11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Two Swedish women have invented an inflatable bike helmet. (Learn more at Sports Illustrated) 2. Military veteran dogs find second careers as explosives detectives at the U.S. Capitol. (Learn more at Washington Post) 3. A new kind of tattoo on your throat could be used as a microphone – and double as a lie detector. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. The classic rubber duckie and the game of chess are in the National Toy Hall of …

Why So Few Veterans in Congress?

Why are there so few veterans in Congress these days? The end of the military draft 40 years ago and the gradual retirement and passing away of the World War II generation have contributed to a record low of 17 veterans in the 100-member U.S. Senate. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter. In the House of Representatives the total of 85 veterans – out of 435 members – is also the lowest since World War II. The high point …

Blurred Lines of the Budget Debate

The title of the undisputed hit song of this past summer, before the government shutdown, Blurred Lines,* lacks a reference to Congress (or rest assured it would have been a dud). But it captures what politicians and others in Washington have done in the hopes that voters don’t catch them causing damage to our lives and the broader economy. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter Last week economist and former Obama administration official Jared Bernstein wrote in the …

AARP to Congress: Avoid Default, Protect Social Security and Medicare

As the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the interests of Americans age 50 and older and their families, AARP is urging Congress to take steps to avoid default on our national debt and avoid risking benefits for current Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries or the health of our fragile economy. Older Americans care very deeply about our country, and many are grandparents who feel a sense of stewardship and responsibility to make sure that their grandchildren enjoy the same …

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 …

Recommendations of Long-Term Care Commission Show Progress

The federal Commission on Long-Term Care voted Sept. 12 on its final recommendations, which will be included in the commission’s final report later this month. AARP is encouraged by the examination of the serious, policy-focused bipartisan recommendations to address our country’s long-term services and supports crisis, which affects millions of people, including older Americans, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. While the recommendations are far from perfect, they show progress in seeking solutions to this crisis. Importantly, we are …