Friday, July 21, 2017

A Further Exchange of Comments About the Budget

The president’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, was the one proposing changing Social Security retirement to age 70. You are correct that retirement age adjustments are not specifically mentioned. But read on.

This item is supposedly in the House Budget Committee resolution, but I don't see it there. "The committee's proposals call for higher contributions of federal employees to their pensions and the removal of supplemental Social Security payments to employees who retire before age 62." But you have already found where it is, correct?

Also, from the House Budget committee's "Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for fiscal year 2018" (

From page 103:
(A) in 2028, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted and program revenues will be unable to pay scheduled benefits;
(B) with the exhaustion of both the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Old-Age and Survivors and Disability Trust Fund in 2035, benefits will be cut by as much as 25 percent across the board, devastating those currently in or near retirement and those who rely on Social Security the most.
(4) The recession and continued low economic growth have exacerbated the looming fiscal crisis facing Social Security. The most recent Congressional Budget Office (‘‘CBO’’) projections find that Social Security will run cash deficits of more than $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years. [The Trust Fund is $2.8 trillion. Cash deficits sound scarier than Trust Fund drawdowns which were anticipated.]

Pages 104-106 talk about a reform trigger which occurs when the 75-year actuarial balance is not positive [such as now]. The Social Security trustees would be required to send recommendations to the President, and "within 60 days of the President submitting legislation, the committees of jurisdiction should report a bill, which the House or Senate should consider under expedited procedures." [I hate to ask what expedited procedures means. I suspect that the members of the full Senate or House will be barred from offering amendments. This is likely to be where retirement ages are adjusted.]

Page 108 talks about how the House should "reform the Disability Insurance program prior to its insolvency in 2028 and should not raid the Social Security retirement system without reforms to the Disability Insurance system." [Raid the retirement system? Pitting the disabled against the retirees again, are we? Reallocations of revenue between the two systems were routine, bi-partisan, and non-controversial in prior Congresses. Not in this Congress.]

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