entitlements

U.S. Budget Deficit Hits $193.5 Billion

The U.S. government is running a deficit that is 23.6 percent lower than in the same period a year ago through the first five months of this budget year.

Obama Unveils $3.8 Trillion Spending Plan

Obama sends Congress a $3.8 trillion spending blueprint that seeks to tame runaway deficits by raising taxes further on the wealthy and trimming Social Security.

Senate Dems Split on Cutting Benefits to Get Fiscal Cliff Deal

Deep divisions among Senate Democrats over whether cuts to Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a plan to slow the growth of the federal debt pose a big obstacle to a deal for avoiding a potentially economy-crushing "fiscal cliff," even if Republicans agree to raise taxes.

Pop Quiz: Who Is Living America's Middle-Class Dream?

America's middle class has gotten a lot of attention in the 2012 election, but what, exactly, does "middle class" mean? If you've ever wondered -- and wondered whether or not you're a member of it -- take a peek at our middle-class quiz.

Who Really Gets the Lion's Share of Entitlements?

Conservative politicians have spent the past few months venting their ire on America's entitlement programs, and the alleged mass of lazy layabouts who make use of them. But a closer look at who actually lands in the social safety net reveals some surprising facts.

Poor and Elderly: The 5 Worst States to Grow Old In

It's a tough time to be old in America, and it's worse than you may realize: According to a recent report, on average, if government benefits were taken out of the equation, the elderly would have far less income than they'd need to survive. Here's where the problem is worst.

Social Security: Why Seniors Are Just Plain Angry

If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling soon, come August, the White House warns that tens of millions of Social Security recipients may find their mailboxes empty when they go looking for their checks. Even though some describe it as a "fear tactic," protests by seniors and their advocates are getting much louder.

Getting to Zero: How Congress Could Balance the Federal Budget

It took about 10 years of decisions for the federal budget to get more than a trillion dollars out of whack, and it's going to take at least five years to balance it again. The only way to do it is piece-by-piece, with equal sacrifices from both Republicans and Democrats.

It's Official: Social Security System Now in the Red

It finally happened: The nation's Social Security system will pay out more than it takes in this year and next, as aging baby boomers begin entering retirement. On the plus side, health care reform should keep Medicare solvent for an extra 12 years.

Too Much Hope? Why Obama's Budget Is Unrealistic

The $3.8 trillion spending plan combines overly rosy projections of rapidly rising tax revenues with skyrocketing outlays in defense, entitlements and other mandatory spending, creating structural deficits above $1 trillion for a long time. Ending Bush-era tax cuts on the rich won't change that reality.