Thursday – 10/10/2013, 5:57am EDT
Any discussion of cuts to federal employee, retiree and veterans benefits out of the conversations to reopen the government, increase the debt ceiling or reduce the deficit should stop before they start, according to a variety of groups representing these constituents.
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the American Foreign Service Association and others say White House and Congressional leaders need to come with better options than moving to the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) formula to determine future cost of living adjustments (COLA).
The White House and congressional leaders have floated the idea of using the chained CPI formula instead of the CPI-W approach, which has been in use since 1996.
The groups representing current and retired federal employees, veterans and others believe this formula would hurt seniors or people with disabilities at a time they can least afford a reduction in payments. Continue reading “Fed groups get in front of COLA calculation debate”
Monday, 17 September 2012 09:56 By Dean Baker, Truthout | News Analysis
September 17, 2012
That is a pretty simple and important question. Unfortunately, most voters are likely to go to the polls this fall without knowing the answer.
If the backdrop to this question is not immediately clear, then you should be very angry at the reporters who cover the campaign. One of the items that continuously comes up in reference to the budget deficit is President Obama’s support for the plan put forward by the co-chairs of his deficit commission, Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles and former senator Alan Simpson. On numerous occasions, President Obama has indicated his support for this plan.
One of the items in the Bowles-Simpson plan is a reduction in the annual cost-of-living adjustment of roughly 0.3 percentage points. This would be accomplished by using a different index that, by design, would show a lower measured rate of inflation. It is important to recognize that this is an annual cut that would accumulate over time. After a retiree has been receiving benefits for ten years, the cut would be 3.0 percent; after 20 years. it would be 6 percent. If a typical retiree lives long enough to get benefits for 20, years the average benefit cut over their years of retirement would be 3 percent.
Continue reading here.
Posted: 08/30/2012 4:12 pm Updated: 08/30/2012 5:18 pm
TAMPA, Fla. — Before Rep. Paul Ryan left the stage Wednesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, journalists took to Twitter for some real-time fact-checking.
Soon after, several media outlets, including The Huffington Post, called attention to misleading statements from Ryan’s speech. The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn asked if it was the most dishonest convention speech” ever. New York‘s Dan Amira described it shortly before midnight as “appallingly disingenuous and shamelessly hypocritical,” with his colleague Jonathan Chait — who claims to have “the equivalent of a master’s degree in Ryan lie-ology” — later calling out the Republican candidate for “brazen dishonesty.”
At around 12:15 a.m., the Associated Press hit the wire with a piece detailing “factual shortcuts” on issues like Medicare, economic stimulus, and the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis. Continue reading “Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech Ignites Media War Over Facts”
The Republican Party unveiled its national platformTuesday, revealing its plan to downsize the federal workforce, trim federal benefits and privatize airport screeners.
The platform calls for a wholesale reinvention of the federal government, which has become “bloated, antiquated and unresponsive to taxpayers,” according to the plan.
“It is our intention not only to improve management and provide better services, but also to rethink and restructure government to bring it into the twenty-first century,” the drafters of the Republican plan wrote. Continue reading “GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce”