Obama Proposes Middle-Class Tax Breaks

In his penultimate State of the Union address, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night announced wide-ranging proposals he said would improve the economic prospects of the middle class, including helping families pay for college and child care, while giving more workers access to retirement plans. To help pay for these expanded benefits, the president also wants to increase the taxes paid on inherited assets of higher-income households. Many agree that it’s a long shot the president will get his wish list — …

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Hard to imagine in the context of last month’s 88 inches of snow in Cowlesville, N.Y., but the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that this winter will be warmer than last. With a warmer winter comes less heating fuel consumption by households, lower prices because of reduced overall demand for heating fuel, and lower energy bills. AARP analysis of EIA projections also shows that older households can expect lower heating bills; households heating with fuel oil and propane will fare …

Supreme Court Blocks Wisconsin Voter ID Law

The Supreme Court has blocked the implementation of a Wisconsin voter ID law that triggered an intense legal battle and conflicting court rulings. In an unusual late-evening action on Oct. 9, the court issued an unsigned, two-paragraph decision — the first paragraph being the ruling of the six-justice majority and the second a dissent from Justice Samuel Alito. The decision set aside the Sept. 12 ruling of a federal appeals court that had blocked a U.S. District Court judge’s order preventing enforcement of …

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Wisconsin Voter ID Law

A three-judge federal appeals court panel has unanimously upheld Wisconsin’s controversial voter ID law, which had been the focus of earlier conflicting federal and state court rulings. >> AARP Voter Education Guide The order from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, handed down on Sept. 12 just a few hours after the judges heard arguments in the case, found that Wisconsins law was “materially identical” to an Indiana photo ID law that the Supreme Court upheld in 2008. The judges …

Federal Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Voter ID Law

A federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law, holding that it unconstitutionally discriminates against low-income and minority voters, who are less likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to obtain them. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman’s decision comes less than a week after a state judge declared a new Arkansas law requiring voters to show government- or college-issued photo IDs for their ballots to count to be “void and unenforceable.” (Days later, the Arkansas …

The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid

States have divided almost evenly on whether to expand Medicaid to millions more low-income Americans, many of them uninsured. Many Republican governors or state legislatures have rejected expansion, saying that although the federal government will pick up most of the tab now, states could be left on the hook in the future. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter And although expansion aims for low-income people, “you’re expanding coverage for graduate students and Starbucks baristas,” says Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow at the Heritage …