• Legislative Update For The Week Ending September 30 2011

    It's unlikely that Congress will move forward on this plan or any Medicare reform proposals before a critical election, but The Senior Citizens League will keep a close eye on the negotiations. .The plan would reform the tax code by consolidating the six existing brackets into three, and by setting the corporate tax rate at an even 28 percent. It would also make some major modifications to Medicare, including a repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate for physician payments, and a strengthening of the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board. The proposal also includes a plan to restore Social Security to 75-year solvency by raising the retirement age, increasing the taxable maximum wage cap, and adopting a Chained Consumer Price Index, among other things. .As TSCL supporters know, it is a particularly important issue for older people, who rely on medications to manage the medical problems associated with advancing age. However, drug makers remain adamantly opposed to government efforts to curb prices. … Continued

  • 56 Percent Social Security Recipients Paid Tax Benefits New Survey Senior Citizens League

    During last fall's debt limit deal, Members of Congress passed legislation containing un-debated, secret provisions that made two major changes to Social Security benefit claiming strategies. The changes cut the expected retirement income of some married couples already at full entitlement age. Do you believe entitlement cuts are necessary in exchange for your vote to lift the debt limit in the future? .The Senior Citizens League believes that Social Security benefits and annual COLAs could be strengthened three ways: .In the coming weeks and months, TSCL looks forward to working with Congressman Duncan's office to build bipartisan support for the CPI for Seniors Act. For updates on the progress of the bill, click HERE for visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. … Continued

New legislation, called the "National Senior Investor Initiative Act" or "Senior Security Act" (H.R. 1565), was introduced earlier this month with two Democrats and two Republicans as cosponsors. .According to a Social Security Administration Issue Paper, when Congress first enacted the tax on Social Security in 1983, it was estimated to affect only 10 percent of Social Security recipients. But the income thresholds have never been adjusted for inflation in more than three decades. "Today, the taxation of benefits hits almost everyone with any income in addition to Social Security benefits —even people with the most modest of bottom lines," Johnson says. "An older couple with ,000 is living at just 155% of the federal poverty level," Johnson points out. Had the income thresholds been adjusted for inflation since 1983, the ,000 threshold would be ,940 and the ,000 threshold would be ,284 according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. .Increasing the payroll tax cap. Under current law, the 12.4 percent payroll tax is applied only to the first 7,200 in earned annual income. Individuals earning more than that pay nothing in Social Security taxes on the rest of their earnings. Several proposals now before Congress would modify this policy so that higher income workers contribute more fairly to the program. .Federal law requires that any reduction in payroll tax revenues going into the Social Security Trust Fund must be replaced dollar-for-dollar with general revenues from the U.S. Treasury. Consequently, a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut will have no effect on the Social Security Trust Fund. .Meanwhile, some of the highest-priced drugs in the United States are brand-name drugs that can cost thousands of dollars per dose and are used to treat life-threatening illness such as hepatitis C or cancer, the researchers said. .Is The IRS Paying Illegals Billions In Child Tax Credits? .TSCL Endorses Social Security Administration Fairness Act .Use a consumer price index that better reflects the costs of retirees — the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). .This week, Members of Congress returned to Washington to begin working on a temporary measure that would avert a government shutdown on October 1st. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for one new piece of legislation, and three key bills gained cosponsors.