tamara lytle

What the Cut in Food Stamps Means

Posted on 02/10/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsWhen President Obama signed the farm bill on Feb. 7, it meant sun and rain for food stamp recipients. The sunny side is that a $40 billion cut over 10 years proposed by House Republicans was whittled to $8.6 billion. The stormy side is that some 850,000 households, or 4 percent of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly food stamps), will lose about $90 a month to help pay for groceries. The wide-ranging law also addresses nutrition …

More New Retirement Account Proposals

Posted on 02/5/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsAmericans are way short in their retirement savings, and President Obama’s MyRA plan, which he unveiled last week, isn’t the only new proposal that aims to help with that problem. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also offered a savings plan. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has one of his own, which follows a report he released last summer. Of these three proposals, Harkin’s is the most ambitious. His Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds would create a …

What the New Spending Bill Means for You

Posted on 01/17/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsThe $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill passed by Congress funds federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year, eases the sharp budget cuts known as the sequester and ends the lingering threat of another government shutdown. It also affects a number of programs especially important to older Americans. Here’s how, according to an AARP analysis: Increases spending by $41 million on nutrition programs for older Americans, including Meals on Wheels. This replaces across-the-board spending cuts, called sequestration, that took hold …

Need Help from the IRS? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Posted on 01/10/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsHave tax questions or problems? You probably shouldn’t expect much in the way of help from the IRS these days, according to the latest report from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the agency. Some of the major findings: The IRS no longer helps elderly, disabled and low-income taxpayers prepare their annual returns. Ten years ago it prepared 476,000 such returns. Only 61 percent of calls to the IRS from taxpayers wanting to speak to someone were answered, …

Will Congress Revive Jobless Benefits?

Posted on 01/8/2014 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsWhen it comes to unemployment, older Americans face a double whammy. Many face age discrimination. (About a third say that they — or someone they know — were recently discriminated against because of their age.) On top of that, employers also discriminate against job applicants who have been out of work the longest, according to Deborah Chalfie, AARP senior legislative representative for financial security. Of the unemployed, people 55 or older were out of work an average of 51 weeks, …

Learn More + Earn More = Live Longer?

Posted on 11/21/2013 by | Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsHow long you live has a lot to do with income and education. That’s the message from experts who testified on Nov. 20 at a U.S. Senate hearing on “Dying Young: Why Your Social and Economic Status May Be a Death Sentence in America.” >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter. As Steven Woolf, M.D., the director of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, put it, “the lower people’s income, the earlier they die and …