Medicare: Time for a Reality Check?

The public’s view of Medicare doesn’t match reality, according to an analysis of six polls by the New England Journal of Medicine, which says that the “wide gap in beliefs between experts on the financial state of Medicare and the public at large” could end up affecting the ongoing battle over the federal budget. Here are some of the chief disconnects: Although Medicare spending has been rising at slower rates during the past five years, 62 percent of Americans think just …

Congressional Budget Experts Predict More Red Ink

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has just published its 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook, and this year’s set of predictions for the nation’s balance sheet is sure to push Washington’s heartburn rate up a few notches. Three quick takeaways from the CBO’s report: The percentage of federal debt held by the public is higher than at any point in modern U.S. history. Federal debt held by the public is likely to decline a little bit over the next few years, as …

Life@50+ Is a Sure Winner

I’ve never been a gambler, but I just returned from Las Vegas where a $25 bet netted people a big-time jackpot. No, I didn’t temporarily lose my miserly mind in the heat of the Nevada desert and roll the dice in some swanky Vegas casino. I’m way too cheap to tell people to throw away good money like that. I’m talking about a mere $25 for the cost of admission to the three-day AARP Life @50+ National Event held at …

Why the Chained CPI is Wrong for Social Security

Yesterday, the President included Social Security cuts in his budget through a proposal called the “chained CPI”. Let’s take a minute and break down exactly what that means: The chained CPI would modify the way the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security is calculated, cutting benefits by $127 billion dollars over the next 10 years alone. That comes out to over $2000 in lost benefits for the average senior. Some have tried to defend this unprecedented inclusion of Social Security benefit …

Illinoisans Detest President Obama’s Chained CPI Budget Proposal

If Chained CPI is included in the President’s budget proposal, as is being reported today, President Obama is laying out a clear marker that he is willing to cut Social Security and other benefits to balance the budget, which breaks a promise he made when he was elected to office.  On September 6, 2008, Senator Barack Obama told AARP members: “John McCain’s campaign has suggested that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost of …

Survey Finds Auto Insurance Rates Higher for Low-Income Drivers

You may be a good driver but if you live in a moderate- or low-income neighborhood, you’re probably paying higher auto insurance rates than people who live in upscale parts of town, as much as $1,500 just for minimal liability coverage. Those are the disturbing findings of a new survey of four of the largest auto insurers in 15 cities. Between them, the companies hold half of all policies in the country. The Consumer Federation of America went to the websites …