Budget Matters Blog

Category: Social Insurance, Earned Benefits, & Safety Net


What Is Entitlement Reform?

When lawmakers struck a fiscal-cliff deal on New Year's Day, they did not make any changes to Medicare or Social Security. But the debate over if and how to reform entitlement programs has only just begun.


Beyond the Fiscal Cliff: Entitlement Reform

One of the major issues not addressed as part of the recent deal on the fiscal cliff is the future of the major entitlement programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.Entitlements are programs that pay benefits to anyone who applies for them and meets the eligibility requirements for that specific ...


You Ask, We Answer: Why Are Payroll Taxes Going Up?

A number of our Facebook fans expressed concern last week when they discovered that payroll taxes would be increasing in the wake of fiscal cliff negotiations. One person wrote in dismay, "What about all the months of discussion that increasing taxes on the middle class would hurt the economy?"


The Fiscal Cliff Deal

At the last possible moment, Congress came to an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. The deal affects tax rates, unemployment benefits, and even the price of milk. Read the details.


Updated Data: Poverty

People, families, and children in poverty data are up to date through 2011.


What Will Happen with the Fiscal Cliff?

Last week I wrote a post called Fiscal Cliff Definition, with a simple explanation of the much-hyped, so-called fiscal cliff. (I also suggested that we call it a "fiscal obstacle course" instead of a cliff, because that's a more appropriate metaphor.) The next important question is: What's going to happen?


A Fight for the Future: How Budget Talks Affect Young People

You’ve heard the term “fiscal cliff” and you’ve heard about how lawmakers in Washington can’t agree on spending or taxes. But here’s what you may not have heard: The federal budget negotiations happening right now may result in deep cuts to programs that benefit the next generation of Americans.


A Fight for the Future

National Priorities Project and Young Invincibles announce the release of A Fight for the Future: Education, Job Training, and the Fiscal Showdown, a major report that looks at federal budget priorities through the lens of this nation's future: young people.


Social Security Benefits: What You Give Isn’t What You Get

Because the Social Security program is an earned benefit programs – future beneficiaries pay into the system while they are members of the work force – it is often assumed that your benefits are based on your contributions to the program. In this model, Social Security operates like a government ...


You Ask, We Answer: Fact Check on Social Security and the Deficit

Paul from Northampton, Mass., wrote in to ask: "Some politicians say Social Security in no way contributes to the deficit. But for the last two years Social Security expenditures have exceeded Social Security revenues. How does this not contribute to the deficit?" Good question, Paul.