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Entitlement Programs

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NEWS
By Robert B. Reich | April 3, 2013
The president and a few other prominent Democrats are openly suggesting that Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation, and that Medicare be means-tested. This is even before Democrats have begun formal budget negotiations with Republicans -- who still refuse to raise taxes on the rich, close tax loopholes the rich depend on (such as hedge-fund and private-equity managers' "carried interest"), increase capital gains taxes on the wealthy, cap tax deductions or tax financial transactions.
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NEWS
August 4, 2014
Bravo to The Sun for pointing out the critical need to implement reforms to our entitlement programs ( "Medicare's pleasant surprise," July 30). In an age when half-trillion-dollar federal budget deficits are austere, it is refreshing to hear from a liberal newspaper that the current path of these programs is not sustainable, particularly considering the demographics of the wave of baby boomers now becoming eligible for those benefits. If we are to avoid becoming the next Argentina, our leaders must establish a rational and fair plan to keep these programs solvent for future generations.
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NEWS
By Bob Somerby | May 11, 1997
LOST IN THE hoopla over the balanced federal budget projected for the year 2002 is an obvious but much-avoided question: Why have the richest people who ever lived been so comically unable to pay their bills?For this is not Paraguay, after all, or some other impoverished nation, struggling to live within limited means. This is the United States of America, 1997 -- the wealthiest nation that has ever existed.Despite self-pitying portraits of "the first generation to have less than its parents," the fact is that Americans have material resources unmatched in the history of life on the planet.
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | June 1, 2013
Who doesn't admire former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole? Wounded World War II veteran, part-time comedian (Mr. Dole once described a meeting of former presidents Carter, Ford and Nixon as "see no evil, hear no evil -- and evil"), former presidential candidate and all-around decent man, Mr. Dole was a part of government for much of his life. Therein lies the problem for some who stay in politics and government so long that it is easy to lose perspective and think cutting deals is more important than winning the argument.
NEWS
October 19, 1996
The editorial, "Taxes, taxes, taxes," Oct. 14, used a phrase I find singularly irritating: "those semi-sacred, middle-class entitlement programs -- Medicare and Social Security . . ."Do not the wealthy also pay into these programs? You give the impression that only the middle-class is concerned or needs these media-dubbed ''entitlements."The word entitlement means have a right to. Considering that I have been contributing to Medicare and Social Security for 29 years, you're damned right I'm entitled.
NEWS
November 14, 2012
President Obama constantly speaks of rebuilding America's middle class, but by expanding welfare, Social Security and other entitlement programs he is actually building a lower class that is dependent on the Democratic Party for its survival. This type of candy-man politics was very effective in securing inner-city votes for Mr. Obama and other Democratic candidates in the November election. During the campaign season I heard the different battle cries many times: "Don't vote for Romney, he is going to cut food stamps!"
NEWS
January 15, 1996
AFTER A DOSE of Newt Gingrich negativism and Bill Clinton minimalism, American voters can write off any chance of meaningful reform this year of the nation's big entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, veterans benefits and the biggest enchilada, Social Security. Budget experts have long contended that there can be no permanent cure of Washington's addiction to deficit financing so long as these programs run on automatic pilot, going up each year regardless of the budget situation.
NEWS
March 27, 1992
"Is it worth it?"Can you do anything?"Can you make the country better?"Sen. Warren B. Rudman asked himself these questions March 12 in a despairing speech about the "economic disaster" caused by runaway federal deficits. Twelve days later he provided his answer. It was no and no and no. This tough New Hampshire Republican announced he would retire, hale and hearty at 61, and it is difficult to think of a more somber commentary on politics in America.Mr. Rudman pondered in that March 12 soliloquy why it was that with the deficit running at a record $400 billion, the Bush administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress could contemplate budget proposals adding even a penny to a national debt rapidly nearing $4 trillion.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | December 31, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Federal entitlement programs for older citizens, if kept at their present funding levels, will have "catastrophic consequences" on the incomes and living standards of American workers in the next century, the National Taxpayers Union said yesterday.Releasing a study that it said was based on the government's own economic projections, the taxpayers' group sounded a warning that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid may become too heavy a burden for younger workers. The organization said it foresees total tax rates as high as 69 percent for average workers by the year 2040 if these programs continue in their present forms.
NEWS
February 22, 2012
Max Richtman's recent article demonstrates why it will be extremely difficult to reform entitlement programs for seniors ("Protect senior programs," Feb. 17). Despite reports from the trustees of Social Security and Medicare that those programs will run out of money within the next 10 to 25 years, Mr. Richtman apparently believes that we should put our heads in the sand and continue to pay out benefits at a level that is unsustainable. He also apparently believes that benefits should continue in their present form because they are popular So is ice cream and chocolate cake.
NEWS
April 10, 2013
It's facile to say that if the extreme right and left of American politics dislike something, it must be a good idea, but in the case of President Barack Obama's budget proposal, it may be true. The president is taking one more stab at a "grand bargain" on the budget that would reduce deficits to a manageable size, through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts - including cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Some liberal groups are promising primary challenges to any Democrats who vote for a reduction in future Social Security benefits.
NEWS
By Robert B. Reich | April 3, 2013
The president and a few other prominent Democrats are openly suggesting that Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation, and that Medicare be means-tested. This is even before Democrats have begun formal budget negotiations with Republicans -- who still refuse to raise taxes on the rich, close tax loopholes the rich depend on (such as hedge-fund and private-equity managers' "carried interest"), increase capital gains taxes on the wealthy, cap tax deductions or tax financial transactions.
NEWS
By Doyle McManus | January 19, 2013
It's hard to recognize the Democratic Party these days. In recent decades, it's been a divided, brawling tribe. But this year, Democrats are one big, happy family. Sure, there was grumbling from the left over President Barack Obama's agreement to keep tax cuts in place for couples making between $250,000 and $450,000 a year. But that quickly gave way to satisfaction that Mr. Obama had won the "fiscal cliff" fight, and growing confidence that he can win the next round over the federal debt ceiling as well.
NEWS
By Scott Klinger | December 26, 2012
While America's CEOs are fretting about the government's so-called "fiscal cliff," millions of American workers face a financial disaster that gets much less media attention. There's a half-trillion-dollar deficit in the nation's worker retirement benefits. The Great Recession, which decimated retirement assets, played a big role in building this lesser-known cliff. But many corporations could have avoided the problem by shoring up these funds during the boom years. Instead, they siphoned pension assets for other profit-boosting purposes.
NEWS
November 14, 2012
President Obama constantly speaks of rebuilding America's middle class, but by expanding welfare, Social Security and other entitlement programs he is actually building a lower class that is dependent on the Democratic Party for its survival. This type of candy-man politics was very effective in securing inner-city votes for Mr. Obama and other Democratic candidates in the November election. During the campaign season I heard the different battle cries many times: "Don't vote for Romney, he is going to cut food stamps!"
NEWS
November 6, 2012
President Barack Obama won re-election yesterday thanks to a narrow edge in a swath of key battleground states. His prize: another four years as the leader of a sharply divided nation facing a series of seemingly intractable problems, chief among them the economy, the debt and employment. The first order of business must be to avoid the fiscal cliff looming over the country at year's end that will mandate tax increases and deep, across-the-board cuts to defense, entitlement programs and domestic spending programs unless he and Congress can agree on a way forward.
NEWS
August 4, 2014
Bravo to The Sun for pointing out the critical need to implement reforms to our entitlement programs ( "Medicare's pleasant surprise," July 30). In an age when half-trillion-dollar federal budget deficits are austere, it is refreshing to hear from a liberal newspaper that the current path of these programs is not sustainable, particularly considering the demographics of the wave of baby boomers now becoming eligible for those benefits. If we are to avoid becoming the next Argentina, our leaders must establish a rational and fair plan to keep these programs solvent for future generations.
NEWS
By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Washington Bureau Jeff Leeds of the Washington Bureau contributed to this article | May 30, 1993
WASHINGTON -- Already they account for almost half of all federal spending, and still they are among the fastest-growing programs in government.They were at the center of the political compromise last week that got President Clinton's budget through the House, and they will be the focus of the looming battle he faces in the Senate.They are the entitlement programs, which benefit the elderly, the young, the needy and the not-so-needy.They range from Social Security to food stamps, from unemployment benefits to targeted health care, from veterans benefits to retirement pay for federal workers.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2012
Social Security advocates had a message last week for an audience of Maryland seniors on the 77th anniversary of the federal benefits program: Let's not be the last generation to retire. The Alliance for Retired Americans and Social Security Works attempted to enlist about 50 retirees at the Council House apartments in Suitland as part of an election-year army to spread the word about the positive impact they said Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare have had on generations of Marylanders.
NEWS
June 30, 2012
Many of us voted for President Obama as we believed he had the character, intelligence and the will to lead the country and to provide meaningful change. We voted for the man, but we also voted for the platform. A primary part of the platform was the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which will benefit all citizens. The Supreme Court has now ruled in favor of President Obama and all of the country. I have always been puzzled by the fierce opposition to this legislation. Why do some Americans begrudge other citizens access to the health care they need?
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