Arkansas Senate Candidates Brawl Over Medicare, Social Security

In their final scheduled debate, Arkansas’ two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate vigorously slashed each other on Social Security and Medicare issues. “The game plans for both men were plain as day — [Rep. Tom] Cotton repeatedly tied [Sen. Mark] Pryor to President Obama, while Pryor said Cotton was beholden to big-money interests who didn’t share the same goals as Arkansans,” a visiting newspaper columnist wrote of the Oct. 14 exchange in Fayetteville. In contrast to recent Senate debates in other …

W.Va. Senate Candidates Call for Lifting Social Security Salary Cap

West Virginia’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate support raising the Social Security wage base limit from its current level of $117,000, and in an Oct. 7 debate both voiced concern over the long-term financing of the program. “I am supportive of raising the cap to $240,000” or in that vicinity, said West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat. “I would be willing to raise the cap over $200,000,” said U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, her Republican opponent. …

6 Political Truths About 50+ Americans

Americans are more divided along ideological lines - and animosity between Democrats and Republicans is deeper and more extensive - than at any time in the past 20 years, a new report from the Pew Research Center shows. As part of a yearlong study of political polarization in the United States, Pew conducted the largest political survey in its history, polling more than 10,000 adults from Jan. 23 to March 16. It’s a mother lode of age-segmented data on the political attitudes …

Older Voters Split in Terms of Party ID

While a new Gallup Poll finds that voters 65 and older have moved from “a reliably Democratic to a reliably Republican group” over the past two decades, voters in the next-oldest age bracket – 50 to 64 – haven’t followed suit and still show an outright preference for the Democratic Party. In analyzing its own survey results from 2013, 2003 and 1993, Gallup concludes that the shifts in party preferences are attributable in part to attitudinal changes that come into …

The Congressman Who Broke All the Rules

These days we’re rarely shocked when we learn that a politician has enjoyed lavish benefits at public expense or found some way to exploit public office for personal gain. That makes all the more remarkable the story of former U.S. Rep. Andrew “Andy” Jacobs Jr. (D-Ind.), who during his three decades in Congress declined to accept the monthly disability payments to which he was entitled for his injuries in combat as a Marine during the Korean War. “He didn’t think …