The days of guaranteed retirement benefit in the form of a pension are long gone. As numbers out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics show – defined benefit retirement pension are on a drastic decline since 1981. That was the year when over 80% of full-time workers in the private sector participated in a pension plan. By 1997, that number had plummeted to just over 50%.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is using poor people in his state as pawns in his political game. Scott is one of a number of Republican Governors, who are using their grudge against President Obama to deny millions of low-income Americans health insurance coverage. As part of Obamacare – states are expected to expand their Medicaid coverage to cover more low-income Americans.
Of what might happen if Republicans refuse to raise the debt limit, is beginning to emerge. According to analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center – if the debt limit isn’t raised by the end of February – then a chain reaction of events will happen that will ruin both the United States’ and global economy.
Are Republicans really going to blow up the economy in the debt-limit fight? All signs point to yes. On Sunday, Republican Congressman Matt Salmon called on his colleagues to shut down the government unless President Obama agrees to significant spending cuts to Social Security and Medicare Insurance.
In the House, John Boehner was narrowly elected to his second term as Speaker – surviving a revolt by a handful of Tea Party Republicans. But the action is in the Senate, where the battle for filibuster reform is heating up.
The United States is set to jump into an austerity economic death spiral this year. Already – thanks to Republican hostage scenarios forcing deep spending cuts, the United States is set to swallow $348 billion in austerity measures in 2013. That includes $200 billion in spending cuts and an additional $125 billion from the expiration of the payroll tax cut.
The House of Representatives needed overtime – but late Tuesday night, they agreed with the Senate and passed legislation to avert half of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” And despite President Obama and some Democrats declaring victory after Republicans were forced to sign on to a small tax increase for the wealthiest Americans, this fiscal cliff deal is actually a dream come true for billionaires and banksters.
Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner announced on Wednesday that in addition to the fiscal cliff deadline at the end of the year, the United States will also hit its borrowing limit on December 31st, meaning the debt-limit will have to be raised a lot sooner than previously believed.
As Speaker of the House John Boehner failed to get his members in line to vote on a plan to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” It was a bad idea to begin with – a plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire for millionaires – but let those same millionaires keep generous tax loopholes, while getting rid of many of the tax breaks used by the middle class.