Medicare and Social Security are running out of money sooner than previously thought, according to the annual report of trustees of the Medicare and Social Security program. The report highlights the need for reforms to maintain solvency of the programs.
The Social Security trust fund for disability benefits will only last four years, until 2016, which is two years sooner than expected. The Social Security trust fund for retirees will be exhausted in 2033, three years sooner than last projected. Medicare will be bankrupt in 2024, the same as predicted in last year's report.
Four factors are driving the program's insolvencies: more >>
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the economic impact of President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal Friday. The report estimated that Obama's proposals would give the economy an initial boost, but that boost would come at the cost of decline in later years due to increased deficit spending.
For the first five years, 2013-2017, CBO estimated that the nation's economic growth would range between 0.2 percent lower to 1.4 percent higher than under current law. In the second five years, economic output would decline by somewhere between 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent.
Under current law, tax cuts that were initially passed during the George W. Bush administration and extended in 2010 would expire at the end of 2012. Obama's budget would increase deficits by making the tax cuts for all but the highest bracket permanent. more >>
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan recently commented that the House Republican Budget for the federal government reflected Catholic principles. While Catholics have been debating the veracity of that claim, the occasion has also provided an opportunity for evangelicals of different political persuasions to debate how they understand biblical principles and the federal budget.
The Christian Post previously interviewed two Catholics, the Rev. Robert Sirico and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), and one evangelical theologian, Ron Sider. For another perspective, CP interviewed two politically conservative evangelicals, Jordan Ballor, research fellow at the Acton Institute, and Josh Good, an affiliate of Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE).
Ballor and Good were both in agreement with Sider that the large national debt, now over $15.6 trillion, is immoral in the way it passes debt from one generation to the next. Sider deserves a lot of praise, Ballor said in the interview, for bringing attention to the severity of the debt crisis. more >>
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a recent interview that the House Republican budget reflects Catholic doctrine. Some have criticized those remarks, so The Christian Post spoke to Roman Catholic priest Robert Sirico to get another perspective.
A group of about 60 politically liberal Christian leaders wrote a letter taking exception to Ryan's comments, calling it "morally indefensible." In an interview with The Christian Post, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) also said the Ryan budget is in opposition to Catholic teaching. And on Tuesday, two Bishops from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops entered the fray with separate letters denouncing proposed spending reductions in programs for the poor.
Though the Rev. Sirico believes that Ryan did not quite explain Catholic teaching correctly, he finds more to like in the Ryan budget than these dissenters. more >>
On Monday, the full Senate handed President Obama a defeat by not being able to produce 60 votes to bring what has been termed the "Buffett Rule," which would increase taxes on seven-figure incomes, to the Senate floor. But what Obama took away was a hammer big enough to hit Mitt Romney on his reluctance to disclose years of tax returns and answer questions about complicated investment strategies.
"It could be called the Buffett rule. It could be called the Romney rule," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Monday. "I don't think he's going to want to have this present inequity remain when he is an example of it."
Unlike the House, the U.S. Senate has a filibuster rule that requires 60 of the chamber's 100 members to consent before a bill can be brought to the floor. What made the idea of taxing the nation's most successful citizens even more challenging was not every Democrat was willing to support a tax increase in a volatile election year, especially Sen. Mark Prior (D-Ark.) who voted with the Republicans to block the bill. more >>
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) recently wrote a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asking him to speak out against the House Republican budget and how it affects the poor. In an interview with The Christian Post, DeLauro describes how her Catholic faith informs her views about the federal budget.
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) led the budget effort passed by the House last month. In an interview on CBN last week, Ryan, a Catholic, said he believes that the House budget upholds the principle of subsidiarity, (large complex institutions should not address social problems that can better be addressed by small simple institutions closer to the problem), and "preferential option for the poor" (the needs of the poor should be given preference in policy decisions). DeLauro, also Catholic, said Monday that the House budget violates Catholic principles.
Here is an edited transcript of the interview: more >>