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Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Raise Income Gap, Fix Social Security Budget?

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

According to Care 2, the debt ceiling and the budget funding debate continue, with talk about possible cuts to the Social Security program. Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed their wishes to reform Social Security’s entitlement program. Although the fund itself is stable enough to pay out disability benefits to Americans, it needs reform in order to remain solvent. Republicans have called for privatization and cut backs in the program, while Democrats have suggested raising the retirement age to save funds.

Another discussion about Social Security includes adjusting the cap on how much income can be taxed. The President is backing this idea, suggesting that those making millions should pay more in taxes. The nation’s millionaires and billionaires enjoy tax cuts, while the rest continue to pay in based on their net income.

Take for example the nation’s billionaire, Warren Bufffet. The billionaire investor spoke to a crowd of college students in Virginia about Social Security, saying that he stops paying Social Security taxes on a little bit over $100,000 and then the next $50 billion a year is not taxed a dime in Social Security taxes.

Proponents of the Social Security program worry that no change will result in the program running out of funds by 2037. However, that may not mean the end of the program and Social Security disability benefits, but a reduction in the amount an individual would receive. Raising the income cap is an idea supported by many as a way to eliminate the deficit forecast for the Social Security fund.

President Obama Suggests Strengthening Social Security

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

According to Reuters, President Obama did not lay out a specific reform plan for Social Security in his speech on the deficit. The President did say he wants to strengthen the program for our future generations without putting current retirees at risk, or slashing the benefits.
Some experts say that strengthening the Social Security program can come from raising the retirement age. More people are living longer, thanks to advances in our every day lives, technology, and medicine. The President’s own Natinal Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform even suggested changing the retirement age for future Social Security applicants.
The commission said raising the retirement age is fair and a benefit to everyone seeking other Social Security benefits, such as disability. Longevity gains allow users to find gainful employment while the Social Security program has enough funds to continue paying out in the long term.
The Social Security program’s biggest problem is that its huge surplus will be depleted around 2035, absent any other changes. The program itself is not the cause of the nation’s deficit, but depleting the surplus could affect disabled Americans who have no ability to gain employment and rely on monthly disability benefits to pay for their bills and every day care. Even in 2035, Social Security would be able to fund 76 percent of benefits from current revenue, but more people apply for disability benefits each year, which places the program in a further uncertainty when it comes to its long-term survival.

Legislators Closer to Reaching a Budget Compromise, May Avert Shutdown

Monday, April 4th, 2011

According to CNN, dealmakers in Washington are working hard to avoid a government shutdown. With a deadline looming at the end of the week, both parties hope to settle budget issues and pass spending legislation to avert a major U.S. government shutdown. Social Security Administration’s Commissioner had expressed concerns over such a shutdown and how it would affect millions of Americans patiently waiting on their monthly Social Security Disability Insurance payments.

President Barack Obama said that both sides are close to reaching a compromise. Senator Chuck Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in Senate, said that Republicans and Democrats are at the doorstep of a deal. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner said that he is not preparing for a government shutdown.

Boehner said that it would end up costing more if the deal fell through because of contract interruptions. The idea of a government shutdown is troubling and it would bring more problems than help. Also, the Speaker said that Senate should focus on reaching a deal and not trying to close the government’s doors.

The current funding measure will keep the government running until April 8. The legislation currently under debate would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. Earlier this week, Republicans and Democrats found a way to compromise on a $33 billion federal spending slash, but there are still differences where to make those said cuts.

Agencies such as Social Security Administration serve the public and millions of Americans rely on monthly disability payments to pay their bills. Cutting the budget, shutting the government or forcing delays in processing new claims or payments would severely affect the American public.