Campaign to “discharge” and release Social Security Lockbox bill from the US Senate’s legislative gr
11 Feb 2023 15:38 #12552
In response to this topic, the short answer is "yes". I share your frustrations with the retirement portion, in addition to the fact that there is a double and triple taxation. The Social Security System impacts every American citizen; over 57 million people receive monthly benefits; and sadly, for many, it is their only source of income.
The program was originally known as Federal Old age Benefits, then as Old Age Survivors Insurance, and now as Old Age Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance. Only 64% of the program's income goes to individual retirement accounts, the other 36% goes to survivors, dependent children, and disabled workers.
Every year between 1983 and 2011, more taxes were collected than were paid out in benefits. The US Treasury "bought" special government bonds with the excess. These special bonds earn interest at the same rate as ordinary government bonds issued on the same date. What makes these bonds special is that they can only be redeemed by the US government! The total of these special bonds is also known as the Reserve Fund.
From 2012 to 2021, the tax collection shortfall was made up by the interest payments of these special bonds. With the excess of these interest payments, the US Treasury "bought" more special bonds and 2021 was the first year the interest payments weren't sufficient to pay full required benefits. The Reserve Fund balance at the end of 2020 was $2,908.3 billion. The Reserve Funds' shortfall was $56.2 billion, resulting in the balance in the Reserve Fund at the end of 2021 of $2,852.1 billion. The Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that unless Congress acts, full benefits can only be paid through 2034. Future benefit payments will only be 77% of the required and promised benefit amount!
En estos momentos, hay miembros poderosos del Congreso que siguen mostrándose decididos a recortar los beneficios acumulados por los contribuyentes al Seguro Social para pagar sus intrusiones legislativas en el presupuesto federal (introducidas en forma de enmiendas conocidas como "pork-barrel" o "amiguismo") y para reducir (con el dinero que los contribuyentes destinan a asegurar su vejez) los crecientes déficits presupuestarios que provoca el actual y desbocado derroche presupuestario.
Esos legisladores federales que llevan años enquistados en el Congreso y lo dominan, apoyan políticas que incluyen poner fin al Medicare tradicional, reducir el ajuste anual del costo de vida del Seguro Social, aumentar la edad de jubilación a 70 años y privatizar el Seguro Social para que deje de ser una responsabilidad gubernamental que garantice una vejez digna de los contribuyentes.
En lugar de apoyar políticas para fortalecer el Seguro Social y el Medicare -como aumentar los beneficios del Seguro Social, aumentar el tope del impuesto sobre la nómina, blindar las contribuciones de los trabajadores para que no sean utilizados en el presupuesto federal y reducir los costos de Medicare- estos legisladores fundamentalmente opuestos a estos programas están decididos a destruir la red de seguridad social para convertirla en una estrategia de welfare global.
Por eso debemos seguir haciendo campaña para escoger en las próximas elecciones primarias de ambos partidos a candidatos nuevos, con nuevas y mejores ideas, con un historial meritorio y que lleguen limpios de intereses creados al Congreso y estén más dispuestos que los dinosaurios de ambos partidos a favorecer los intereses del pueblo que representan. Es hora de que borremos del mapa legislativo a decenas de representantes enquistados en estrategias fracasadas y comprometidos con intereses creados que los benefician sólo a ellos.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Juan Antonio Blanco
Good warning for everyone.!! This is one of the reasons I supported and still do a a system of individual capitalization accounts financed solely by the employee, like in Chile, (which by the way, is being destroyed by the new Socialist/Communist Chilean government).
Keep our monies as far as we can from politician's hands in any way possible should be a worldwide motto.!!!
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Bill into law on August 14, 1935, only 14 months after sending a special message to Congress on June 8, 1934, that promised a plan for social insurance as a safeguard «against the hazards and vicissitudes of life.» The Social Security Act established two types of provisions for old-age security:
(1) Federal aid to the States to enable them to provide cash pensions to their needy aged; and
(2) a system of Federal old-age benefits for retired workers.
The Social Security Trust Fund was created to be used to pay benefits and program administrative costs. The Department of the Treasury manages it. According to the US Social Security Administration (SSA), «The significance of the new social insurance program was that it sought to address the long-range problem of economic security for the aged through a contributory system in which the workers themselves contributed to their own future retirement benefit by making regular payments into a joint fund.»
However, the SSA informs as well that «As a stop-gap measure, Congress passed legislation in 1981 to permit inter-fund borrowing among the three Trust Funds (the Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund; the Disability Trust Fund; and the Medicare Trust Fund).» Therefore, the Department of the Treasury merged the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds into the Social Security Trust Fund. Social
Security is financed by payroll taxes paid by covered workers and their employers, federal income taxes paid by some beneficiaries on a portion of their benefits, and interest income from the Social Security trust fund investments. Accordingly, the Social Security Trust Fund was to be reserved strictly to guarantee Social Security benefits to old-age American citizens and residents in order to protect the system for future generations. Consequently, the Social Security Trust Fund should be safe from “raids” by politicians using these funds to promote projects and other budgetary expenses devised to win them favor with the electorate in the upcoming elections. The fact is that since 1983 the US Congress has ignored these principles. In 1983, Congress raised the payroll tax rate that funds Social Security benefits to prepare for the retirement of the baby boom generation. But that was just a cover-up for their true purposes, and the actual cash surplus from the excess payroll taxes, amounting to $2.4 trillion including interest over the last 25 years, was borrowed from the Trust Fund and used to support government spending on other programs. The Social Security Trust Fund was credited with Treasury bonds in return for the borrowed funds. These bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government and they earn interest, but these bonds are not “real” assets with cash value. As far back as April 5, 1998, then US Congressman Elton Gallegly (Rep. from California) recognized this budgetary travesty saying that: «Money that taxpayers have paid into Social Security for their retirement should not be used to pay for everything from foreign aid to defense to public housing. That is just plain dishonest.»
However, by law, all net cash surpluses are required to be invested in special-issue government bonds (in fact a government loan or IOU) and, to a lesser extent, certificates of indebtedness. In return, the federal government gets access to $2.9 trillion in borrowing capacity that it can use for normal line items in its budget. In other words, Social Security's Trust has $2.9 trillion in asset reserves, but not a red cent of cash in the vault. On the contrary, its assets are expended in the federal budget with a promise to be paid back sometime in the future.
Facing this stark truth, a “Lockbox” bill (H.R. 2) was passed by a vote of 407-2 in the US House of Representatives during the 107th Congress under the George W. Bush administration on Feb. 13, 2002, that would have protected the Social Security Trust Fund from further raids from politicians. Nevertheless, a tiny group of powerful Senators has abused the power of their positions all these years to stop this bill from even coming to a vote in the US Senate.
Congress tried again to pass a "Lockbox” bill last year when the H.R. 1269 bill was approved. This bill establishes (1) a Social Security Surplus Protection Account; and (2) limited transfers from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, a Medicare Surplus Protection Account. If the House bill were approved in the Senate, the Secretary of the Treasury) (1) must transfer the annual surplus of the trust fund to its respective account; and (2) may not invest the balance in the account until a law takes effect that authorizes, for amounts in the trust fund, an investment vehicle other than U.S. obligations. This is not as strict as the original bill, but it does set certain necessary limitations including rules guaranteeing that any future surpluses should be guarded to prevent wasteful spending.
The problem is: the US Senate has shelved it! Again!
All concerned citizens should be resolved to call upon their Senators (phone call, text message, or letter) asking them to “discharge” and release this bill from the Senate’s legislative gridlock and allow the “Lock Box” bill to come to an immediate vote before the full US Senate. It is a serious problem that affects everyone in the US, but it can be partially solved with the approval of this law.
Citizens should warn their Senators that they will not vote in their favor in the upcoming elections if they do not comply with this urgent request.