About The Agenda

Exploring the Issues Behind the 2012 Campaign.
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The Issues

The Uncomfortable Truth About American Wages: Job creation has rightly been the central economic issue of the last three years as the United States continues its recovery. But the problems with the job market are not entirely recent. Read more…

The Uncomfortable Truth About American Wages: Job creation has rightly been the central economic issue of the last three years as the United States continues its recovery. But the problems with the job market are not entirely recent. Read more…

How Many of These 21 Government Programs Have You Benefited From?

According to 2008 data from the Cornell Survey Research Institute reported Monday in a Times opinion piece, 96 percent of Americans — not 47 percent — have taken part in at least one of these government programs:

  1. Head Start
  2. Social Security Disability
  3. Social Security Retirement and Survivors Benefits
  4. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  5. Medicaid
  6. Medicare
  7. Welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or T.A.N.F.)
  8. G.I. Bill
  9. Veterans’ benefits
  10. Pell Grants
  11. Unemployment Insurance
  12. Food Stamps
  13. Government Subsidized Housing
  14. Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
  15. Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits
  16. Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
  17. 529 accounts (qualified tuition programs) or Coverdell education savings account (Education I.R.A.’s)
  18. Earned-income tax credit
  19. Employer subsidized health insurance
  20. Employer subsidized retirement benefits
  21. Federal student loans

Romney’s Health Plan Would Have Immediate Impact on Retirees

By MICHAEL COOPER

When Representative Paul D. Ryan faced a skeptical audience — and some boos — at the AARP convention in New Orleans on Friday, he tried to reassure them by noting that the Romney-Ryan health plan “makes no changes for those in or near retirement.”

He was apparently referring to Mitt Romney's plan to reshape Medicare in a decade so that future recipients would get fixed amounts of money to buy private insurance or a form of traditional Medicare. But other aspects of their health plan would affect people in retirement now. Read more …

Fact-Checker in Chief?

By MICHAEL COOPER

President Obama’s re-election campaign released an ad on Thursday that uses an analysis of an outdated Medicare plan by Representative Paul D. Ryan to warn, “The Romney-Ryan plan could raise seniors’ costs up to $6,400 a year.”

On Friday that statistic — which the Obama campaign has used in previous ads, and which was used in several speeches at the Democratic National Convention — was questioned by a fact-checker who noted that the figure referred to Mr. Ryan’s “original plan” and that it had since been “modified.”

The fact-checker? President Obama, who mentioned it in a speech beamed by satellite to AARP’s convention in New Orleans. Read more …