Page 27 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - July 2018 - 25-07
P. 27

From The
Sherii Sherban, Special to Senior Times
Senior Times - July 2018
Page 27
Dr. Tarek Elshaarawy, M.D.
has joined our team at Vascular Health Center. Please call 269-979-6310 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Elshaarawy.
CENTER provides state
of the art services by experienced vascular specialists, using cutting edge equipment to handle your most challenging vascular needs.
With more than 60 years of combined Vascular Surgical experience, let Vascular Health Center be your choice for excellent care.
Servicing Oaklawn, Bronson Battle Creek and Borgess Hospitals.
Located in the back of Brickyard Creek Office Complex at the end of the road. 3790 Capital Ave., S.W., Battle Creek MI 49015 • M-F 8:30-5:00PM Office: 269-979-6310 • Fax: 269-979-8807
For the first time in 36 years, accord- ing to the trustees of Social Security and Medicare, they will have to dip into the Trust Fund to meet its obligations.
In the 2018 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced: • The asset reserves of the combined
OASDI Trust Funds increased by $44 billion in 2017 to a total of $2.89 tril- lion.
• The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income in 2018 for the first time since 1982, and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period. As a result, asset reserves are expected to decline during 2018.Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010.
• The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2034 – the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits.
“The Trustees’ projected depletion date of the combined Social Security Trust Funds has not changed, and slightly more than three-fourths of ben- efits would still be payable after deple- tion,” said Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “But the fact remains that Congress can keep Social Security strong by taking action to ensure the future of the program.”
The Trustees believe that unless something is done about the viability of Social Security, benefits would have to be reduced starting in 2034.
Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:
• Social Security paid benefits of more
than $941 billion in calendar year 2017. There were about 62 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.
• The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 2.84 percent of taxable payroll – slightly larger than the 2.83 percent projected in last year’s report.
• During 2017, an estimated 174 mil- lion people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.
• The cost of $6.5 billion to administer the Social Security program in 2017 was a very low 0.7 percent of total expenditures.
• The combined Trust Fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 3.0 percent in 2017.
“Perhaps lawmakers will now
take the action necessary, in a timely fashion, to ensure the viability of the retirement and health care programs American workers invest in each pay- day. In fact, AMAC has been working with our representatives in Washington urging them to do just that,” says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC).
AMAC’s proposal has FOUR Prime Directives:
1. Increase benefits for those with lower earnings.
2. Achieve solvency and ensure bene- fits continue.
3. Treat beneficiaries more equally.
4. Provide a means for all earners to have more income available at retire- ment.
Weber is hopeful that a Social Security Guarantee Act will be intro- duced in the House of Representatives soon. Such a law would deal with
the long-term solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund in several ways. It would set back the retirement age for new retirees and change the level of
payments for future retirees starting in 2022.
“As the population ages at a rapid pace – 10,000 of us turn 65 each and every year – retirement is likely to become a pipe dream for many of today’s workers. We need to make sure that the funding will be there for them when they need it. But we must do more,” says Weber.
Soon after President Trump was elected, Weber met with his transition team to discuss a variety of issues of concern to America’s seniors including Social Security. “We found that the administration was in sync with our concerns and the importance of a Social Security Guarantee for this genera-
tion and for future generations. Social Security is not an entitlement handout, as many would suggest; it’s an annuity workers pay for all their working lives, a retirement fund that is supposed to
be backed by the full faith and credit
of the United States. But the govern- ment now says it may not have enough money to sustain the program and that benefits may be cut in the future and that’s unacceptable.”
The promise to guarantee Social Security for all Americans must be kept. The AMAC plan is a com- bination of selected assumptions
taken from legislation introduced by Representative Sam Johnson (R) of Texas and Representative John Larson (D) of Connecticut to achieve what they believe is the best path to long-term Trust Fund solvency without raising taxes. It includes recommendations from the Social Security Advisory Board and AMAC.
View the 2018 Trustees Report at TR/2018/.
The Association of Mature American Citizens is a senior advocacy organiza- tion that takes its marching orders from its members. For more information visit
Publisher’s note: The AMAC pro- posal is just one potential solution to the challenge regarding the long-term viability of Social Security. To read more visit curity. Share your concerns, or sug- gestions, with your elected officials in Washington D.C. They are listed here for you convenience.
Michigan Senators – Each state elects two senators for staggered 6-year terms. Senators represent the entire state. Michigan’s senators are: Debbie Stabenow, Democrat
Next Election in 2018
202-224-4822, www.stabenow.senate. gov
Gary Peters, Democrat
Next Election in 2020
Michigan Representatives – The United States is divided into 435 con- gressional districts, each with a pop- ulation of about 710,000 individuals. Each district elects a representative to the U.S. House of Representatives for a two-year term. Representatives are also called congressmen/congresswom- en.
Justin Amash, Republican
3rd congressional district
Next Election in 2018
Fred Upton, Republican
6th congressional district
Next Election in 2018
Tim Walberg, Republican
7th congressional district
Next Election in 2018 202-225-6276, gov
Senior Day at the Park
National Amateur Baseball Federation World Series
Date: Thursday, August 9, 2018
RSVP: Call 269-966-2450 OR Email:
Gates open at 11:00am
First game at 12:00am
FREE Admission until 4:00pm
Come down and spend the day at the Ball Park!
C.O. BROWN STADIUM, 1392 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek
SENIORS and their families / caregivers
get in FREE until 4pm. First 200 seniors will get a box lunch, must RSVP Nurses: available 11:00-2:00 for vitals Games and Concessions all day!

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