May 14, 2012 Of each dollar the federal government spends, how much goes to health care? How much goes to defense? How much goes to other programs? And how has spending changed over time?
April 23, 2012 The release of the Social Security and Medicare reports became an opportunity for Treasury Secretary Geithner to send voters the message that Obama administration was a staunch defender of the nation's most popular entitlements even though it accepted the need for gradual changes to make the programs more sustainable.
February 14, 2012 What was once considered a normal rate will now be considered a tax hike. Reverting to the status quo is now politically dicey. That could affect Social Security's financing over the long haul.
December 7, 2011 There's been quite a response to an earlier NPR story on concerns that the payroll tax holiday is undermining the Social Security program — everything from genteel but firm phone calls from the White House to angry emails from the press secretary of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
September 21, 2011 Mitt Romney went full tilt against Perry in Florida, as Jeff Zeleny reported on the New York Times' The Caucus blog. And what better issue to attack Perry on than his controversial position on Social Security. For Romney to have Social Security to use against Perry in Florida was like the New England Patriots' Tom Brady passing against single coverage.
August 11, 2011 Is the debt debate turning "entitlements" into a derogatory term, making it easy to take away people's benefits? We ask, "So what are entitlements anyway?"
May 13, 2011 Friday's news that the outlook for both the Social Security and Medicare trust funds had worsened since last year, let the Obama Administration and House Republicans declare the rightness of their approaches to shoring up the programs.
April 26, 2011 Federal aid provided a record amount of the personal income Americans received in 2010, indicating how widespread the support for such spending is and how difficult politically it will be to reduce such outlays.
March 15, 2011 President Obama's economic and political aides are reportedly split on whether to, before Election Day, propose Social Security benefits cuts. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and others on the economics team apparently support the idea while David Axelrod and other political aides don't.
March 4, 2011 House Speaker Boehner's offer to stand with Obama on cutting entitlements looks like one Obama can refuse. Obama is more likely concerned with the stance of the eventual GOP presidential nominee over Boehner. Also, entitlement spending cuts are more popular with Boehner's base than Obama's.
December 7, 2010 If the tax is reduced by 2 percentage points, many Americans would likely spend at least some of that money — hopefully giving the economy a bit of a boost.
October 15, 2010 The announcement wasn't a surprise but it could likely fuel voter anger at the majority Democrats. The White House tried to mitigate the damage by calling for passage of a bill to send $250 payments to recipients.