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Unformatted text preview: Recent trends and challenges Entitlements, the costs associated with such social welfare policies as Social Security and Medicare, make up a significant portion of the federal budget. These costs increase as more people become eligible for benefits, a situation difficult to control because it is very much tied to the aging of the population. Congress and several administrations have found it difficult to reduce or eliminate entitlements, particularly for the elderly, who are represented by a powerful lobby in the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Some changes have had to be made, however. In addition to increasing payroll taxes, reducing COLAs, and extending the retirement age. For those born in 1960 or later, the retirement age for Social Security is 67. Budget cutters have had far more success trimming aid to the poor, who lack the political clout of the...
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- Spring '08