“TRUST” Act can end Social Security as we know it – fast track rules for approval – only two hours debate!

American politics’ number one weasel and 2012 Bilderberg attendee, Willard “Mitt” Romney (R-Utah), is pushing Congress to appoint special commissions to “reform” (cut) Social Security and Medicare under the guise of Homeland Security. The bill’s title is a perfect misnomer: Time to Rescue United States Trusts Act (TRUST).

Willard Romney – eyeing your savings

The “security” farce is that public health and retirement programs can cause debt, and debt itself is somehow a dire threat to the nation. That’s the limp excuse for using the Homeland committee .

The hedge fund master’s merry band of 13 co-conspirators includes four Democrats and nine Republicans: Joe Manchin (D-WV), Todd Young (R-IN), Doug Jones (D-AL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Shelley Capito (R-WV), Lamar Alexander (R-IN), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Angus King (D/I-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Martha McSally (R-AZ), John Cornyn (R-TX) and David Perdue (R-GA).

Who else but Romney would openly organize such a threat to middle class Americans, who depend on Social Security and Medicare for their existence? This is the same Romney who ran for President and picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan was the Ayn Rand-admiring deficit hawk who openly called for private-profit ownership of Medicare and hiking our retirement age to 70.

Instead of regular committee public hearings and votes, three members of the Senate and three members of the House – from each party – 12 in total – will decide by a simple majority vote to approve a report and submit it to the House and Senate.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by Reps. Ed Case (D-HI); Mike Gallagher (R-WI).; Ben McAdams (D-UT); and William Timmons (R-SC).

Once approved by the commissions, no amendments will be allowed to the TRUST Act by any member of Congress.

The bill cannot by stopped with a normal 60-vote cloture rule in the Senate.

Only two hours of debate will be permitted in either the Senate or House before a vote that can pass with a simple majority.

That’s called “railroading” a bill through a legislature.

The two-hour discussion allowed will create the laws for the Social Security Trust, Medicare Trust and Highway Trust for the next 75 years.

The TRUST Gang of 12 will consist only of Congress members appointed by each party’s leaders. The commissions can interview, hire staff, and listen to lobbyists like Maya MacGuineas. She heads an organization – Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) – that has long pointed daggers at the Social Security pensions paid for by FICA taxes on payrolls.

CRFB has been heavily funded by the late Pete Peterson fortune, and like most big investors, he hated Social Security and Medicare. The banking class wants privatization, so Wall Street can grab big profits by fee-managing your payroll tax contributions.

MacGuineas and CRFB are just nuts about TRUST:

In reviewing programs and evaluating options, rescue committees would work closely with relevant federal agencies, CBO, the Government Accountability Office, Congressional leadership, committees of jurisdiction, other members, and each other.

Commissions could put forward a proposal with a simple majority of total members, including at least two members from each party to ensure bipartisan support. Though due the week after the 2020 election, recommendations could be put forward at any point if consensus is reached. Legislation reflecting these proposals would receive fast-track consideration in both chambers of Congress.

While the TRUST Act does not force policymakers to save the major trust funds, it does force them to work together on a bipartisan basis toward that goal.

To fully understand CFRB and MacGuineas, you must engage in a little kitchen table economics, and realize her husband is Robin Jermyn Brooks, whose positions have included economist at: Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, managing director and vice president of Goldman Sachs Wall Street investment banking, economist at the International Monetary Fund, and research fellow at Brookings Institution.

Who better to trust with your hard-earned retirement savings than Maya and Robin?

Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, said Romney is “acting true to his income” with a plan to pave the way for benefit cuts.

“They want to pretend that they’re saving the program, and they are going to do it behind closed doors in a fast-track process,” Altman said. “They want to do something the American people don’t want, which is why they’re doing it this way.”

Advocates of increasing benefits under the present system point to the nearly three trillion dollars In the Social Security Trust, caused by over payments since 1986. Under privatization that giant pot of FICA money would be turned over to the bankers for their investing.

Why the three trillion surplus? This fund growth was designed to cushion baby boomer retirements in the 2020s, when FICA income began to decline with a lower worker/retiree ratio. That hasn’t happened yet, but President Donald Trump is proposing a temporary halt in payments into FICA, which will deplete the fund, and less reserves gives more ammo to deficit hawks.

Adding lighter fluid to the fire, a group of 60 Congress members have sent a letter urging that TRUST commissions be enabled quickly:

United States Congress
Washington DC, 20510
June 1, 2020

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:

We, a bipartisan group of representatives, remain committed to fighting the pandemic and the economic downturn to help the American people through this hardship. The unemployment rate is nearly 15%, and GDP could fall as much as 30%. We must confront the economic fallout from this crisis head on. As the crisis recedes and our nation recovers, we cannot ignore the pressing issue of the national debt, which could do irreparable damage to our country.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the debt held by the public is likely to exceed 100 percent of GDP in just a few months, and it will hit record levels in a few years. In addition, trust funds for some of our most critical programs will face exhaustion far sooner than we expected as a result of the current crisis. Trust fund insolvency threatens serious hardship for those who depend on the programs.

We, therefore, respectfully request that further pandemic-response legislation include provisions for future budget reforms to ensure we confront these issues when the economy is strong enough. These reforms should have broad, bipartisan support. They should not stand in the way of our making the necessary decisions to deal with the crisis at hand. They should ensure that, in addition to addressing health and economic needs, we lay the foundation for a sustainable fiscal future by building on reforms with established bipartisan support.

First, we must have common ground on the facts and keep this issue in our deliberations. The Fiscal State of the Nation resolution would increase the transparency of our fiscal situation by requiring GAO to present an annual report to Congress and the country detailing the fiscal health of the nation.

Second, we must create mechanisms to help Congress demonstrate greater accountability in navigating the decisions to restore our fiscal health and sustainability. Trust funds for Social Security, Disability Insurance, Medicare Hospital Insurance, and Highway programs face insolvency, now possibly all within a decade. Enacting a consensus process like the Time to Rescue United States Trusts (TRUST) Act would create special bipartisan, bicameral rescue committees to give these programs the priority and urgency they deserve. Other commission structures, such as those from the Sustainable Budget Act or the Budget Control Act’s joint select committee, provide models for a comprehensive fiscal agreement.

Third, the federal debt is growing at an alarming pace. Though emergency borrowing is necessary now, we must have a credible plan for responsibility to bring the debt burden to sustainable levels as the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers. We support a process for establishing overall budgetary goals—such as debt-to-GDP targets—that would reduce debt- limit brinkmanship as long as the budget remains on a responsible path.

Including budget reforms like these with any further pandemic-response legislation would put in place a plan to make sure that as we address our nation’s health and economic concerns, we will deal with our debt challenges at the appropriate time as well.

As the first branch of government, Congress can and must address current needs while planning for tomorrow. These bipartisan options can help us come together—as Americans—to build a brighter, more resilient future. We urge you to include them in the next pandemic response legislation. We stand ready and willing to work with you.

Sincerely,

Scott H. Peters and Jodey Arrington,
Member of Congress

Additional signers include: Ben McAdams, Dean Phillips, Jim Banks, Tom Reed, Ed Case, Stephanie Murphy, Kathleen M. Rice, Kurt Schrader, Bill Huizenga, Mike Johnson, Lloyd Smucker, Dan Crenshaw,Derek Kilmer, Vicky Hartzler, Jimmy Panetta, Dan Newhouse, Cindy Axne, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Tom O’Halleran, Mike Gallagher, Anthony Brindisi, Rob Woodall, Ron Kind, Warren Davidson, Kendra S. Horn, Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M., Abigail D. Spanberger, Darin LaHood, Jim Cooper, Tom Rice, Jim Costa, George Holding, Henry Cuellar, Drew Ferguson, Xochitl Torres Small, Ralph Norman, Daniel W. Lipinski, David Schweikert, Collin C. Peterson, Ron Estes, Joe Cunningham, Mark Walker, Harley Rouda, Jason Smith, Ann McLane Kuster, Roger Marshall, M.D., Colin Allred, Debbie Lesko, J. Luis Correa, Bruce Westerman, Chrissy Houlahan, Adrian Smith, Terri A. Sewell, Jack Bergman, Sharice L. Davids, Mike Kelly, Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. and Roger Williams

While it would be easy to blame this on Republicans, the effort to destroy earned benefits through taxes such as Medicare and Social Security is a longtime two-party effort.

First, President Ronald Reagan in a moment of fading lucidity allowed Alan Greenspan and his globalist buddies to gut Social Security. Their “reforms” included: taking out more taxes than the program paid, raising the retirement age to 67, introducing tiers that cut many benefits from prior 50% to 15%, and subjecting earned Social Security to Income Tax ($40 billion paid last year alone).

Second, President Barack Obama pushed for the Simpson-Bowles Commission, very much the same sneaky animal as the TRUST deal – a group of politicians blindly approving a commission’s report with virtually no public input. That failed, when members could not reach a super majority of 14 of 18 members. The TRUST commission, however, will only need a bare majority.

President Donald Trump ran in 2016 decrying cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

He can fulfill that promise with a veto of the TRUST act if approved by Congress. The White House has not commented on the bill, probably waiting until after the election to either support the public, or once again cave to the investor class.

Text of the TRUST Act

116th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 2733 To save and strengthen critical social contract programs of the Federal Government. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES October 29, 2019 Mr. Romney (for himself, Mr. Manchin, Mr. Young, Mr. Jones, and Ms. Sinema) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To save and strengthen critical social contract programs of the Federal Government. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the “Time to Rescue United States Trusts Act” or the “TRUST Act”.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Co-chair.–The term “co-chair” means an individual
appointed to serve as a co-chair of a Rescue Committee under
section 4(a)(4)(C)(i).
(2) Critical social contract program.–The term “critical
social contract program” means a Federal program the Secretary
identifies in the report under section 3.
(3) Rescue committee.–The term “Rescue Committee” means
a committee established under section 4(a).
(4) Rescue committee bill.–The term “Rescue Committee
bill” means a bill consisting solely of legislative language
that a Rescue Committee approves and submits under clauses (i)
and (vi), respectively, of section 4(a)(3)(B).
(5) Secretary.–The term “Secretary” means the Secretary
of the Treasury.

SEC. 3. IDENTIFICATION OF CRITICAL SOCIAL CONTRACT PROGRAMS.
Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the
Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that identifies each
Federal program–
(1) for which a Federal trust fund is established;
(2) the amount of outlays of which, for the fiscal year
immediately preceding the fiscal year in which this Act is
enacted, were not less than $20,000,000,000; and
(3) the amount of dedicated Federal funds and Federal trust
fund balances that the Secretary determines will be inadequate,
on any date during the period beginning on the date of
enactment of this Act and ending on the last day of fiscal year
2035, to meet the total amount of outlays of the Federal
program that would otherwise be made.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF RESCUE COMMITTEES.
(a) Establishment of Rescue Committees.–
(1) Establishment.–On the date on which the Secretary
submits the report under section 3, there shall be established
a Rescue Committee for each critical social contract program.
(2) Goals.–The goals of each Rescue Committee shall be to,
with respect to the critical social contract program for which
the Rescue Committee is established–
(A) avoid depletion of the Federal trust fund
established for the critical social contract program;
(B) provide for the solvency of the Federal trust
fund established for the critical social contract
program during the 75-year period beginning on the date
described in paragraph (1);
(C) simplify the critical social contract program
to the extent practicable; and
(D) otherwise improve the critical social contract
program.
(3) Duties.–
(A) In general.–
(i) Improving critical social contract
programs.–Each Rescue Committee may develop
recommendations and legislative language that
will significantly improve the critical social
contract program for which the Rescue Committee
is established, including by–
(I) increasing the duration of
positive balances of the Federal trust
fund established for the critical
social contract program; and
(II) to the extent practicable,
providing for the solvency of the
Federal trust fund established for the
critical social contract program during
the 75-year period beginning on the
date described in paragraph (1).
(ii) Recommendations of committees.–Not
later than 30 days after the date described in
paragraph (1), each committee of the Senate and
the House of Representatives may transmit to
the relevant Rescue Committee any
recommendations of the committee relating to
changes in law to improve the critical social
contract program for which the Rescue Committee
is established in accordance with the goals of
the Rescue Committee described in paragraph
(2).
(B) Report, recommendations, and legislative
language.–
(i) In general.–Not later than November
12, 2020, each Rescue Committee shall meet to
consider, and may vote on–
(I) a report that contains a
detailed statement of the findings,
conclusions, and recommendations of the
Rescue Committee described in
subparagraph (A)(i) and the estimate of
the Congressional Budget Office
required under paragraph (5)(D)(ii);
and
(II) legislative language to carry
out the recommendations of the Rescue
Committee in the report described in
subclause (I), which shall include a
statement of the economic and budgetary
effects of the recommendations during
the 75-year period beginning on the
date described in paragraph (1).
(ii) Advisory nature.–Any proposed change
to the Standing Rules of the Senate or the
Rules of the House of Representatives included
in a report or legislative language under
clause (i) shall be considered to be merely
advisory.
(iii) Approval of report and legislative
language.–A report and legislative language of
a Rescue Committee under clause (i) shall
require the approval of a majority of the
members of the Rescue Committee, provided that
such majority shall be required to include not
less than 2 members of each party.
(iv) Additional views.–
(I) In general.–A member of a
Rescue Committee who gives notice of an
intention to file supplemental,
minority, or additional views at the
time of the final Rescue Committee vote
on the approval of the report and
legislative language of the Rescue
Committee under clause (i) shall be
entitled to 3 days to file those views
in writing with the staff director of
the Rescue Committee.
(II) Inclusion in report.–Views
filed under subclause (I) shall be
included in the report of the relevant
Rescue Committee under clause (i) and
printed in the same volume, or part
thereof, and such inclusion shall be
noted on the cover of the report,
except that, in the absence of timely
notice, the report may be printed and
transmitted immediately without such
views.
(v) Report and legislative language to be
made public.–Upon the approval or disapproval
of a report and legislative language under
clause (i) by a Rescue Committee, the Rescue
Committee shall promptly make the report, the
legislative language, and a record of the vote
on the report and legislative language
available to the public.
(vi) Submission of report and legislative
language.–If a report and legislative language
are approved by a Rescue Committee under clause
(i), not later than 3 days after the date on
which the report and legislative language are
made available to the public under clause (v),
the Rescue Committee shall submit the report
and legislative language to the President, the
Vice President, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, and the majority and minority
leaders of each House of Congress.
(vii) Rule of construction.–Nothing in
this subparagraph shall be construed to
prohibit a Rescue Committee from voting on a
report and legislative language under clause
(i) before November 12, 2020.
(4) Membership.–
(A) In general.–Each Rescue Committee shall be
composed of 12 members appointed in accordance with
subparagraph (B).
(B) Appointment.–Not later than 14 days after the
date described in paragraph (1), with respect to each
Rescue Committee–
(i) the majority leader of the Senate shall
appoint 3 individuals from among the Members of
the Senate who shall serve as members of the
Rescue Committee;
(ii) the minority leader of the Senate
shall appoint 3 individuals from among the
Members of the Senate who shall serve as
members of the Rescue Committee;
(iii) the Speaker of the House of
Representatives shall appoint 3 individuals
from among the Members of the House of
Representatives who shall serve as members of
the Rescue Committee; and
(iv) the minority leader of the House of
Representatives shall appoint 3 individuals
from among the Members of the House of
Representatives who shall serve as members of
the Rescue Committee.
(C) Co-chairs.–
(i) In general.–Not later than 14 days
after the date described in paragraph (1), with
respect to each Rescue Committee–
(I) the majority leader of the
Senate shall appoint 1 individual from
among the members of the Rescue
Committee who shall serve as a co-chair
of the Rescue Committee; and
(II) the Speaker of the House of
Representatives shall appoint 1
individual from among the members of
the Rescue Committee who shall serve as
a co-chair of the Rescue Committee.
(ii) Staff director.–With respect to each
Rescue Committee, the co-chairs of the Rescue
Committee, acting jointly, shall hire the staff
director of the Rescue Committee.
(D) Period of appointment.–
(i) In general.–The members of a Rescue
Committee shall be appointed for the life of
the Rescue Committee.
(ii) Vacancy.–
(I) In general.–Any vacancy in a
Rescue Committee shall not affect the
powers of the Rescue Committee, but
shall be filled not later than 14 days
after the date on which the vacancy
occurs, in the same manner as the
original appointment was made.
(II) Ineligible members.–If a
member of a Rescue Committee ceases to
be a Member of the Senate or the House
of Representatives, as applicable–
(aa) the member shall no
longer be a member of the
Rescue Committee; and
(bb) a vacancy in the
Rescue Committee exists.
(5) Administration.–
(A) In general.–With respect to each Rescue
Committee, to enable the Rescue Committee to exercise
the powers, functions, and duties of the Rescue
Committee, there are authorized to be disbursed by the
Senate the actual and necessary expenses of the Rescue
Committee approved by the co-chairs of the Rescue
Committee, subject to the rules and regulations of the
Senate.
(B) Expenses.–With respect to each Rescue
Committee, in carrying out the functions of the Rescue
Committee, the Rescue Committee is authorized to incur
expenses in the same manner and under the same
conditions as the Joint Economic Committee is
authorized under section 11(d) of the Employment Act of
1946 (15 U.S.C. 1024(d)).
(C) Quorum.–With respect to each Rescue Committee,
7 members of the Rescue Committee shall constitute a
quorum for purposes of voting, meeting, and holding
hearings.
(D) Voting.–
(i) Proxy voting.–No proxy voting shall be
allowed on behalf of any member of a Rescue
Committee.
(ii) Congressional budget office
estimates.–
(I) In general.–The Director of
the Congressional Budget Office shall,
with respect to the legislative
language of a Rescue Committee under
paragraph (3)(B)(i)(II), provide to the
Rescue Committee–
(aa) estimates of the
legislative language in
accordance with sections 308(a)
and 201(f) of the Congressional
Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C.
639(a) and 601(f)); and
(bb) information on the
budgetary effect of the
legislative language during the
75-year period beginning on the
date described in paragraph
(1).
(II) Limitation.–A Rescue
Committee may not vote on any version
of the report, recommendations, or
legislative language of the Rescue
Committee under paragraph (3)(B)(i)
unless the estimates and information
described in subclause (I) of this
clause are made available for
consideration by all members of the
Rescue Committee not later than 48
hours before that vote, as certified by
the co-chairs of the Rescue Committee.
(E) Meetings.–
(i) Initial meeting.–Not later than 45
days after the date described in paragraph (1),
each Rescue Committee shall hold the first
meeting of the Rescue Committee.
(ii) Agenda.–For each meeting of each
Rescue Committee, the co-chairs of the Rescue
Committee shall provide an agenda to the
members of the Rescue Committee not later than
48 hours before the meeting.
(F) Hearings.–
(i) In general.–Each Rescue Committee may,
for the purpose of carrying out this section,
hold such hearings, sit and act at such times
and places, require attendance of witnesses and
production of books, papers, and documents,
take such testimony, receive such evidence, and
administer such oaths as the Rescue Committee
considers advisable.
(ii) Hearing procedures and
responsibilities of co-chairs.–
(I) Announcement.–The co-chairs of
each Rescue Committee shall make a
public announcement of the date, place,
time, and subject matter of any hearing
to be conducted under this subparagraph
not later than 7 days before the date
of the hearing, unless the co-chairs
determine that there is good cause to
begin such hearing on an earlier date.
(II) Written statement.–A witness
appearing before a Rescue Committee
shall file a written statement of the
proposed testimony of the witness not
later than 2 days before the date of
the appearance of the witness, unless
the co-chairs of the Rescue Committee–
(aa) determine that there
is good cause for the witness
to not file the written
statement; and
(bb) waive the requirement
that the witness file the
written statement.
(G) Technical assistance.–Upon written request of
the co-chairs of a Rescue Committee, the head of a
Federal agency shall provide technical assistance to
the Rescue Committee in order for the Rescue Committee
to carry out the duties of the Rescue Committee.
(b) Staff of Rescue Committee.–
(1) In general.–The co-chairs of a Rescue Committee may
jointly appoint and fix the compensation of staff of the Rescue
Committee as the co-chairs determine necessary, in accordance
with the guidelines, rules, and requirements relating to
employees of the Senate.
(2) Ethical standards.–
(A) Senate.–Members of the Senate who serve on a
Rescue Committee and staff of the Rescue Committee
shall adhere to the ethics rules of the Senate.
(B) House of representatives.–Members of the House
of Representatives who serve on a Rescue Committee
shall be governed by the ethics rules and requirements
of the House of Representatives.
(c) Termination.–Each Rescue Committee shall terminate on the day
after the date of the sine die adjournment of the 116th Congress.

SEC. 5. EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF RESCUE COMMITTEE BILLS.
(a) Qualifying Legislation.–Only a Rescue Committee bill shall be
entitled to expedited consideration under this section.
(b) Consideration in the House of Representatives.–
(1) Introduction.–If a Rescue Committee approves and
submits legislative language under clauses (i) and (vi),
respectively, of section 4(a)(3)(B), a Rescue Committee bill
consisting solely of that legislative language may be
introduced in the House of Representatives (by request)–
(A) by the majority leader of the House of
Representatives, or by a Member of the House of
Representatives designated by the majority leader of
the House of Representatives, on the next legislative
day; or
(B) if the Rescue Committee bill is not introduced
under subparagraph (A), by any Member of the House of
Representatives on any legislative day beginning on the
legislative day after the legislative day described in
subparagraph (A).
(2) Referral and reporting.–Any committee of the House of
Representatives to which a Rescue Committee bill is referred
shall report the Rescue Committee bill to the House of
Representatives without amendment not later than 10 legislative
days after the date on which the Rescue Committee bill was so
referred. If a committee of the House of Representatives fails
to report a Rescue Committee bill within that period, it shall
be in order to move that the House of Representatives discharge
the committee from further consideration of the Rescue
Committee bill. Such a motion shall not be in order after the
last committee authorized to consider the Rescue Committee bill
reports it to the House of Representatives or after the House
of Representatives has disposed of a motion to discharge the
Rescue Committee bill. The previous question shall be
considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without
intervening motion except 20 minutes of debate equally divided
and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. If such a
motion is adopted, the House of Representatives shall proceed
immediately to consider the Rescue Committee bill in accordance
with paragraphs (3) and (4). A motion to reconsider the vote by
which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.
(3) Proceeding to consideration.–After the last committee
authorized to consider a Rescue Committee bill reports it to
the House of Representatives or has been discharged (other than
by motion) from its consideration, it shall be in order to move
to proceed to consider the Rescue Committee bill in the House
of Representatives. Such a motion shall not be in order after
the House of Representatives has disposed of a motion to
proceed with respect to the Rescue Committee bill. The previous
question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its
adoption without intervening motion. A motion to reconsider the
vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.
(4) Consideration.–The Rescue Committee bill shall be
considered as read. All points of order against the Rescue
Committee bill and against its consideration are waived. The
previous question shall be considered as ordered on the Rescue
Committee bill to its passage without intervening motion except
2 hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the
proponent and an opponent and 1 motion to limit debate on the
Rescue Committee bill. A motion to reconsider the vote on
passage of the Rescue Committee bill shall not be in order.
(5) Vote on passage.–The vote on passage of the Rescue
Committee bill shall occur not later than 3 legislative days
after the date on which the last committee authorized to
consider the Rescue Committee bill reports it to the House of
Representatives or is discharged.
(c) Expedited Procedure in the Senate.–
(1) Introduction in the senate.–If a Rescue Committee
approves and submits legislative language under clauses (i) and
(vi), respectively, of section 4(a)(3)(B), a Rescue Committee
bill consisting solely of that legislative language may be
introduced in the Senate (by request)–
(A) by the majority leader of the Senate, or by a
Member of the Senate designated by the majority leader
of the Senate, on the next day on which the Senate is
in session; or
(B) if the Rescue Committee bill is not introduced
under subparagraph (A), by any Member of the Senate on
any day on which the Senate is in session beginning on
the day after the day described in subparagraph (A).
(2) Committee consideration.–A Rescue Committee bill
introduced in the Senate under paragraph (1) shall be jointly
referred to the committee or committees of jurisdiction, which
committees shall report the Rescue Committee bill without any
revision and with a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable
recommendation, or without recommendation, not later than 10
session days after the date on which the Rescue Committee bill
was so referred. If any committee to which a Rescue Committee
bill is referred fails to report the Rescue Committee bill
within that period, that committee shall be automatically
discharged from consideration of the Rescue Committee bill, and
the Rescue Committee bill shall be placed on the appropriate
calendar.
(3) Proceeding.–Notwithstanding rule XXII of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, it is in order, not later than 2 days of
session after the date on which a Rescue Committee bill is
reported or discharged from all committees to which the Rescue
Committee bill was referred, for the majority leader of the
Senate or the designee of the majority leader to move to
proceed to the consideration of the Rescue Committee bill. It
shall also be in order for any Member of the Senate to move to
proceed to the consideration of the Rescue Committee bill at
any time after the conclusion of such 2-day period. A motion to
proceed is in order even though a previous motion to the same
effect has been disagreed to. All points of order against the
motion to proceed to the Rescue Committee bill are waived. The
motion to proceed is not debatable. The motion is not subject
to a motion to postpone. A motion to reconsider the vote by
which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in
order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the
Rescue Committee bill is agreed to, the Rescue Committee bill
shall remain the unfinished business until disposed of. All
points of order against a Rescue Committee bill and against
consideration of the Rescue Committee bill are waived.
(4) No amendments.–An amendment to a Rescue Committee
bill, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the
consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the
Rescue Committee bill, is not in order.
(5) Rulings of the chair on procedure.–Appeals from the
decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules
of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to
a Rescue Committee bill shall be decided without debate.
(d) Amendment.–A Rescue Committee bill shall not be subject to
amendment in either the Senate or the House of Representatives.
(e) Consideration by the Other House.–
(1) In general.–If, before passing a Rescue Committee
bill, a House receives from the other House a Rescue Committee
bill consisting of legislative language approved by the same
Rescue Committee as the Rescue Committee bill in the receiving
House–
(A) the Rescue Committee bill of the other House
shall not be referred to a committee; and
(B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be
the same as if no Rescue Committee bill had been
received from the other House until the vote on
passage, when the Rescue Committee bill received from
the other House shall supplant the Rescue Committee
bill of the receiving House.
(2) Revenue measures.–This subsection shall not apply to
the House of Representatives if a Rescue Committee bill
received from the Senate is a revenue measure.
(f) Rules To Coordinate Action With Other House.–
(1) Treatment of rescue committee bill of other house.–If
a Rescue Committee bill is not introduced in the Senate or the
Senate fails to consider a Rescue Committee bill under this
section, the Rescue Committee bill of the House of
Representatives consisting of legislative language approved by
the same Rescue Committee as the Rescue Committee bill in the
Senate shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under
this section.
(2) Treatment of companion measures in the senate.–If,
following passage of a Rescue Committee bill in the Senate, the
Senate then receives from the House of Representatives a Rescue
Committee bill approved by the same Rescue Committee and
consisting of the same legislative language as the Senate-
passed Rescue Committee bill, the House-passed Rescue Committee
bill shall not be debatable. The vote on passage of the Rescue
Committee bill in the Senate shall be considered to be the vote
on passage of the Rescue Committee bill received from the House
of Representatives.
(3) Vetoes.–If the President vetoes a Rescue Committee
bill, consideration of a veto message in the Senate under this
paragraph shall be 10 hours equally divided between the
majority and minority leaders of the Senate or the designees of
the majority and minority leaders of the Senate.

SEC. 6. FUNDING.

Funding for each Rescue Committee shall be derived in equal
portions from–
(1) the contingent fund of the Senate from the
appropriations account “Miscellaneous Items”, subject to the
rules and regulations of the Senate; and
(2) the applicable accounts of the House of
Representatives.

SEC. 7. RULEMAKING.
The provisions of this Act are enacted by Congress–
(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate
and the House of Representatives, respectively, and, as such,
the provisions–
(A) shall be considered as part of the rules of
each House, respectively, or of that House to which
they specifically apply; and
(B) shall supersede other rules only to the extent
that they are inconsistent therewith; and
(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of
either House to change such rules (so far as relating to such
House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent
as in the case of any other rule of such House.

Cartoon courtesy of Tom Stiglich

Tulsi Gabbard is the co-sponsor of a terrific Social Security bill also endorsed by Mark Meadows – Trump’s new Chief of Staff

Talk about strange bill-fellows!

Mark Meadows

HR 860 (Social Security 2100 Act) has gained the endorsement of former Republican Congressman Mark Meadows. A founder of the House Freedom Caucus in 2015, Meadows was just named White House Chief of Staff by President Donald Trump.

This same House bill to modernize Social Security is co-sponsored by Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She has hundreds of thousands of contributors in her active quest for the Democrat Party’s nomination for President in the November general election.

Unfortunately, the bill is held up in the House Ways and Means, House Education and Labor, and House Energy and Commerce committees.

Despite hundreds of supporters for passage of the bill, the Speaker of the House has not called for a vote in more than a year.

HR 860 establishes the Social Security Trust Fund to replace the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund.

  • It would provide an immediate increase for beneficiaries equal to 2% of the average benefit
  • HR 860 would set the minimum benefit at 25% above the poverty line
  • The law would change the way the annual cost-of-living adjustment is calculated to include medical and other expenses significant for seniors..
  • The plan raises the limits on non-Social Security income before benefits begin to be taxed. The new caps would go to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples, up from the current (1986 original) $25,000 and $32,000. This includes mandated RMDs, which cause double taxation for many.
Tulsi Gabbard

To pay for those changes to sustain the system through the end of the 21st century, the plan would also apply payroll taxes to wages more than $400,000, and gradually increase the contribution rate for both workers and employers to 7.4% from 6.2% of wages between 2020 and 2043.

This bill is backed by groups including the AFL-CIO, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and Social Security Works.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn is spearheading the effort to pass this real reform. He currently has 202 members of the House ready to vote for it. He has also talked to Ivanka Trump and others in the White House and hopes for bipartisan support.

One needed area of support to get the bill passed will be the Senate, as well as the president. There are indications that the administration is at least considering the issue, Larson said.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has also met with the bill’s supporters several times and she likes the approach.

But the big surprise is the  support for the measure by Conservative leader Mark Meadows.

The plot thickens when you realize Meadows replaced Mick Mulvaney as Chief of Staff.

Mulvaney has publicly pushed for radical benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare as recently as two weeks ago. He was a co-founder of Freedom Works with Meadows, and the two began with the same negative views on so-called “entitlements”, but now find themselves on opposite sides.

When Trump exiled Mulvaney to Northern Ireland last week and brought in Meadows it provided a great relief to advocates for seniors.

After hearing from his mother last year on how crucial Social Security benefits and Medicare are to her budget, Meadows changed his mind in October, last year, and said he plans to work with Larson to come up with a Social Security fix.

“It is a bipartisan issue,” Meadows said in an interview

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) is encouraging its members to raise the issue at debates and town halls. Passing HR 860 has been a taboo subject for media reporters so far this primary season.

Meanwhile, Mulvaney’s enthusiasm to take away people’s earned benefits mirrors the motives of Mitch McConnell, who has called for Social Security and Medicare to be “adjusted” (destroyed).  However, the Senate Majority Leader has met his match with Meadows, who will wield significant power as WH Chief of Staff, dealing not only with Trump, but also the Senate and House.

Why are so many in Congress, as well as the last five Presidents, so anxious to cut senior benefits by raising the retirement age, reducing Cost of Living Adjustments, or privatizing the insurance program? Reagan and Obama used commissions to urge reductions in benefits, while Trump, Clinton and the Bush duo sought cuts in their proposed budgets.

Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works (SSW) explained “the private sector is incapable of providing the wage and health insurance that Social Security and Medicare provide as efficiently, universally, securely or effectively as the federal government.”

Insurance works best when the greatest numbers of people are covered. The only entity that can require that everyone is covered and pays premiums as soon as they start working is the federal government. That is one of the reasons both Social Security and Medicare work so well.

And that is why Mulvaney, McConnell, and other opponents of these programs want to end them. These programs put the lie to their ideological zealotry, which insists that the private sector is always better than government.

Altman said the new crusade against Social Security uses words like “reform” and opponents pretend to like the program.

Mulvaney, McConnell, and other opponents hide their straightforward ideological opposition. Rather, these opponents subversively seek to undermine confidence in Social Security’s and Medicare’s future by asserting that both programs are not affordable.

Worse, in their efforts to end Social Security and Medicare, they seek to turn Americans against each other. They tell us that seniors are taking from children, that people with disabilities are taking from seniors.

The public should cheer now that Mulvaney has been exiled to the Green Island. When explaining to a conference that he had plans for Social Security after the 2020 election, Mulvaney predicted:

In the long term you’ll have to make more major changes. The president has asked me to fix the easy stuff first.

In defending HR 860 and other bills to improve Social Security, Altman was adamant:

These opponents will not give up. And neither must we. Expanding, not cutting, our Social Security and Medicare is profoundly wise policy and is overwhelmingly popular.

But it will only become a reality if we keep our voices loud, reminding our political leaders that it’s voters, not donors, to whom they must account next election day.

STEM grad still living at home? Amazon and the other tech giants save billions by hiring foreigners, thanks to an ICE ripoff.

Last year, Amazon revenues were $232,000,000,000 – the same total amount as all the combined 2018 budgets of the following U.S. federal departments:

Small Business Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, Department of Labor, Treasury Department, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, State Department, Department of Justice, Department of Energy, and Department of Education

Amazon’s corporate filing reveals that, far from paying the newly-lowered 21 percent tax rate on its immense U.S. income in 2018, the company received a federal income tax rebate of $129 million.

Not satisfied with no corporate income tax, Amazon and other firms are avoiding FICA’s employer/employee 15.3% levy for Social Security and Medicare. Here’s how the scheme works, and why it can hurt your family:

The major tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, all benefit from a deal that allows them to hire tens of thousands of recent graduate software engineers, programmers and other STEM students for up to three years with renewals, and even longer if approved for a work visa.

The scheme is the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which exempts non-citizen workers from paying both FICA and Medicare taxes. Employers are also exempt from their matching share.

OPT’s lost taxes represent money that should be funding Social Security and senior health insurance – Medicare. While deficit hawks say these programs are underfunded, they are also the same politicians who have promoted OPT and its no-tax loopholes.

The exemption works this way, for example. An American, who earns $80,000 total a year, nets $73,888, vs. the OPT worker’s net of the full $80,000. In addition, the company saves $6,120 in payroll expense.

Meanwhile, universities are also pushing for even more OPT workers, because it allows them to exclude American candidates in favor of higher-tuition foreign students. This is especially true in graduate schools.

The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) said: “the fate of the optional training program could be critical for universities. International students make up about 80 percent of full-time graduate students in the United States in electrical engineering and computer science, and faculty rely on them for research assistance.”

The foundation is run by leadership associated with CATO Institute, a pro immigration group funded by the Koch foundations.

Some questions for NFAP? Why aren’t 80% of the positions taken by Americans, rather than vice-versa? Does this surplus of foreign grads, versus citizens, also account for the relatively low pay for workers with advanced degrees in the STEM disciplines?

Author Hillary Gamm was recently interviewed on SiriusXM, and she explained how OPT started. Gamm is author of Billions Lost: The American Tech Crisis and The Road Map to Change.

OPT started … in the Bush administration and then what Obama did … was he went from creating something that allowed foreign children studying in the United States to work for like six months or a year to instead be able to work three years and then get a renewal for up to five to six years.

So what’s happening today is you’ll have children that are American citizens, where parents have basically bankrupted themselves to send their kids to these American universities and they’ll be sitting alongside their foreign friends who are … earning the same degree. And those foreign children will have a job offer in hand when they graduate and the American child will not have even gotten an interview for that same company.

Tech giants employ thousands of OPT foreign workers annually, instead of American STEM graduates. In 2017 alone, Amazon placed nearly 2,400 OPT foreign workers into white-collar STEM jobs that should have gone to Americans.

Gamm said OPT is not a visa. It is actually administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which exempts the employer and employee from FICA taxes.

Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS, (R-AZ) has introduced legislation – the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act– to end the OPT program abuses and decrease foreign job competition for our STEM graduates.

The bill passed the House, 385-65. Corporate lackeys will kill it in the Senate.

As an aside, one game played in Congress is for House members to vote on bills they want killed, gaining positive publicity, but knowing that the bill will never pass the Senate, so their vote was just fake to get votes.

Employers are getting richer by hiring workers under the table. Politicians fall for the tired scam of “jobs Americans won’t do.”

It was a morning air flight last month in Philadelphia, and I was moving through security at the TSA Pre® line, when the alarm sounded. Pulled aside, I was told to send my wallet and glasses through a conveyor. I couldn’t reach the belt from where I stood, so I asked the TSA agent nearby where to place the items.

Shut up and do what you’re told, he snarled.

Welcome to the world of government arrogance, power and rudeness.

I wondered how I would be treated if I were not an American citizen, who never missed a day of work in 48 years, was never arrested, paid maximum FICA taxes every year, registered for the draft, and even once worked for our United States Information Agency to spread good news about America around the globe?

Life isn’t fair. And today, neither are the rules for citizenship, hassle-free travel, paying taxes or getting a job.

Take the undocumented stranger, paperless person, or whatever new-speak you prefer.

Any foreigner, younger than 21, can claim one of their parents is abusive, and they are given access to a U.S. work visa, driver’s license, even a real Social Security card. They can fly anywhere in the USA, work where they want, and even vote in school board elections in places in California.

If you are under 18 you can claim to be a child (unlike our soldiers, who are men at 17 when they join). That designation means you cannot be sent back across the border and must be released into the United States after 20 days, and be assigned to a person (not necessarily a parent) living in the United States.

If you bring a child with you and claim to be their parent, both of you are released into any one of various cities around the country with free transport provided by bus or plane.

And if you just lie, and don’t attend your hearing years away, the result of this deception is that you get a chance to join the underground economy – meaning no payroll and no income taxes.

Someone who doesn’t pay taxes always costs capitalist employers less than someone who does. Levies like FICA – 7.65% for the employee –  are matched by your employer. If both of you don’t pay FICA, your boss saves 15.3% off your wages. This under-the-table hiring is one major reason that Social Security is fiscally underfunded.

In America, today, what’s good for business is promoted as good for everyone. And nothing is better for generating more profits for owners than lower wages for workers.


Which brings me to Threecard Monte – also called Find the Lady and Three-card Trick – a con game to scam rubes of their money.

The three cards in the real immigration policy are:

  1. A GOP or Democrat politician, who is paid above the table (campaign contributions) and below the table (graft and corruption) to increase the number of workers in the nation to lower wages for the rest of us.
  2. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, dominated by international firms and corporate campaign contributors, which also wants higher unemployment and fierce competition to lower pay scales..
  3. A well-meaning citizen, who is repeatedly told that wages rise when more folks fight for jobs, that working under the table is good for hiring cheap nannies, and that real Americans don’t like to do certain jobs, especially if their hands might get dirty.

The media always picks the #3 card, and tries to convince the rest of us we are all winners.

Want proof of this conspiracy?

Both houses of Congress decided in 2012 that requiring employers to check the Social Security (SS) numbers of their workers, versus the real SS database was just an imposition on business that prevented scooping up as much profit as possible. The Social Security Administration (SSA) had been making these comparisons to W-2 forms since 1993, and notifying problems by mail.

At the time the letters were portrayed as unnecessary regulation. Indeed, how many fake social security numbers could possibly be in play – a hundred employers, maybe as many as a thousand? That’s no big deal in an economy that employs 129 million.

In March, Donald Trump and his new Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Alex Azar, announced that the first warning letters were mailed.

And there weren’t 100 or 1,000.

Some 570,000 employers were informed of W-2 and Social Security information discrepancies. If each company had 20 workers affected, that’s more than 11 million jobs.

The GOP and most Democrats were silent, realizing that voters believed fair employment rules made sense and they wouldn’t agree with protest of a legal procedure.

But the wide-eyed, well-meaning and often fooled – weren’t happy.  Some Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to the SSA last month calling on SSA to stop reporting the errors. Even my old friend, Rep. Dwight Evans, fell for the no-enforcement scam.

But that is the tip of the iceberg. At least these workers paid FICA, even though it didn’t go into any real worker account.

What about the millions who work under the table in construction, hospitality and carrying money and orders to and from lobbyists and Congress? How is the government cracking down on that law-breaking?

In the 12 months ending this March, about 112,000 people were prosecuted for illegal entry or re-entry.

And since many of them were working – legally or with fake papers – how many employers faced prosecution for violating labor laws?

The results were:

  • 85,727 persons were prosecuted for illegal entry to the U.S. during the 12-months ending in March.
  • 34,627 were prosecuted for illegal re-entry in that time.
  • 11 individuals were prosecuted for hiring undocumented workers.
  • 3 received jail time.
  • 0 companies were prosecuted for hiring undocumented workers.

If you wonder who is pushing for more legal and illegal immigration, it’s not like the old days when they brought over the Irish or Polish by the millions to do hard work at low wages with no unions.

Today’s shakers of policy, including immigration, are smooth-talking, lewdly-rich, pretenders of purity, who use a little of their dough in a recipe of financial control, sprinkled with doses of fake concern for humanity.

Enter the Koch Brothers, who together are almost as rich as Jeffrey Preston Bezos.

These big corporate donors to the Republican establishment ($889 million in 2016 alone), have now praised House Democrats’ mass amnesty effort through organizations the Kochs control, including the Libre Initiative and Americans for Prosperity. In a statement praising a recent House vote, the Kochs contended:

Today’s vote to provide a path to permanent legal status for the Dreamers and TPS recipients is a positive step,” Libre Initiative president Daniel Garza said.

The Dreamers know no other home than the United States. Every day they contribute to our economy and communities, but there is one big thing holding them back: the uncertainty around their status. Until and unless the law changes – giving them a way to remain legally in the United States – they remain limited in contributing to America’s success.

We are hopeful that this vote sets the stage for discussions among leaders in both parties, in both the House and Senate. Given the extraordinary level of support for the Dreamers among the American people, this can’t be the end of the discussion. It has to be a new beginning – the start of a discussion about how to move legislation through the House and Senate and have it signed by the president. We are thankful to lawmakers who support this important effort.

The Kochs have indicated they will no longer support Republicans who don’t follow their philosophy of open borders, privatizing Social Security and Medicare, ending all inheritance taxes, replacing the progressive income tax with a sales tax, and halting tariffs imposed by the United States. Democrats who buy in, get the payout.

In a reversal of prior contributions the Kochs (sons of John Birch Society founder Fred Koch) say they will now also fund Democrats who support their philosophy of privatization at all costs.

The next time a candidate promises, don’t look at their party label, or blindly trust what they say. Remember politicians don’t necessarily put all their cards on the table, and what you see is not always what you get.

Military wants $124 billion ($300 million each) to buy planes to equal China’s J-20 ($40 million each); elites want to cut Social Security to pay for this!

If we treat the military budget like Social Security, our Army will consist of only one “Mad Dog” and 3 puppies

The Social Security Trust Fund now totals $2,892,000,000  – just about the highest amount in history, and some scolds are still sad.

Mr. Gloom

To promote their austerity charade, the front groups of the Koch Brothers (descendants of the co-founder of the John Birch Society) just released their attack dog, John Stossel.

J. S. rants on FOX News about silly things, even suggesting everyone should save some 20% of their wages for retirement and maintaining that the poor don’t need luxuries like public schools or highways.

Social Security is running out of money. You may not believe that, but it’s a fact. That FICA money taken from your paycheck was not saved for you in a “trust fund.” Politicians misled us. They spent every penny the moment it came in. – Stossel (worth $4 million) laments.

Continue reading “If we treat the military budget like Social Security, our Army will consist of only one “Mad Dog” and 3 puppies”

Federal Reserve is now big part of National Debt for bailing out banks; Social Security $$ not owed to us?

What government pretends to owe…

National DebtThe Social Security Trust Fund of some $2.8 trillion is often listed in charts – such as the one above – as part of the National Debt. This particular graphic, the latest available, is from the Federal Reserve, an institution that is part of the huge debt and is owed $2.465 trillion by taxpayers.

The difference between the Social Security “debt” and the Fed debt is an amazing accounting sleight of a sharp pencil. Continue reading “Federal Reserve is now big part of National Debt for bailing out banks; Social Security $$ not owed to us?”

H-2A workers don’t pay Social Security (FICA) tax, neither do the millionaires who are exploiting them

Foreign agricultural workers temporarily admitted into the United States on H-2A visas are exempt from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes on compensation paid to them for services performed in connection with the H-2A visa. This is true whether they are resident aliens or nonresident aliens.

In addition, compensation paid to H-2A agricultural workers for services performed in connection with the H-2A visa is not considered to be “wages” for purposes of federal income tax withholding, and thus is not subject to mandatory withholding of U.S. federal income tax…Internal Revenue Service

More than 160,000 new temporary (up to three years extension allowed) workers were issued H-2A Visas last year, with about half of those going to Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Washington and California. Their employers did not pay the company share (6.2%) for FICA (Social Security) or Medicare tax (1.45%). Their bosses didn’t even withhold income taxes, making net pay almost the same same as gross pay. Continue reading “H-2A workers don’t pay Social Security (FICA) tax, neither do the millionaires who are exploiting them”