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2015-03-26

AMAC condemns bill to raise SS taxes

Special to the Courier

Blasting Congressional Democrats for offering a bill to hike Social Security taxes and cut benefits, Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMMC), described the proposal as "just more income confiscation that does nothing to solve Social Security's financial crisis."
Weber said that on Friday, March 20, over 50 Democrats cosponsored a bill that would hike payroll taxes for both employees and employers retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015. "They acted under cover of night hoping the story would get minimal coverage," Weber said, "but you can't keep something like this under wraps."
He added, "At a time when our economy is suffering and especially the young and the elderly are being hurt, it makes no sense to tax workers more or cut benefits." He continued, "Just last week Senator Sanders (D-VT) said Social Security is not in financial trouble and that if someone says it is, 'Look them in the eye and say they are lying.' Now that his own party wants to raise taxes to solve the Social Security problem, it's Senator Sanders who has the credibility problem."
In addition to the tax increase, the bill - HR 1391 - would change the CPI (Consumer Price Index) used to calculate annual increases to the CPI-E index, which would reduce the annual increases for all recipients based on the last five years of experience. It would also impose a further tax increase on "excess earnings" for higher income earners and new calculations would be used to figure monthly benefits for new retirees.
Meanwhile, the Trustees Annual Report indicated that legislation action must be taken to assure benefits are not cut, otherwise anyone on Social Security disability will suffer a 20 percent reduction in their checks at the end of 2016.
"The Democrats would take money from the Old Age Trust Fund to shore up the disability fund. This would further weaken the Old Age Fund which is currently paying out 60 billion dollars a year more than it is taking in," Weber said.
(The "Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund," a separate account in the United States Treasury, provides automatic spending authority to pay monthly benefits to retired-worker - old-age - beneficiaries and their spouses and children and to survivors of deceased insured workers.)
Weber noted that two weeks ago, AMAC held a Social Security Working Group meeting with members of Congress where the problem was discussed and solutions were proposed.
His organization proposed a bill that would guarantee Social Security without raising taxes, while adding a companion savings account - an ERA, Early Retirement Account - to allow workers to have additional money at retirement.
"We have got to stop hitting workers with more taxes, this has turned into income confiscation," Weber concluded.