be made in this system going forward.” But, she complained, if these changes were proposed in public, she would be accused of pushing “granny over a cliff.” It is not hard to figure out what “changes” she has in mind. Continue reading →
Economists “warn that rarely, if ever, can people replicate the security of a pension,” said Karen Friedman, executive vice president and policy director of the Pension Rights Center. (Photo: 401kcalculator.org)
New reporting showing companies’ scrapping of pension plans has gone into overdrive means that Social Security must be expanded, an advocacy group said Wednesday.
“Expanding Social Security is important for today’s retirees,” Social Security Works said in a tweet, “but even more important for tomorrow’s.
The shift from traditional pensions to 401(k) or similar retirement plans—a change panned as an inequality-fueling disaster—isn’t new. “But lately,” reportedAxios, “those changes are happening even faster.” Continue reading →