Is MyRA Wall Street’s Idea?

By: Wednesday February 5, 2014 8:45 am

One of President Barack Obama’s oddest proposals at the State of the Union was MyRA – my retirement account. MyRA will, in theory, provide an investment vehicle to help lower class Americans store what little money they can afford to save in a government backed retirement account. Even the theory is less than compelling but [...]

Though Liberals Carp at Chained CPI, Pelosi Says She Could Live With It

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 2:20 pm

Many of what would be described as the liberal left of Congress have weighed in against using the chained CPI to calculate cost of living increases in Social Security benefits. Here’s a representative sample from Sen. Jeff Merkley: We had an election, and the voters sent a message to Congress to focus on jobs and [...]

Mark Begich’s Plan to Stop the Effects of Inequality on Social Security Finances

By: Friday November 16, 2012 10:52 am

I will be on Mark Thompson’s Make It Plain show on Sirius/XM – I’m actually on every Friday – and we tape early, so I can tell you that one of the things I’ll talk about is how Social Security’s long-term funding is an artifact of rampant US inequality. See, we have a payroll tax [...]

Social Security a Far Better Deal for Workers Than Modern Retirement Plans

By: Wednesday October 24, 2012 10:04 am

is brief set of calculations from the Wall Street Journal’s Ellen Schultz shows simply how much of a raw deal American workers have been getting from defined-contribution retirement plans. It is impossible for them to generate the rate of return of a defined benefit plan, just completely impossible.

Social Security COLA Increase for 2013: 1.7%

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 7:53 am

The COLA is calculated by a measurement of inflation, which has risen slowly over the past year. However, the inflation calculation used currently, the Consumer Price Index for Wage Earners or CPI-W, may not take in the rise in cost of living for seniors, which most strongly depends on rising health care costs (a separate measure, the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly or CPI-E, accounts for this much better).

Expensive to Be Poor: Expenses Twice as Much as Income for Bottom 20% of US Households

By: Thursday September 27, 2012 11:38 am

A new study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics out today probably won’t get as much notice as their other report showing the US gained 386,000 jobs more than expected. However, this one shows a persistent problem in America, that it’s actually expensive to be poor. The average individual in the lowest 20% of the [...]

Medicare Premium Hikes Wiping Out Increases in Social Security Benefits

By: Monday March 28, 2011 8:35 am

Duck Durbin says that it would be “extremely difficult” to round up 60 votes for any changes to Social Security. But in a way, the Social Security benefit is being cut already. For the past two years, there have been no changes to the cost of living adjustment, despite increases in the core costs for [...]

401(k) Savings Coming Up Woefully Short for Retirees

By: Monday February 21, 2011 1:10 pm

One of the major side issues in the Wisconsin public employees fight is the role of public pension obligations. It’s not really the main issue, since Wisconsin labor officials have agreed to all of the pension concessions which Governor Walker has sought. The idea here is that state workers don’t “deserve” these generous pensions, and [...]

Unemployed Staying Unemployed, Locked Out of Work Force

By: Monday September 20, 2010 7:06 am

The unemployment rate has remained mostly stagnant over the past several months, despite job gains below the rate of the expanding population. The employment/population ratio shows far more people out of work than the topline unemployment rate. That’s because of a new phenomenon in our labor markets, where the loss of a job means an [...]

The War on Public Employees

By: Monday August 9, 2010 7:35 am

Over the weekend, the New York Times published a piece that follows a trend of vilifying public employees, in this case for their pensions. Being involved with California politics as I was, I can tell you that the wingnuts here find no greater joy than in demonizing state workers, all of which in their minds [...]

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