Hearing In All This Election Noise
Whether you think America already is great or needs to be made great again, if you are over 60, you may be feeling like wallpaper in this election's run up about now: You are there, presumably contributing to the room's decor, but it's finally dawning that nobody actually sees you.
Between the "believe me I'll fix it" Trump answer to everything and the "yeah but is she trustworthy?" feelings about Clinton, there remains one truism: The 2016 presidential election is not about growing old in America. Neither candidate has made Social Security reform, Medicare insanity, ageism or elderly poverty so much as a talking point let alone a priority.
We published this originally last May, and since nothing has changed, we're trying again! This is where the top candidates stand on issues that matter to older citizens. Sen. Bernie Sanders' views have been removed in the version below as he is no longer a candidate. Here's what we wrote:
Voters age 50 and older are expected to turn out in force in this, the mother of all presidential elections. We offer this guide on what the [leading] presidential candidates have had to say about the issues of key importance to this voting bloc:
Social Security: The gift that we hope keeps on giving. More than a third of senior citizens depend on Social Security for virtually all of their income. Yes, Social Security is a vital concern.
The problem is that the Social Security system is on track to run out of money. That, by most estimates, won't happen until 2033, at which point assuming nothing else is done it plans on reducing benefits by 25 percent.
Everyone wants to fix Social Security so that the fund doesn't go broke; they just don't agree on how to do it. There are at least a dozen ways and plans that have been proposed to "save" Social Security. Here's how the leading candidates say they will do it, according to their websites:
Hillary Clinton's websitesays,"Hillary understands that there is no way to accomplish that goal without asking the highest income Americans to pay more, including options to tax some of their income above the current Social Security cap, and taxing some of their income not currently taken into account by the Social Security system."
She would also fight privatization,oppose any reduction of the annual cost of living adjustment, and not raise the retirement age an idea she has called "unfair;" the GAO says that raising the retirement age disproportionately hurts the poor.
She would also expand Social Security benefits for widows and those who took time out of the paid workforce to care for a child or sick family member.
Donald Trump'swebsite focuses on seven key positions and mentions about a dozen other issues. Social Security isn't among them. Trump believes that strengthening the economy and creating more jobs would, in turn, generate more payroll tax support for Social Security. At the South Carolina GOP debate on Feb 13, 2016, Trump also said there is waste, fraud and abuse in the program. He said, "We have in Social Security thousands of people over 106 years old. You know they don't exist. There's tremendous waste, fraud and abuse, and we're going to get it. But we're not going to hurt the people who have been paying into Social Security their whole life and then all of a sudden they're supposed to get less. We're bringing jobs back."
Medicare: The plan we love to hate.
Medicare pays for hospital care for those age 65 and over, and heavily subsidizes their doctors' visits, medical tests and drugs. But it is far from free. Almost all seniors pay monthly premiums for some parts of Medicare, and many also enroll in a supplemental insurance plan, Medigap, to help cover out of pocket costs.
TheWeek reports that in 2010, the nation's Medicare bill was about $524 billion, or 15.2 percent of all government spending. Only Social Security and the defense budget cost taxpayers more.
One of the most frustrating parts of Medicare is not the pandora bracelet knowing what is covered. According to Hunger in America, 30 percent of its client households with seniors said they have had to choose between paying for food and paying for medical care.
Clinton'splan is to push down drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices with drug manufacturers. She would allow Americans to import lower cost drugs from foreign countries and reward drug companies that invest in the development of "life saving treatments rather than jacking up prices without innovation." Her changes will save Medicare more than $100 billion in program spending, her campaign claims.
Again, nary a mention of Medicare on Trump's website. But he has promised that "On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare." And then this happened, as per the Wall Street Journal:"After the administration has been in place, then we will start to take a look at all of the programs, including entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare," said chief Trump policy adviser Sam Clovis, during an event in Washington. "We'll start taking a hard look at those to start seeing what we can do in a bipartisan way." Did he just call them entitlement programs?
College: Affording it without incurring a lifetime of student debt.
People who are post 50 know first hand how crippling student debt has become. It's why they have adult kids still living at home and why they are looking charms for pandora bracelet toward community colleges for their kids who are now graduating high school. is between $902 billion and $1 trillion with about$864 billion of it owed to the federal government who loans students money. College has just become unaffordable. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015 2016 school year was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out of state residents attending public universities. The call to "find a better way" needs genuine cheap pandora charms to be answered.
Clinton's plan is called the New College Compact.
Trump's website doesn't cite a plan to address student debt or the skyrocketing costs of higher education. If they leave their own paid employment to stay home and meet pandora national library the needs of an elderly parent or ailing spouse, their Social Security, pension and 401k benefits all shrink. And re entering the jobs market at a later point is often difficult, if not outright impossible.
On the campaign trail, Clinton regularly mentions giving caregivers relief. She has proposed a $6,000 tax creditto offset caregiving expenses and would allow earnings credit toward Social Security for family caregiving.
"No one should face meager Social Security checks because they took on the vital role of caregiver for part of their career," said a summary of her plan.
Trump's website remains silent on the subject and it does not appear he has said much about it while campaigning.
While sex is a protected class in employment underTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, age is covered by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. That leaves the EEOC somewhat toothless in demanding that companies track the age of their work forces. What will the candidates do.
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