Social Security

RIPR FILE

Work is the fulcrum of social mobility in our country. In Rhode Island, lawmakers have approved an increase in the minimum wage. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says that falls far short of what’s needed to help the working poor.

Democrats claim to be the party of working people. Come campaign season, Democratic candidates boast at every turn that they care about ``working families’’ more than Republicans, the party Democrats brand as the tool of the rich and the one-percent.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Cutting taxes is all the rage at the Rhode Island Statehouse.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why lawmakers are talking about tax cuts before dealing with the red ink in the state budget.

Take a stroll through the corridors of  McKim, Mead and White’s marble palace on Smith Hill and you’ll likely bump into a lawmaker with a plan to cut taxes.

The state Department of Human Resources is trying to figure out why some 8,200 Rhode Islanders didn’t receive their state supplemental insurance payment as scheduled Monday. Officials suspect a problem with the banking transaction.

Every month some 32,000 Rhode Islanders receive a supplemental insurance payment. Typically, the recipients are disabled or elderly who didn’t work long enough to qualify for Social Security.  The state supplements the federal payments to the tune of about $40 a month. But on Monday, about 25 percent of the recipients didn’t receive the state portion.

US Capitol

A Brown University PhD student in epidemiology, Beth Lacy, is 28 years old. That means she’s a long way from retirement and plans to be working for decades to come. But the debate over the future of Medicare and Social Security is on Lacy’s mind even when she makes one of her regular coffee stops at the Cable Car Café in Providence.

“Is is something I think about,” she says. “It’s not something that necessarily keeps me up at night. But just because of the world I’m in with work – public health – I definitely think a lot more about Medicare than Social Security.”