Congressional Corner July 2017
Due to changes made to the Social Security benefit formula in the late 1970s, Notch Babies receive lower Social Security benefits than other Social Security recipients born before and after them with almost identical earnings. To learn more, or to add your name to TSCL's Notch Register, call 1-800-333-TSCL (8725). .The number of older taxpayers who find that a portion of their Social Security benefits are taxable tends to grow over time. Unlike income brackets that are adjusted for inflation, the income thresholds that subject Social Security benefits to taxation have never been adjusted since Social Security benefits became taxable in 198When the law was first passed, less than 10 percent of all Social Security recipients were estimated to have incomes high enough to be affected by the tax on benefits. But today, even retirees with modest incomes can be affected by the tax. .Cutting the payroll tax permanently, which President Trump said he would seek to do if he is re-elected, would bring insolvency even closer and make the whole situation so much worse. … Continued
Cola Fairness Feed
While hold harmless provides valuable protection from reductions in benefits due to rising Part B costs, low inflation and high Medicare costs restrict the growth of net Social Security benefits. This occurs when Part B increases take the entire COLA. This leaves less Social Security income to cover all other rising costs such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, food and housing, requiring people to spend more of their retirement savings or to go into debt. .Sources: "Social Security Benefits Related to Unauthorized Work," SSA Office of the Inspector General, March 2003, A-03-03-2305"Illegal Immigrant Crackdown Looms," Nicole Gaouette, The Los Angeles Times, August 3, 200 .Chairman Johnson said: "I know that fixing Social Security will require tough choices that will affect the lives of millions of Americans. Congress has a responsibility to the American people to make these choices. And the longer we wait, the harder it gets. If we wait until the Trust Funds are exhausted, some options won't even be available anymore. We must take this responsibility seriously. Americans want, need, and deserve nothing less." … Continued
This legislation would require the Federal Trade Commission to update its website to include a searchable database of scams targeting seniors. It would have to work with media outlets and law enforcement to distribute the information. The FTC also would be required to send Congress a report with policy recommendations to prevent scams targeting older individuals, especially during national emergencies. .In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (TX-3) said: "Although Social Security now has modern hardware and modern data centers, its employees are still using software that is decades out of date. About 30 percent of these legacy systems still use COBOL code, an ancient programming language that isn't even taught in schools anymore." He explained that maintaining the outdated system is costly, it requires extra training for employees, and it is difficult to update when needed. .When the Great Recession hit eight-plus years ago, the focus was on the double-digit unemployment rates and the devastating impact on recent college and high school graduates. Largely ignored in the discussion were mature workers who were hit equally as hard. ."The need for an Emergency COLA has never been greater," says Benton. TSCL is meeting with Congress to urge lawmakers to enact emergency legislation to provide a COLA large enough to boost benefits in 2016 and 201In addition, TSCL is asking Members of Congress to pass legislation that would use a senior consumer price index, the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), to more fairly calculate the annual boost. .The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal agency known as BARDA, is giving Moderna up to 3 million for late-stage development of its vaccine. .Will Medicare Soon Include Dental Coverage and More? .Key Bill Gains Cosponsors .If the bill doesn't pass into law one way or the other it would be the first time in 60 years the legislation has failed to be enacted. .You can also sign a petition to your Members of Congress, find contact information for your Senators and Representatives, and stay updated with the latest news on Capitol Hill.