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.
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.
The leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have all proposed increasing taxes on corporations, including raising income tax rates to levels ranging from 25% to 35%, up from the current 21% imposed by the Republican tax cuts in 2017. With Bernie Sanders leading the way at $3.9 trillion, here’s how much revenue the higher proposed corporate taxes, along with additional proposed surtaxes and reduced tax breaks, would generate over a decade, according to calculations by the right-leaning Tax Foundation, highlighted Wednesday by Bloomberg News.
The federal government’s total non-defense discretionary spending – which covers everything from education and national parks to veterans’ medical care and low-income housing assistance – equals 3.2% of GDP in 2020, near historic lows going back to 1962, according to an analysis this week from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated this week that President Trump has now signed legislation that will add a total of $4.7 trillion to the national debt between 2017 and 2029. Tax cuts and spending increases account for similar portions of the projected increase, though if the individual tax cuts in the 2017 Republican overhaul are extended beyond their current expiration date at the end of 2025, they would add another $1 trillion in debt through 2029.
Are interest rates destined to move higher, increasing the cost of private and public debt? While many experts believe that higher rates are all but inevitable, historian Paul Schmelzing argues that today’s low-interest environment is consistent with a long-term trend stretching back 600 years.
The chart “shows a clear historical downtrend, with rates falling about 1% every 60 years to near zero today,” says Bloomberg’s Aaron Brown. “Rates do tend to revert to a mean, but that mean seems to be declining.”
Lawmakers are considering three separate bills that are intended to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Here’s an overview of the proposals, from a series of charts produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation this week. An interesting detail highlighted in another chart: 88% of voters – including 92% of Democrats and 85% of Republicans – want to give the government the power to negotiate prices with drug companies.