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The TRUST Act: Taking the First Step Towards Entitlement Reform

Posted on Friday, August 27, 2021
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by AMAC, Bob Carlstrom
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34 Comments
trust

These days, trust is hard to come by, especially when it’s Uncle Sam who is talking to you. We’ve all heard the saying about Washington politicians “kicking the can down the road” when it comes to tough fiscal decisions, but it appears that we’re running out of road. A September 2020 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that America’s major federal trust funds – Highways, Medicare, and Social Security (pensions and disability) – will all be insolvent in 11 years or less. 

The Hospital Trust Fund is set to expire in 5 years, and the biggest challenge of them all, the Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Social Security Disability Trust Fund, are together projected to run out in 2032.

The collapse of even parts of the America safety-net would be catastrophic. So what has been done since the CBO’s report to address America’s looming crisis? Are there any legislators left in Washington who are brave enough to pick up the proverbial can and begin the conversation with their colleagues, and the American people, about how we genuinely start the process now of putting a plan in place that ensures the long-term sustainability of these vital programs?

Enter the Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts (TRUST) Act. Introduced recently to address the growing entitlement problem. The TRUST Act is a bipartisan and bicameral proposal which would create a process to rescue the endangered federal trust funds and rein in the national debt, which just passed the $29 trillion mark this year. The bill would force Democrats to sit down and hash out actual solutions to the runaway debt problem, which is the first step in any reform.

“There is broad recognition that we need to address the looming insolvency of our federal trust funds,” stated Sen. Romney. “Getting our country through the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to borrow trillions of dollars, which has in turn threatened essential programs like Medicare and Social Security. Congress must respond in a way which will address this long-term problem, which is coming down the pike much sooner than was expected,” he said. 

If enacted, the TRUST Act would first identify the government’s major, endangered trust funds, as mentioned above. A 12-member “Rescue Committee” would be assigned to each endangered fund – one per trust – by Congressional leaders with the mandate to draft legislation that extends long-term solvency and otherwise improves each trust fund program. To ensure bipartisan consensus, the bill requires at least two members of each party to report legislation out of the Rescue Committee. 

Committees would have a window of 180 days, although recommendations may be put forward prior to that deadline. To avoid procedural delays, a qualifying bill reported out of a Rescue Committee would receive expedited consideration in both chambers. Sixty votes would be required to invoke cloture prior to final passage in the Senate, and only a simple majority would be needed for the motion to proceed, which would be privileged.

“Future generations of Americans should not be burdened by our poor financial decisions today,” stated Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), an original sponsor of the bill. “Generations of irresponsibly cutting taxes combined with spending beyond our means has left the important programs on which we all depend – Medicare, Social Security, highways, and pensions – on the brink of insolvency… It is past time we got our fiscal house in order.

The TRUST Act is a good start to a long process that will, hopefully soon, bring balance to America’s fiscal health and ultimately set the nation on a path so that generations of Americans who have paid into the system see the benefits of their life’s work. AMAC Action looks forward to helping to pass this important legislation and bringing our ideas, including the social security guarantee to the table during this process. Read more about our advocacy on this issue here: AMAC Issues Press Release Supporting Inclusion of TRUST Act in the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act

Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action 

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Dan W.
Dan W.
2 years ago

So Congress is going to pass legislation to prevent Congress from spending our money ?

Hardy, Har, Har !!

RW
RW
2 years ago

You start by cutting off American Free Flowing Cash River to all of the Forgeign countries. Especially the one’s that would do or has already done harm to this Nation. They we invest in our own Country with Our own money. Pretty nifty ideal isn’t it. Next we cut The Politicians pay by 2/3 because they’re not doing enough to earn that 1/3. We then get a law passed so no Politician gets a raise until it is passed by the American Citizens in their districts. I believe that this Country would than be headed in the right direction for the first time in a very long time.

ohiobikertrash
ohiobikertrash
2 years ago

ya know if the congress would just pay back the trillions they pulled out of the funds I think all would work itself out just fine

CaRepub
CaRepub
2 years ago

I hate to say it, but has there ever been any other Ponzi scheme that’s ever lasted as long as Social Security? I heard a report that said when SS first started, for every recipient, there were 44 workers contributing to the fund. Today, for every one recipient, there are 4 workers contributing. It is a system that cannot go on in perpetuity. If the “rescue” is merely to print more money without backing, what good will that do except create more inflation. But America can learn a valuable lesson about the ultimate fate of socialist programs where it’s take from those that have and give to others. What ever the solutions those elected politicians, who by the way are not dependent on any of the “social “ programs such as SS, Medicare, etc., until each of them have to rely on them as we do, there will be no real solution.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Merge trust funds then?? Make easier to manage by theme, etc

Dog Lover
Dog Lover
2 years ago

Most of the $30 trillion debt we owe has been bought or is to the Chinese Government. This entire Covid farce is because of the Chinese Government. All the deaths have been due to the release of the CCP virus. Easy solution is to say you have cost us X lives se we are going to cancel the debt in return. The CCP needs to realize the actions have consequences.

MariaRose
MariaRose
2 years ago

Yes this is an important necessary discussion on the important issue but I don’t see any suggestions in the article on what steps will be needed. We have on one side, the younger able bodied people who are not only working less hours (why is a separate issue), plus there’s less people who are contributing to the funds. I would love to see Congress take that cap off the maximum income liable for the FICA tax which would open a big source of funds. I never understood why that specific tax only taxed income up to $100000 give or take a few thousand. But allows millionaires to collect out of the funds. That’s a financial dynamics issue that also needs addressing. But the biggest issue not being discussed is the sudden change in attitude towards the growing senior population. Call it whatever you want, just because more seniors are surviving longer doesn’t mean that that population is suddenly oppressing the younger population needs. You can’t just eliminate the senior population who needs support because the younger population doesn’t want to contribute. Even if the senior population suddenly is gone, we still have a BIg problem with ASSUMPTION of entitlement benefits caused by the progressive movement to centralized control of the population. Plus we have people in Congress who don’t work within a budget but spend money as if there’s an unlimited source. That’s the problem. Fix that

Lyn
Lyn
2 years ago

Let’s work on the definition of the word “entitlement”. I believe I am entitled to Social Security and Medicare because I worked for 38 years prior to retirement. Funds for both were deducted from my paychecks for those 38 years. I had no say in the amount of the deductions or the fact that the deductions themselves were allowed. I do have a major problem with the scammers collecting Social Security Disability, especially for such disabilities as drug and alcohol addictions.

Ruth Ellen Pierce
Ruth Ellen Pierce
2 years ago

Entitlements? Social security and Medicare are not entitlements. Period. I see (on TV) people advertising for free this and free that (usually Medicare-related). Who is paying for these free things, such as free dental, free medical, free rides to doctor appointments, extra money in the monthly Medicare checks, etc. I have been receiving Medicare since 2005 (which I paid into)Social Security (which I paid into) and a pension from my former workplace (City of Detroit). Those are not entitlements–if I understand the meaning of that word.

Jimmy Hatley
Jimmy Hatley
2 years ago



Sharon
Sharon
2 years ago

When Social Security was first started, the government was NOT ALLOWED to borrow from and and it was suppose to stay that way. We paid into it for years and working people now pay into it and it should never go broke if they’d treat it like its suppose to be. Stop giving it to people who never paid into it and stop borrowing from it. Yes, we are ‘entitled’ to it……I paid into it for 50 years.

Duluth Tom
Duluth Tom
2 years ago

SS and Medicare is funded by us. SS should be a saving plan dedictated for retirement. Medicare is an insurance payment made in advance for future medical insurance coverage. What we’ll see out of this is a needs test. If you’ve worked hard. Saved a substantial amt of money for your retirement. In other words, played by the rules, the gov’t is going to look at you and say “well, you really don’t need a monthly SS ck”, even though you paid in thousands of dollars during your working years. I’d bet on it.

Lindsey C Goff
Lindsey C Goff
2 years ago

Make Congress put the money back they “borrowed” from Social Security and put in the General Fund. Stop providing funds to illegals and others who have never contributed to Social Security. Then those who worked all those years and felt the money would be there for them won’t have to worry anymore. Also, get those Congress members, who voted to “borrow” the money and provide funds to those who never contributed, OUT OF OFFICE. Once a crook, in their cases, always a crook.

Lindsey C Goff
Lindsey C Goff
2 years ago

The $400 million Obama secretly moved in the middle of the night to repay a “loan” to Iraq could have and should have been put back into Americans’ pockets, not our enemy’s!! He is a TRAITOR to America and cares only about his own country’s wellbeing, among others.

HAZEL JUDITH SAVAGE
HAZEL JUDITH SAVAGE
2 years ago

It is about time Congress does something constructive. Instead of continuing to borrow from these trust funds, which never gets repaid, act fiscally responsible – shore up these highway, medicare, and social security programs. You as congressional representatives have a duty to make these solvent.
For goodness sake “do what is right”. Also, stop this insane spending adding to our national debt – this ridiculous infrastructure bill is another irresponsible action to further put the country in peril. Repay the first commitments these “trust funds” before taking on more funding programs with no way to pay for them. This is totally congressional craziness.
Hazel Judith Savage, citizen

SusanC
SusanC
2 years ago

Irresponsible tax cuts? Really??? How about letting immigrants who have never contributed a dime draw from these funds?

Cheryl
Cheryl
2 years ago

If the members of congress had their retirement plan removed and were required to participate in social security that program would be fixed tout de suite. I cannot think of any job where you can retire with your full pay for life.

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