What’s the Nation’s No. 1 Problem?

It’s the government, stupid. Bill Clinton won a presidential campaign with the motto, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But these days the top issue to most Americans is the government, according to a new Gallup poll.   Some 21 percent of Americans polled in the Jan. 5-8 survey said that the most important problem facing the country today is the government itself - including poor leadership, corruption, abuse of power and general dissatisfaction with Congress and politicians in general. The second most important …

AARP: Reject Harmful Cuts to Social Security and Medicare

As the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the interests of Americans age 50 and older and their families, AARP urges the budget conference committee to reject harmful cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits for the purpose of achieving deficit reduction or as a tradeoff for scheduled sequestration cuts or other government spending. While we agree that sequestration cuts will have a growing impact on critical discretionary programs and should be revisited, we remain steadfast in our commitment to protect …

Don’t Trust the Government? Join the Club

Public trust in the government is near an all-time low – not exactly a shock for a survey taken during a shutdown of the federal government. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter. Only 19 percent of American adults trust the federal government to do what’s right just about always or most of the time, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than four-fifths of respondents said they are …

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 …

What’s the Reaction to Obama’s Social Security Proposal?

We knew it was coming. Still, now here, it’s causing quite a stir. President Obama’s new budget proposes a change in the formula for Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Many Democrats are saying they disagree with their president. Many Republicans are saying they like the idea and want it implemented quickly. And advocates for older Americans are saying, “No way.” The proposed change, called the chained CPI, is a twist on the consumer price index, the formula that helps Social Security, veterans …