Friday, October 19, 2012

AARP: No more payroll tax cuts

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein writes that the AARP has drawn the line on payroll tax cuts, which have been extended in an attempt to boost the economy but which, in the view of AARP and others across the spectrum, threaten to undermine Social Security as a self-financing program generating “earned benefits” for participants.

Klein writes:

“When Congress agreed to extend payroll taxes by another year in 2011, it did so by replacing the lost funds with general revenue for the first time in history. That addressed some policymakers’ concerns about the Social Security Trust Fund’s insolvency. But it was a worrisome step for the AARP and other Social Security advocates, who believed it undermined the entitlement program’s protected status, lumping it in with a general budget  that could be subject to future cuts and trade-offs. ”Social Security is a separate, off-budget program, with a dedicated funding source—messing with the formula shouldn’t even be a part of the budget debate,” Certner added. “The promise of this was that it would be temporary. Going beyond two years—you’re going way beyond temporary country.’”


WilliamLarsen said...

It would appear that Congress has violated federal statute;

"(a) The receipts and disbursements of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the taxes imposed under sections 1401 and 3101 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall not be included in the totals of the budget of the United States Government as submitted by the President or of the congressional budget and shall be exempt from any general budget limitation imposed by statute on expenditures and net lending (budget outlays) of the United States Government.

(b) No provision of law enacted after December 12, 1985 (other than a provision of an appropriation Act that appropriated funds authorized under this chapter as in effect on December 12, 1985) may provide for payments from the general fund of the Treasury to any Trust Fund specified in subsection (a) of this section or for payments from any such Trust Fund to the general fund of the Treasury. "

United States Code Title 42, Chapter7, Subchapter VII, Sec. 911 (a),

Arne said...


If you are spending a lot of time on whether Congress can change the laws it writes or even whether thay can write a law that says they can't change a law, you can probably find better things to do.