News Column

Renacci Statement Following Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee Hearing

July 29, 2014



WASHINGTON, July 29 -- Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio (16th CD), issued the following news release:

Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16) today released the below statement following the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security hearing on what Americans need to know as they plan for retirement.

"According to the Social Security Trustees Report, the program's unfunded liabilities are at 10.6 trillion, that is $1 trillion more than last year. In today's hearing, we found out that $80 billion was added to the federal deficit this year due to Social Security's shortfall. Yet, this was not highlighted in the trustees' report. We do know, however, that the program will become insolvent by 2033, yet instead of addressing the issue we continue to kick the can down the road.

"As a CPA and former businessman, I came to Washington to bring a business perspective to an institution that sorely lacks it. We know that we spend more than we should, but the American people do not fully know the extent of our country's dire financial situation. This is partly due to the fact that the Treasury leaves some of the largest liabilities, including Social Security, off of its balance sheet.

"I introduced the Federal Financial Statement Transparency Act, a bipartisan bill that will lead to a more honest depiction of our nation's finances to ultimately allow Congress to better address our growing $17 trillion debt. Furthermore, a clean balance sheet will serve as a benchmark for the action that we must take to preserve our Social Security program for the seniors that rely on it and future generations. I am hopeful that my legislation will move through the legislative process quickly so that we can take the necessary steps to protect a program that Ohioans and Americans everywhere count on once they reach retirement."

In the 2014 Annual Report to Congress, the Social Security Trustees announced:

* The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2019. Beginning with 2020, the cost of the program is projected to exceed income.

* The projected point at which the combined trust fund reserves will become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, comes in 2033 - the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 77 percent of scheduled benefits.

* The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 2.88 percent of taxable payroll -- 0.16 percentage point larger than in last year's report.

During the hearing, Rep. Renacci had the opportunity to question Dr. Charles Blahous of the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees. Watch the question and answer exchange HERE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy9XVhqWKyg&feature=youtu.be).

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Source: Targeted News Service


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