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Monday, July 15, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure build-up a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

GOP proposal threatens cuts to MA Social Security benefits

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Thursday, March 28, 2024   

Congressional Republicans' proposed changes to Social Security have advocates for Massachusetts beneficiaries concerned about the future of the key safety net program.

A recent GOP budget proposal suggested raising the benefit eligible retirement age to 69, "to account for increases in life expectancy."

Nancy Altman, president of the advocacy group Social Security Works, said it essentially amounts to more than $1.5 trillion in benefit cuts.

"You never catch up, even if you work till age 70," Altman pointed out. "Your benefit's going to be about 7% lower than it is under current law."

Social Security does face financial headwinds a decade from now. The White House wants to raise payroll taxes on the wealthy to keep the program fully funded but skeptics argued it would not be enough.

Altman thinks it is a good first step. The GOP framework also calls for reducing benefits for higher earners. No income threshold was provided, but Altman suspects it would still hurt a lot of people who do not retire wealthy.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, said it includes more than 100,000 beneficiaries in her district alone, many of whom, she said, have paid into the program their entire working lives.

"Social Security is a promise to workers, to our elders, to the disabled," Pressley emphasized. "A promise to all people, who seek to age with dignity."

Republicans insist their proposed changes would not cut or delay benefits for any senior currently in or near retirement but Pressley noted many of her constituents already struggle to survive on fixed incomes. She is co-sponsoring legislation which would increase benefits for the first time in more than fifty years by 2%.


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