Brenton Smith

Brenton Smith (A.K.A. Joe The Economist) writes nationally on the issue of Social Security reform with work appearing in Forbes, FedSmith.com, MarketWatch, TheHill.com, and regional media like The Denver Post.

COLA Wars

By on March 2, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
COLA Wars

Recently proposed legislation would apply a new COLA for all federal benefits programs. While the bill claims to be an improvement for benefits recipients, the author says that “better” in this case means that everybody would ultimately pay more.

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Where is Esurance Beatrice When You Need Her?

By on January 31, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Where is Esurance Beatrice When You Need Her?

The author says that it appears that the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget has a fundamental misunderstanding of Social Security’s relationship to the federal debt.

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What The Latest Social Security Numbers Mean to You

By on January 9, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments
What The Latest Social Security Numbers Mean to You

The author suggests that the consequences of Social Security will arrive much sooner than the experts are predicting and says that we may actually have to repay the Trust Fund.

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Donald Trump’s Middle Class Tax ‘Cut’

By on December 15, 2016 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Donald Trump’s Middle Class Tax ‘Cut’

The author notes that a tax plan proposed by Donald Trump would cut many Americans’ taxes but at the same time might actually create a tax increase for others.

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Legislation Introduced to Apply the Chained CPI to Social Security COLA

By on December 11, 2016 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Legislation Introduced to Apply the Chained CPI to Social Security COLA

Legislation has been introduced that would make sweeping reforms to Social Security. The author says it would make cuts to the program that would potentially harm older Americans.

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Why Social Security COLAs Aren’t Keeping Up With Inflation

By on November 9, 2016 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Why Social Security COLAs Aren’t Keeping Up With Inflation

A lot of retirees are upset about the small COLA for the coming year, however, the author says that the COLA calculation is not an exact science. Here is an explanation of why it has been so low in recent years.

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Schumer Urges One Time ‘Emergency’ Payment to Social Security Recipients to Offset Low COLA

By on October 25, 2016 in Retirement with 0 Comments
Schumer Urges One Time ‘Emergency’ Payment to Social Security Recipients to Offset Low COLA

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has announced an initiative to offset the low COLA that was recently announced for the coming year.

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Social Security Taxes Set to Rise for Some Employees in 2017

By on October 19, 2016 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Social Security Taxes Set to Rise for Some Employees in 2017

The Social Security Administration has announced that the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will climb 7.3% in 2017.

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The Great Trust Fund Robbery

By on October 13, 2016 in Retirement with 0 Comments
The Great Trust Fund Robbery

The word “steal” is used very loosely in the Social Security debate. However, if anyone is guilty of actually “stealing” from Social Security, the author says that one man stands out above all others. He explains how he believes this to be the case.

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Changing to Elderly Index for COLA Calculation Will Be Insignificant

By on September 15, 2016 in Retirement with 90 Comments
Changing to Elderly Index for COLA Calculation Will Be Insignificant

Legislation would change the COLA calculation for Social Security and federal retirees to the CPI-E index. It would also benefit those collecting spousal benefits.

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