Advocacy

AMAC Participates in Republican Study Committee Conference Call

On March 13, 2014, AMAC participated in another conference call with the Republican Study Committee (RSC), featuring Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN). Amid a difficult budget season overlooking a crucial midterm election cycle, the members of the RSC are working diligently to secure the advancement of a conservative political and economic agenda on Capitol Hill. Rep. Rokita spoke during this brief but informative call about budgetary restraints facing the Republican Party, as well as future plans for reform of mandatory spending programs.

Fiscal restrictions are affecting every aspect of government action today. Thus, it’s not surprising that Rep. Rokita and the RSC have made strengthening America’s economy and lowering our massive deficit two of their chief priorities. However, Republicans recognize that this monumental task will take time to accomplish. Rep. Rokita keenly noted that the only way to balance the budget instantaneously is to make immediate and substantial cuts to important entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare – a move no politician wants to make ahead of an upcoming election. Instead, the GOP has previously proposed making gradual reforms to the entitlement system that would allow current beneficiaries to keep their benefits, while simultaneously restructuring these programs and making them sustainable for future generations. Rep. Rokita acknowledged that this approach to reform won’t balance the budget by next year, but it is a realistic and an effective approach that will help ensure that our entitlement programs remain sustainable for years to come.

Like many in Congress, Rep. Rokita recognizes the political realities facing Republicans when it comes to entitlement reform. However, AMAC remains committed to promoting our very own Social Security Guarantee, as well as other commonsense conservative reform proposals, as ways to responsibly address the looming fiscal problems facing mandatory spending programs. On Capitol Hill, AMAC has been actively engaging with lawmakers on issues related to entitlement reform. While we recognize the difficulties that plague the political environment for reform, AMAC is wholly dedicated to pursuing avenues for reform and making the voices of our 1.1 million members heard. Entitlement reform will continue to be a key aspect of AMAC’s advocacy agenda as part of our goal to make America a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Overall, AMAC felt this particular call with the RSC gave us realistic insight into the reasons for Congress’ reluctance to tackle entitlement reform in the here and now. Rep. Rokita stressed that positive change simply does not happen overnight. With understanding, constant support, and time, though, commonsense reforms like AMAC’s Social Security Guarantee will be able to take root and contribute to the reform process when that time eventually comes. As the fastest-growing conservative seniors organization in America, AMAC will continue to encourage Congress to seriously consider making sensible reforms to Social Security and Medicare in order to make these programs solvent for future generations of Americans.


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Bruce Kapaun
8 years ago

It seems to me that we always hear of SS & Medicare as breaking our budget. We hear about both of these systems going broke in the near future. This has been a scare tactic used to control the votes of older Americans. Why haven’t we heard of the welfare system going broke? HAM (03/20/2014) has a good idea, these programs should be retitled “Earned Benefit Programs”. The budget could be balanced if our central government would get out of the way and let private enterprise work. High unemployment, workforce dropout, and the welfare state will only increase the National debt.

George T Wrazen
8 years ago

If any of the conservatives are serious about setting America back on track the first thing they have to do is enact the Fair Tax. This alone will dramatically change the landscape in and around DC. Immediately there would no longer be a need for lobbyists, most of which are politicians who have lost their last election. There would be a drastic reduction in the IRS and certainly any of the power it now holds would be diminished, again, overnight. There wouldn’t be an”April 15th deadline” because no one will have to file a tax statement, AND you would get to take home every stinking penny you earn…..no payroll deductions.

The underground economy would automatically be contributing to the federal coffers, and no one, no person or company would have write-offs, or tax deductions, or set-asides.

Conservatives need to show voters all the embedded taxes no one sees; Under the current tax system, if I purchase a pair of sneakers for $50, I’m really paying $61.25 of my pre-tax money (I’m in a 15% tax bracket, plus my Social Security/Medicare taxes of 7.5%). Approximately $10 to 12 of the price of the shoes is embedded corporate income tax and tax compliance costs, so already, I’m paying $21 in taxes for that pair of sneakers, and only $40 for the shoes themselves.

Embedded taxes are business taxes that are part of the cost of doing business. Business passes these taxes along to consumers when they set the price for their products. At the federal level, theses taxes are the corporate income tax, the self-employment tax and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. We call it embedded taxes (silent taxes that aren’t talked about and most people do not even consider when making a purchase). These taxes amount to approximately 22% tacked onto the price of goods and services throughout the chain of the manufacturing and marketing process.

The Fair Tax repeals all of these embedded taxes that business pays and passes on to consumers in their prices (corporate income, self-employment, payroll) as well as all income and payroll taxes on individuals, plus the capital gains tax, the estate tax and the gift tax. And under the Fair Tax, business doesn’t pay sales taxes on their purchases. (Fair Tax Blog).

There would be an “adjustment period” for the consumer because this idea radically changes the way we have come to believe government needs to confiscate money from wage earners. As diabolical as the current tax system is, it is the only one we know. So, there will be a learning curve, but that doesn’t mean it should not be implemented.

PaulE
8 years ago

Real major tax reform, at least the type that would boost the economy and allow most people to keep more of their own money, is dead in this country. At least for the foreseeable future. Aside from being used for “talking points” during election cycles, to get crowds excited, most politicians of both parties are unwilling to give up the power (and the leverage to raise re-election campaign funding) that comes from Congress being able to dole out tax credits, deductions, and other “special carve outs” in our existing tax code.

Just look at the small ball suggestions being given trial balloons by both parties today. Nothing of any real consequence. Just minor tweaks around the edges. Worse still, the Republicans are now stating that the reforms suggested have to be “revenue neutral”, which means any sort of spending restraint is out the window too.

Tax reform, along with true regulatory reform, is desperately needed to get the economy moving again above the 1 1/2 to 2 percent GDP rate we’ve been limping along at for five years now. Sadly, such tax reform is nowhere on the horizon.

Ron
8 years ago

Here we go again, putting SS & Medicare on the front burner so the media can plaster all over the “News” that the Republican are at it again. Yep, they want to cut YOUR SS & Medicare. And what are the results, the Seniors (like In Florida) will hesitate to vote Republican. In the mean while, the Dem’s are pushing Obama Care issues AFTER the 2014 and 2016 election cycle. Go figure.

Now that I’ve turned 65 and an official Senior, after all in the mail I’ve received my official AARP membership card ( I cut it up) and a half dozen insurance carriers for Medicare supplement coverage. Why not put these Conservative positions which I share, aside until the 2014 elections are done and we take the Senate? How about that, take it right out of the Dem’s play book and perhaps, just perhaps we will go into extra innings and WIN!

HAM
8 years ago

I appreciate AMAC participation in this conference and working on behalf of Seniors to protect our interests in these very important Committee meetings.

I would hope that Food Stamps are being addressed also as they are a mandatory spending program too although it’s now being called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which is misleading and has been changed on purpose to mislead the general population as to what the program actually is. If you don’t keep up with what’s going on in Washington DC you more than likely won’t know that they are one & the same.

As I have consistently mentioned in my comments, I wish SS & Medicare would not be referred to as “entitlements”. Why not call them “Earned Benefit Programs” instead? This reference is actually a better name for as they are paid for by Seniors over their lifetimes. I would like to see AMAC begin to use this terminology and encourage Congress members to use it rather than “entitlements”. The use if the word entitlement has caused uninformed citizens to think of SS & Medicare as unfunded programs and lump them with Welfare. Even Wikipedia lumps them with Welfare when describing the word.

Mr. Weber, won’t you please do everthing you can to change how everyone thinks of and refers to SS & Medicare? This may seem a small thing to you and everyone else but Seniors are dependent on these 2 programs and it has become the “norm” to think of them as burdens (and therefore seniors themselves) rather than programs we have paid for our whole working lives and are now drawing the return on our investments.

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