Social Security Checks Are Being Reduced for Unpaid Student Debt (Source The Wall street Journal)
The federal government is increasingly taking money out of Americans’ Social Security checks to recover millions in unpaid student debt, a trend set to accelerate as more baby boomers retire.
The government has collected about $1.1 billion from Social Security recipients of all ages to go toward unpaid student loans since 2001, including $171 million last year, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday. Most affected recipients in fiscal year 2015—114,000—were age 50 or older and receiving disability benefits, with the typical borrower losing about $140 a month. About 38,000 were above age 64.
The report highlights the sharp growth in baby boomers entering retirement with student debt, most of it borrowed years ago to cover their own educations but some used to pay for their children’s schooling. Overall, about seven million Americans age 50 and older owed about $205 billion in federal student debt last year. About 1 in 3 were in default, raising the likelihood that garnishments will increase as more boomers retire. “I believe this is the tip of the iceberg of what may be to come if we don’t work harder on this problem,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the top Democrat on the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The report showed garnishments left thousands with Social Security checks below the poverty line, prompting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to call the practice “predatory.” Both lawmakers said they will push legislation to ban it.
GM to temporarily close 5 factories as car inventory builds (Source Associated Press)
General Motors will temporarily close five factories next month as it tries to reduce a growing inventory of cars on dealer lots.
The factories will close anywhere from one to three weeks due to the ongoing U.S. market shift toward trucks and SUVs, spokeswoman Dayna Hart said Monday. Just over 10,000 workers will be idled.
The company’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory and Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, each will be shut down for three weeks, while a plant in Lansing, Michigan, will be down for two weeks. Factories in Lordstown, Ohio, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, each will be idled for one week. The factories make most cars in the General Motors lineup including the Chevrolet Cruze, Camaro, Corvette, Malibu, Volt and Impala; the Cadillac CT6, CTS and ATS; and the Buick Lacrosse.
At the current sales pace, GM dealers have enough Malibus to last for 84 days and enough Camaros to last for 177 days, according to Ward’s Automotive. Normally automakers like to have a 60-day supply on lots.
Last month, trucks and SUVs made up almost 62 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S., a record level. GM, like other automakers, was caught with too many cars on dealer lots as the shift continued, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for the LMC Automotive consulting firm. Automakers have started discounting cars, but they need to cut production as the shift continues, he said.