IN THE NEWS
Bernie Sanders Announces Social Security Plan
Last Thursday Senator Bernie Sanders announced his plans to introduce a bill to strengthen Social Security. His bill would apply the payroll tax to all income over $250,000, thus enabling Social Security to pay the full amount of benefits for at least 75 years, according to the Social Security Administration's Chief Actuary.
The members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often called the "supercommittee," have been chosen. They include John Kerry (S-D), Max Baucus (S-D), Patty Murry (co-chair, S-D), Jon Kyl (S-R), Rob Portman(S-R), Pat Toomey (S-R), Dave Camp (H-R), Fred Upton (H-R), Jeb Hensarling (co-chair, H-R), Xavier Becerra (H-D), James Clyburn (H-D), Chris Van Hollen (H-D). This committee is tasked with proposing a plan to reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, as part of the debt ceiling deal made between President Obama and leaders in Congress. An additional $900 billion worth of spending cuts were already decided upon during these negotiations.
Standard & Poor's Downgrades US Long-Term Credit Rating
On August 5, Standard and Poor's downgraded the United States' long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+, spurring much criticism, including that from President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Meanwhile, the other major credit rating firms maintained their top ratings of the US. Nonetheless, the downgrade contributed to the worst drop in American stocks in three years and volatile stock prices lasting several weeks after.