Benefit Bulletin April 2012 Advisor
How Safe Are Electronic Social Security Benefits From Fraud? .TSCL offers its supporters an unconditional refund of their most recent donation if they are dissatisfied with our position or performance. .Let's consider what the I.O.U.s held by Social Security represent. The I.O.U.s are bookkeeping entries, a lot like entries in checking accounts, but are not represented by real cash sitting in a strong box anywhere. The U.S Treasury collects Social Security payroll taxes from employers. In turn, the U.S. Treasury issues I.O.U.s to the Social Security trust fund. In the meantime, those payroll taxes are immediately used for other federal budget operations. When more payroll taxes were collected than needed to pay benefits, that reduced the amount of borrowing from the public that was needed for the general revenues, and lowered taxes. Now, however, the situation has reversed, and the Treasury must increase borrowing from the public to redeem the I.O.U.s held by the trust fund in order to pay benefits. Increased borrowing, and the cost of interest on the debt, further drives up our federal spending. According to many economists, that can weaken our economy, and our nation's ability to respond to a crisis. … Continued
Gop Obamacare Repeal Bill Gets Rocky Reception
To learn more about issues facing Social Security and Medicare, visit our weekly legislative updates, which provide information on upcoming town hall meetings. .Congressional leaders have already given up on the idea of fully funding the government for the entire 2022 fiscal year and instead the current plan is to pass a "continuing resolution" (CR) that will fund the government at current levels until December The idea is to give them more time to craft the legislation needed to fully fund the new fiscal year. .However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) refused to bring the bill up in the Senate for debate or a vote. As a result, Congressional leaders have been struggling over the past few weeks to come up with legislation to deal with those issues to help those Americans who have been hurt so badly by the virus and the horrible economy that has resulted. … Continued
Please take time to participate in TSCL's much anticipated Senior Survey. TSCL's surveys have helped burst the all too common perception that Social Security benefit cuts are inevitable in order to achieve program solvency. TSCL surveys indicate that there is little support among older adults for proposals that would cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, or to replace these programs with private versions. TSCL will fight attempts to cut benefits, and that includes cutting COLAs reducing Social Security benefits or increasing Medicare costs. .Here's a closer look at the Medicare proposals: .This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate adjourned for a week-long recess. In addition, The Senior Citizens League saw three key Social Security and Medicare bills gain support in the House. .I hate that we're placing seniors in no-win situations, and that's why I've re-introduced My Seniors' Security Act. It ensures that COLA increases aren't just eaten up by rising health care costs and it recalculates COLAs completely. Specifically, my act would create a ‘circuit breaker' of sorts, so seniors never lose more than 30% of their COLA to Medicare premiums. .The savings to the government for switching to the more slowly-growing CPI compound over time, and are substantial. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the change would cut COLAs by 2 billion from 2012021 alone and, if used in other federal retirement programs and for indexing taxes as well, would reduce deficits by about 0 billion over the next decade, including reduced interest on the debt. .Having a plan that covers Part D deductible generally is the better choice if you must take a lot of monthly prescriptions or if you have high drug costs. If you only require a few prescriptions or low cost generics, you might find that by going ahead and paying the deductible you recover that cost in much lower premiums. The only way to tell is by using Medicare's Drug Plan Finder to compare plan costs based on the prescriptions you take. .One further reason for the growth is undoubtedly the growth in the primary beneficiary rolls, upon which the benefits of ANP dependents and survivors are based. According to the Inspector General, older non-citizens workers are now at the age and have worked in this country long enough to be potentially eligible to file claims for retirement or disability. The Inspector General has also said that those who worked using invalid, or non-work Social Security numbers issued prior to January 1, 2004, did not need valid work authorization in order to file a claim. Under current law the Social Security Administration uses all earnings, including those for illegal work, to determine entitlement to benefits. .USA TODAY .In the days and weeks ahead, TSCL encourages its members and supporters to contact their elected officials to request their support for a clean and immediate increase in the debt ceiling. For frequent updates on this important issue, follow TSCL on Facebook or Twitter.