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Pallone Discusses Devastating Impact of GOP Tax Scam on Seniors

December 18, 2017
Press Release

New Brunswick, N.J. – On Monday, December 18, at the Middlesex County Administration Building in New Brunswick, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) discussed the devastating impact of the GOP Tax Scam on Senior Citizens. Republicans have hinted that they will use new deficits created by the tax plan to justify significant cuts to Medicare & Social Security. Because the GOP Tax Scam violates the “paygo” requirement under budget sequestration, Medicare faces a $25 billion cut if this bill is enacted.

The 2010 Pay-As-You-Go Act requires immediate, across-the-board spending reductions to many mandatory programs for any bill that reduces taxes and doesn't fully offset them with revenue increases elsewhere. Since “Paygo” rules can’t be waived through the tax bill, Republicans plan to include an exemption in the continuing resolution that is also going to be considered in the House this week. The outcome of the continuing resolution is very much in question and there is no certainty that seniors will avoid the impact of this $25 billion cut to Medicare. 

The tax plan also applies chained-CPI to tax provisions, which would likely lead to chained-CPI being applied to Social Security. That change would mean that Social Security recipients receive lower cost of living adjustments.

“Seniors have paid into and earned their Social Security and Medicare benefits,” said Pallone. “They should not face drastic cuts because Republicans want to slash tax rates for large corporations and the wealthiest of Americans. The GOP Tax Scam is already a disaster for New Jersey, but the nightmare will continue when Republicans try to pay for it by gutting programs that help making working families make ends meet.”

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has made it clear that cutting entitlements will be a top priority in 2018. Last week he stated that “there are two things you have to do to get this debt under control: reform the entitlement programs, which are on autopilot, and grow the economy.” Ryan has been an advocate for turning Medicare into a voucher program and raising the eligibility age.

Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2018. They only received a 0.3 percent increase in 2017 and under Chained-CPI they would receive even smaller increases than under the standard Consumer Price Index.

Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios; Middlesex County Freeholder Blanquita Valenti; Gerry Mackenzie, Department Head, Middlesex County Department of Community Services; and Laila Caune, Director, Middlesex County Office of Aging & Disabled Services joined Congressman Pallone at the event.