For Most, Social Security Is Pocket Money—Not a Pension

For Most, Social Security Is Pocket Money—Not a Pension

By Marine Cole

More than one-third of Americans who haven’t reached retirement age believes that Social Security will be a major source of income in their post-work years despite the ongoing funding problems of the government program.

The 36 percent of those polled in a recent Gallup survey who expect to rely heavily on Social Security represents the highest percentage in 15 years. It’s also nearly 10 percentage point higher than a decade ago.

Related: 6 Popular Social Security Myths Busted

In addition, 48 percent told Gallup that they expect Social Security to be a minor source of retirement funds, while only 14 percent said that they don’t expect Social Security to be a source of retirement income at all.

“Generally speaking, the older non-retirees are and the lower their household income is, the more they expect to rely on Social Security as a major source of retirement funds,” according to Gallup.

Close to half of non-retirees whose annual household income is less than $30,000 said Social Security will be a major source of funds.

Believing that Social Security will be a major source of retirement income might not be a great idea.

Social Security currently provides average benefits of about $1,260 a month. Going forward, Social Security checks could shrink if funding problems persist or benefits could start kicking in at an older age.

EU Finance Ministers Warn Mnuchin About Tax Plan

By The Fiscal Times Staff

The finance ministers of Europe’s five largest economies — Germany, France, the U.K., Italy and Spain — warned that the Republican tax plan could have “a major distortive impact” on international trade and may violate international treaties. "The inclusion of certain less conventional international tax provisions could contravene the U.S.'s double taxation treaties and may risk having a major distortive impact on international trade," the ministers wrote in a letter to Mnuchin.

Trump’s Plans for Welfare Reform Will Hit Health Care, Housing and Veterans

iStockphoto
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Politico reports: “The White House is quietly preparing a sweeping executive order that would mandate a top-to-bottom review of the federal programs on which millions of poor Americans rely. And GOP lawmakers are in the early stages of crafting legislation that could make it more difficult to qualify for those programs. … The president is expected to sign the welfare executive order as soon as January, according to multiple administration officials, with an eye toward making changes to health care, food stamps, housing and veterans programs, not just traditional welfare payments.”

It’s Official: No Government Shutdown – for Now

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times
By The Fiscal Times Staff

President Trump signed a short-term continuing resolution today to fund the federal government through Friday, December 22.

Bloomberg called the maneuver “a monumental piece of can kicking,” which is no doubt the case, but at least you’ll be able to visit your favorite national park over the weekend.

Here's to small victories!

Greenspan Has a Warning About the GOP Tax Plan

Alan Greenspan
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
By Michael Rainey

The Republican tax cuts won’t do much for economic growth, former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan told CNBC Wednesday, but they will damage the country’s fiscal situation while creating the threat of stagflation. "This is a terrible fiscal situation we've got ourselves into," Greenspan said. "The administration is doing tax cuts and a spending decrease, but he's doing them in the wrong order. What we need right now is to focus totally on reducing the debt."