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S.1295 TRUST ACT 2021

Whenever a Trust Fund is depleted automatic cuts take place in the program if Congress fails to act.  Medicare and Social Security would be two examples of Trusts where funds are expected to be depleted in the near future.  The TRUST Act 2021 retroduced in the 117th Congress would establish bipartisan and bicameral “rescue committees” for major federal trust funds that are projected to deplete their reserves. The 12 person committee would be tasked with writing legislation to prevent the fund depletion, improve long-term solvency and simplify and improve underlying programs. 

 

The general concept sounded good to me; but, I saw a section in AARP where a subscriber can email their congressman to opposition to this legisation.  Maybe there is something more to this I am not seeing.  Why would AARP support this legislation?  

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AARP wants me t vote against the TRUST Act yet provides no information to support their opinion.  The Petitions they recently sent are bogus without adequate info.

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I just notified the moderator and now am asking the community:  any of you received the letters from AARP requesting that we sign the enclosed petitions and return with a donation to OPPOSE THE TRUST ACT 2021?  Doesn't make sense to me and I will not sign nor contribute.

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Honored Social Butterfly

@Routhierdt 

Good for you -

Personally, I SUPPORT S.1295 "The Trust Act" 2021.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Honored Social Butterfly

The way SS Was set up guaranteed problems with trust funding as the working paid for the benefits of those on SS which means the fund is ok as long as the number working increases to cover the number getting benefits.  That is not always the case now so the funds at times will not support the needed payout. One answer is tax all on their full income including investment income.

Keep in mind SS is now in play again in politics so times have changed and we have one group trying to kill the program and one group trying to keep and improve the program which makes people choose a side. I am on the side to keep and improve the program, and so is AARP.

Honored Social Butterfly

@john258 

I haven't hear of anybody wanting to kill the program and definitely none of those "proposed" legislations mention any such thing.  Here they are by year and legislator and there is an actuarial analysis of each to see what financial effect they have on the program either plus or minus.

SSA.gov - Office of the Chief Actuary's Estimates of Proposals to Change the Social Security Program

 

I have decided to support the "Time to Rescue United States Trusts Act of 2021 or the TRUST Act of 2021."  because speaking of SS, you cannot "keep and improve the program until it is saved from financial ruin. 

  • there have been numerous SS Commission appointed by various Administrations but that went pretty much nowhere because of the outcry by the masses - no matter which (political party) Administration.
  • we have hundreds of different proposals already submitted as proposed legislation (see link above) and we have the actuarial numbers for each action ( would only have to be updated). 
  • we need a manner of forcing action by our legislators - All S.1295 will do is establish a group of BIPARTISAN legislators and charge them with coming together with a plan to solve the financial woes of Trust Funds hopefully for long term.  Actually S.1295 covers all Trust Funds not just SS - trying to make them viable for the long term.
  • The TRUST Act is entirely procedural in nature. It doesn't advocate for any particular viewpoint, but rather focuses on how to set up a framework for arriving at a solution. 

Come 2033, if nothing is done, an automatic 20 - 25% reduction in everybody's benefits isn't keeping or improving the program.    I will repeat the conclusion to the SS Trustee Report for at least the last (10) years tells it like it is: (look them up by year: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/tr/ 

Conclusion

Lawmakers have many policy options that would reduce or eliminate the long-term financing shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare. Lawmakers should address these financial challenges as soon as possible. Taking action sooner rather than later will permit consideration of a broader range of solutions and provide more time to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Honored Social Butterfly

Well there has been an ongoing effort for some years now. The far right Rep. have been behind the efforts which would be done in steps so people who follow SS in the news will not realize that is going on. One big effort was the effort to privatize it some years ago. The ongoing effort is to use the trust fund problems which are always corrected, and will always reaper again due to the way SS was set up. This time around if the far right is in control SS will start to end in 2033, and if they are not the trust fund will be fixed for another period of years, or if we have elected good leaders they might change the structure of the Trust fund so it will be sound for good. You get what you elect, and if we have a lot of people who understand the entire SS problem they can act by electing people to make a permanent fix which will be good for all. Time will tell.

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if cuts are made to recipiants, then cuts should be made on paychecks

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AARP seems to be OPPOSING this legislation.  I don't understand AARP's position, or the unfounded implication that the legislation would cut MC and/or SS. All agree that the SS and MC trust funds are both close to insolvent.  If the trust funds become insolvent and nothing is done then massive cuts to SS (25+%) WILL happen under present law. Something MUST be done to avoid this catastrophe, so why not form study committees now? This legislation does NOT change SS or MC but only requires Congress to form committees to study and develop possible BIPARTISAN solutions. The committees would be required to be BIPARTISAN and require votes from BOTH Parties to pass their recommendations.  The legislation has wide BIPARTISAN support, and AARP risks foolishly alienating legislators whose support they will likely need in the coming years.   

 

Ignore the misinformation. The actual bill is here:

 

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/s1295/text

Contributor

Mark,  I've read both the bill and the message that AARP is requesting it member to sign.   I do not disagreed with AARPs position that this analysis is too important to be conducted in private, by a small party of elected officials.   Truth be told that I have zero trust in either party at this time due to partizan politics infecting our governments ability to make honest choices at this time, the  government is now printing money and tossing it at all sorts of unnecessary things.     The democrats are seeking $5 trillion dollars, for example to be spent on "infrastructure", which BTW that is sole area within the government that is unaudited. 

 

The bill states that recommendations would be created in private and then forwarded onto congress to consider within 60 days.   That's this year to a one-sided Congress and a president that barely knows what day it is (and who has twice passed legislation to tax social security).   This needs to happen, but it also needs to be conducted in the public eye with a broad consideration of all programs that require trimming and proper funding (outside of printing money or borrowing away this countries future)

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The actual bill language is here:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/s1295/text

 

I find nothing in the bill stating that the recommendations would be created in private, nor any provisions preventing any Rescue Committee member from making public statements on the proceedings.

Sec 4 of the Bill states:

"The co-chairs of each Rescue Committee shall make a public announcement of the date, place, time, and subject matter of any hearing to be conducted under this subparagraph not later than 7 days before the date of the hearing, unless the co-chairs determine that there is good cause to begin such hearing on an earlier date."

The vast majority of Congressional hearings are public, and the Senate rules are more strict than the House on hearings being public.  And the co-chairs are BIPARTISAN (one Dem, one Repub) which limits the power that a single chair would have in closing the hearings.  Unless I have missed something, it appears that the Hearings of the rescue Committees would be public.  

 

In addition, the Bill (Sec 4) requires that any "report recommendations, or legislative language" must be "made available for consideration by all members of the Rescue Committee not later than 48 hours before that vote, as certified by the co-chairs of the Rescue Committee."  Obviously at least one Committee member would make such reports/proposals public given how controversial ANY proposals regarding the Trust Funds are likely to be (whether tax increases, benefits cuts, eligibility changes, or whatever).  It appears HIGHLY unlikely that any Rescue Committee votes could be taken in private and without public input....and major publicity.

 

Again- We are looking down the barrel of massive (~25%) Soc Sec benefits cuts if Congress does nothing. I have ZERO confidence in Congress moving in time to prevent this without a big BIPARTISAN legislative kick in the backside.  In fact, as divided as things are these days I feel some Congressmen might actually prefer this to happen believing that it would give them a political stick to beat the other Party with 😞

 

Honored Social Butterfly

You have to read more than the bill to understand what is going on here. You have to understand the entire SS program and system, and then know the back story. AARP does all of that.

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Social Butterfly

.

@MarkL413231 The following message AARP asked me to sign and forward to my elected officials, which I did doesn’t sound like AARP supports the 2021 Trust Act.

 

"I’m your constituent and an AARP member, and I’m asking you to OPPOSE the TRUST Act, which would put my hard-earned Social Security and Medicare benefits at the mercy of a fast-tracked, closed-door committee.

 

The TRUST Act would establish small Rescue Committees to propose changes for Social Security and Medicare. If only seven members from the Rescue Committees approve bill language, it would be fast-tracked in the House and Senate, with no allowed amendments from the rest of Congress.

 

This is unacceptable and unfair to all Americans who pay into and count on these programs. Social Security is the largest source of retirement income for most Americans and provides nearly all income for one in four seniors. Across age groups and parties, the American public overwhelmingly supports Social Security. And Medicare guarantees Americans 65+ much-needed health coverage.

 

I expect my elected representatives to be careful stewards of these programs. People 50+ have faced enormous consequences from the global pandemic, and we will not tolerate any cuts to programs that are critical to our health and income. Please, oppose the TRUST Act and any legislation that could rob Americans of their hard-earned Social Security and Medicare benefits."

Honored Social Butterfly

Not saying that I am for or against it - but to answer your question - it seems it goes against the principals of many like type organizations - even if it might stop the inevitable.  

You have to read beyond the headlines or in this case the short synopsis.

 

NCPSSM (Oped) : Romney’s TRUST Act is a Trojan Horse to Cut Seniors’ Benefits 

 

Alliance for Retired Americans: Position Paper - Oppose the TRUST Act 

 

CNBC 04/20/2021 - Bipartisan plan to fix Social Security draws criticism 

Simply put:  

They don't want changes or potential cuts to save these Trust Fund programs - 

They just want "others" to pay more. 

They want MORE benefits, not less, but only if "others" pay more.

 

I mean what organization is gonna sell (potential "cuts") this to their customers?  Cuts can come in a variety of way - some may affect current beneficiaries; some may not - the devil is always in the details.  But we don't look beyond headlines - Come 2034 or thereabout, when the auto (by law)  decrease in benefits happens - we will hear seniors wake up and we will just have to tell them to "take one for the team".

 

Did you see the 07/2021 CBO interim analysis on this problem that I posted the other day?  Even fffred said it was "SCARY" - take a look:

https://community.aarp.org/t5/Social-Security/CBO-s-2021-Long-Term-Projections-THE-LATEST/td-p/24209... 

 

We have had this sort of investigatory "committee" before on just these Trust Funds and their problems - Obama had one, an appointed commission - what came out of it in 2011-

Obama pledged to work with Congress on revamping Social Security and Medicare, which will be short of funds in the long term as more Americans reach retirement age.  But the budget largely avoids the topic in the short term. "It's not an urgent moment to do it," Jacob Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told a news conference Monday, adding that Social Security does not add to the deficit in the next 10 years. "But it is the right thing to do, to do it way in advance."

Note:  the above was 10-years ago !!!!!   Nero fiddled as Rome burned !!!

 

https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-02-2011/obama_budget_cuts.html 

 

MarketWatch 11/07/2012 - The 4 retirement problems Obama must solve 

 

We have the Social Security Trustee Report EVERY YEAR that has given fair warning EVERY YEAR for at least the last (10) - maybe longer.  By year:  https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/tr/ 

 

How about this:  AJC - On The Issues - end 2008 - Barack Obama on Social Security, Junior Senator (IL); President-Ele... 

 

We also have ALL of these proposals waiting in the wings:  The (pdf) of each explains and analyses each proposal - 

SSA.gov - Office of the Chief Actuary's Estimates of Proposals to Change the Social Security Program... 

 

BY the way, you are probably gonna get the responses that I usually get -

Tax the Rich

Means test Social Security; Means test Medicare - but tax everybody for those in "need".

 

But, hey, Thanks for at least being concerned - and at least posting about it.  I've been here since 2008 and can't tell you the number of times that I have tried to speak about it just for knowledge - 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Contributor

Gail,

 

As a fiscal conservative, I absolutely support the open analysis of a program that is clearly headed to a financial shortfall.   The original purpose of SS was to provide a standard of living to our seniors, since the programs inception, this view has been warped to include disabled, minors, etc.   The program has become a social service that covers a wide spectrum of the population.   Considering the implications of modifications to such a widely consumed service, would it not make sense to you that the considerations and recommendations are conducted in a public forum.   The panel being created is completely blind to public input and purview.   I guess if one completely trusts that government is morally sound and will make principled decisions, this behavior would not be offensive.   I have no trust in our governments ability to make such a choice and the first point to make is that any consideration is untaken in a fully transparent manner.   Secondly, as a senior that has spent a lifetime working and setting aside to established an amount of saving to supplement me through my latter years, I FIRMLY expect and demand that similar contributions to a persons self well being are performed.   I do not see this in the generations following me.   In fact I see money flowing to everyone today.   Better than half of Americans today receive government assistance.   If SS is to get a "revamping" and the consumers of these services are impacted, then the entirety of entitlements need to be reset in an equal manner.  Otherwise Americas seniors, and frankly this country shows very little concern for its elderly while holding grave considered about everything else (ncluding green energy, immigrants walking across the southern boarders, paying for water and COVID treatments in foreign countries around the world) becomes the source of paying for the progressive agenda.   Perhaps a broad spectrum cut across the board for all programs being with those programs that have the lowest percentage of funds going to people living in America. 

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