The Social Security Board of Trustees has just released its annual report to Congress. The most important takeaways are that Social Security has a large and growing surplus, and its future cost is fully affordable.
It is sometimes reported that Social Security's current costs exceed its revenue, but if that happened, we wouldn't need a report to tell us. The whole country would know, because 59 million beneficiaries would not get their earned benefits as they now do every month. By law, Social Security can only pay benefits if it has sufficient revenue to cover every penny of costs - administrative as well as benefit costs. The claim that Social Security is running a deficit counts only Social Security's income from its premiums, often called payroll contributions or taxes, and disregards one or both of its other two dedicated sources of income: investment income and dedicated income tax revenue. As Figure 1 shows, when income from all of Social Security's revenue sources is counted, Social Security ran a surplus in 2014.
House Democrats are lining up behind a sweeping bipartisan proposal to stave off a federal default and prevent a government shutdown despite initial concerns over entitlement changes.
This September, millions of young Americans will start college, but at what cost?
Each year, the collective student loan debt skyrockets as tuitions continue to rise and graduates compete for scarce jobs with stagnant wages. From 2011 to 2013, the amount of debt held by recent graduates increased a whopping 20 percent, reaching a total more than$1.2 trillion.
It's high time UN agencies and the mainstream media acknowledge the true scale of global poverty and engage in a long overdue public debate on how ambitious and transformative the international development agenda really is.
As the star-studded endorsements and media hype surrounding the all-pervasive Global Goals campaign begins to subside, a very different truth is beginning to emerge about this latest attempt by the international community to end poverty and create an ecologically viable future. Despite the UN’s ambitious claims, all the indications are that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) do not have the potential to “free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want” or “heal and secure our planet”. On the contrary, the ‘new agenda for development’ fails to address the root causes of today’s interconnected global crises, perpetuates a false narrative about poverty reduction, and reinforces an unsustainable economic paradigm that is inherently incapable of reducing the true scale of human deprivation by 2030.
Hundreds of cab drivers at O’Hare and Midway airports in Chicago halted service late Wednesday morningin protest of new rules in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed 2016 budget. The action, which was organized by Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500 (CDU), saw drivers blocking traffic near cab stands for roughly two hours, with many exiting their cabs to stand in protest.
Drivers acted in response to Emanuel’s proposed rules, which would allow rideshare services like Uber and Lyft access to the airports while maintaining their exemption from many of the regulations to which traditional taxi services are subject. The proposed rules are part of a wider effort, which includes a controversial property tax hike and new garbage fees, to close a $426 million gap in next year’s operating budget and fulfill the city’s overdue pension obligations.
The Pope’s visit to the USA this week comes just two months before pivotal UN climate talks that could lead to a global climate agreement. Climate change will be high on his agenda in planned addresses to the UN and Congress, and it is likely that one of his central concerns will be the economy. Pope Francis did not mince words in his recent encyclical on the theme of climate change and one of the main targets of his searing critique was our current economic system. He bemoaned that “the earth’s resources are … being plundered because of short-sighted approaches to the economy, commerce and production.” He chastised the dominance of the speculative finance sector over the economy, and the folly of looking to market growth to solve all social ills.
Yesterday Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced that he was ending his campaign for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. It was a week to the day after placing all bets on his record as a union buster to propel himself into the White House.
Sept. 17, 2015
After a month of major mobilizations from Jackson Hole, WY to Washington, DC, the Fed Up campaign today released the following statement, celebrating the Federal Reserve’s decision not to raise interest rates.
“This is a victory for the working families who stepped up with innovative organizing to send the Fed a clear message: Our voices belong in the debate about our economy,” said Ady Barkan, Campaign Director for Fed Up. “With the recovery still far too weak in too many communities, it would have been economically devastating – and immoral – to slow the economy.”
The U.S. Census Bureau released data this week showing little to no improvement in poverty and family incomes in 2014, despite a falling unemployment rate.
This frustrating state of affairs is directly related to high levels of inequality andstagnant wages, which have kept poverty rates much higher than they should be given that we’ve had more than five straight years of economic growth. The problem is that despite workers’ increased productivity and higher levels of education, the economic gains have concentrated at the top of the income ladder, leaving workers with flat or declining wages and chronic economic insecurity.
"Using arrests to solve homelessness...is contrary to a fair and just community."
The ACLU filed suit against Honolulu, Hawaii on Wednesday over the city's raids of homeless encampments, saying officials violated constitutional rights of individuals dwelling in the camps by throwing out food and vital belongings during massive sweeps.
Report suggests 'some giant corporations—and their executives—have decided that following the law is merely optional'
"Corporate criminals routinely escape meaningful prosecution for their misconduct."
This is the damning verdict of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) report released Friday, Rigged Justice: How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy (pdf).
This is what neoliberal governance looks like.
Skeptics said it wouldn’t last, and they were right.
Al Jazeera America launched in the summer of 2013, a spin-off of the Doha-based channel’s English version to specifically target a United States audience.
'This is a national train wreck that must be stopped,' says Common Cause
Agency shut down email surveillance in 2011, only to relaunch it under different intelligence laws.
The National Security Agency (NSA) secretly replaced its program monitoring Americans' emails and moved it overseas before the operation was exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013, according to new reporting.
Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly recused themselves en masse from a Wednesday evening vote on a contentious GOP proposal to reshape the state's campaign finance laws. The bill passed shortly before 8 p.m. with the unanimous support of the chamber's Republican members, with no Democrats casting votes. The minority party has…
WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgrades global growth forecasts and warns of rising debt levels in "emerging" economies in its newly released World Economic Outlook report. The report lowers growth forecasts in low-income and developing countries from 6% in 2014 to 4.8% in 2015. The IMF releases the report…
Civil society organizations, Indigenous communities, and social movements come together to challenge the World Bank’s neoliberal agenda, which has caused massive environmental destruction and social distress on the Latin American continent. Lima, Peru — The International Monetary Fund–World Bank Annual Meetings will take place in Lima, Peru this year from October…
New study highlights the repeated failure by U.S. lawmakers to crack down on tax avoidance schemes. America's Fortune 500 companies are "playing by different rules" when it comes to the federal tax system and, according to a new report out Tuesday, are stashing $2.1 trillion in offshore tax havens—with as…
The strategy by one of the nation's largest growers to shed its obligation to sign a contract with the United Farm Workers was dealt a key setback last week. An administrative law judge not only threw out what union organizers say was one of the dirtiest decertification elections in recent…