The year’s top stories include the closely contested U.S. presidential election, disputes over the budget and an economy that continues to sputter along. The nation also endured tragic mass shootings and revived the debate over gun control. We’ll review the most notable news from a busy 2012.

Ron Elving, senior Washington editor for NPR News
Bruce Cain, professor of political science and director designate of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University
Corey Cook, associate professor of politics and director of the Leo McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco

  • disqus_j2e58vAnsy

    I am interested in any of the guest has an opinion on why Obama is apparently agreeing to changing the COLA for Social Security to an index that doesn’t reflect the senior appropriate CPI ? An index that is weighted toward medical cost, housing and food.
    CAn I throw in a vote for means testing Social Security?

    Thank you,
    Ken Beebe
    Roseburg Oregon

    • I am all for the continued development of the CPI-E, the experimental index for more accurately reflecting the cost of living for the elderly. It certainly is no lower and most likely higher than the CPI. The “chained CPI” should be a non-starter. But means testing Social Security makes it more likely to be viewed as a welfare program and in time support for it will weaken.

      • thucy

        I generally enjoy WB’s comments, and think she’d make a great guest host on Forum. But she’s dead wrong in asserting that means testing for SS will cause it to be viewed as welfare, and thereby lose support. (Where is her evidence for this?) I note that food stamps are seen as welfare, but there is considerable public support for the (growing) food stamp program.
        Means testing for SS (and Medicare, thanks) is LONG overdue, and the only way to ensure the programs survive the boomer generation’s profligate use of said programs.

  • Stephen Somerstein

    Why doesn’t the speaker make known how each recalcitrant congressman is voting, to make their constituents aware that they are blocking an agreement with the President? Is this not practical?

  • Stan

    I find it curious that in the budget reduction part of the talks that President Obama, and it seems, most Democrats, are not talking about reducing defense spending. The “sequester” contains the same percentage cut for defense as for the included domestic spending, yet the ongoing talks seem to involve eliminating that and making all the cuts on the domestic side. That seems foolhardy to me.

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