Medicare’s finances were downgraded in a new report from the programÂ’s trustees Tuesday, while the projection for Social SecurityÂ’s stayed the same as last year.Â
MedicareÂ’s hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026,Â said the trustees who oversee the benefit program in an annual report. That is three years earlier than projected last year.
This year, like last year, Social SecurityÂ’s trustees said the programÂ’s two trust funds would be depleted in 2034.Â
For the first time since 1982, Social Security has to dip into the trust fund to pay for the program this year.Â
It should be stressed that the reports donÂ’t indicate that benefits disappear in those years. After 2034, Social SecurityÂ’s trustees said tax income would be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of retireesÂ’ benefits.Â
Congress could at any time choose to pay for the benefits through the general fund.
Medicare beneficiaries also wouldnÂ’t face an immediate cut after the trust fund is depleted in 2026. The trustees said the share of benefits that can be paid from revenues will decline to 78% in 2039. That share rises again to 85% in 2092. The hospital fund is financed mainly through payroll taxes.Â
Social Security trustees said that reserves for the fund that pays disability benefits would be exhausted in 2032. Combined with the fund that pays benefits to retirees, all Social Security reserves would be exhausted by 2034, they said.Â
The trustees said MedicareÂ’s changed outlook is due to adverse changes in the programÂ’s income and costs. Hospital insurance fund income is projected to be lower than last yearÂ’s estimates thanks to Â“lower payroll taxes attributable to lowered wages in 2017 and lower levels of projected GDP,Â” the trustees said.Â
And hospital insurance fund expenditures are expected to be higher than last yearÂ’s estimates, the trustees said.Â
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that Â“lackluster economic growth in previous years,Â” as well as an aging population, has contributed to shortages for both Social Security and Medicare. He said the Trump administrationÂ’s economic agenda, including tax cuts and trade deals, would generate growth and help to secure the programs.Â
AARP said in a statement that the report showed Â“challenges ahead for the long term,Â” and singled out health care for action during the election year. Â“In particular, we need to take further steps to lower the cost of health care, especially the ever-rising price of prescription drugs,Â” the organization said.
There should be a non-capped 10% Flat Tax in the USA on everyone including corporations.
The US National debt would disappear and Social Security would be funded.
Inequality would change course rather quickly and the middle class would reappear.
Once the national debt is gone... then we should peg the US dollar back to gold to control the spending habits of our politicians.
Not that I am a fan of personal income taxes. I would prefer consumption taxes over income taxes. (not sure how I feel about both existing simultaneously)
Sales taxes are regressive and hit the poorest the hardest. They should be abolished.
Real Estate Taxes seem a normal course of business for govt.
To do all this of course you should and probably would have to eventually "End the Fed"
What do you think?
By Guest Nicole
People worry a lot about the size of their tax bill this time of year, but the size of the bill simply to do their taxes often induces anxiety as well. Here are five simple ways to cut the cost of tax preparation.
1. Don’t pay for software you can get for free
A recent survey by NerdWallet and Harris Poll found that many taxpayers might be buying name-brand tax software that they could get at no cost through the IRS. That’s because people who made less than $64,000 during the 2016 tax year may qualify for the IRS’ Free File program, which gives them access to software from a range of providers, including big names like H&R Block and Intuit, which makes TurboTax.
If that’s you, the program is worth investigating. The IRS estimated in 2016 that more than 70% of American taxpayers — or about 100 million people — qualify to file their taxes for free through this program.
2. If you do pay for software, compare prices first
According to the NerdWallet survey, 40% of people who use tax software have used the same company for more than five years. Such loyalty can be expensive, because tax software prices change often and vary widely, even among competing versions designed for the same types of returns.
For example, freelancers who need software that can handle a Schedule C might want to compare the features of TurboTax’s online package for self-employed taxpayers, which sells for about $115 (plus $39.99 for a state return), with a similar offering from H&R Block that runs about $80 (plus $39.99 for a state return) or one from TaxSlayer priced at $35 (plus $22 for a state return).
3. Skip bells and whistles you don’t need
You may not need to pay for a provider’s high-end version if its less expensive version is good enough for your tax situation. Look carefully at the differences listed on the packages before you buy; it can cost around $20, sometimes more, to upgrade.
In fact, you may not need to pay at all. Even if you don’t qualify for the Free File option mentioned earlier, if your situation is simple enough many major tax-software providers run promotions that let you file a federal return — and often a state return — for free.
4. Avoid paying for human help if you can get it for free
Tax professionals charge $150 per hour on average to prepare federal and state returns, according to the National Society of Accountants. But many people might be able to get human help with tax prep or questions for free. Here are just some of the options:
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program helps community groups provide free tax services to people who generally earn $54,000 or less or who have disabilities or limited English skills. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program gives free tax help to anyone but specializes in issues relevant to older taxpayers. AARP’s Tax-Aide connects people with tax counselors who have advanced IRS training. There’s also an FAQ page where you can submit tax questions to IRS-certified volunteers. You don’t need an AARP membership to get help. Your tax software might come with free help from people via email, phone or online chat, though it’s more common among the higher-end paid versions. Ask your local tax pro. According to the National Society of Accountants, 89% of them offer free client consultations. 5. Get it together
If you’re hiring a tax preparer, don’t show up the day before the filing deadline, dump a pile of paper scraps on the desk and wish the person luck. You might end up paying hundreds more to get your taxes done. According to the National Society of Accountants, 24% of tax pros charge to expedite returns (the average fee is $85); 22% will hit you with a fee ($79 on average) if you show up with information after a set deadline; and 71% charge extra for disorganized or incomplete files (that runs an average $117).
Social Security informational documents about benefits for wounded warriors, 2017 cost of living adjustment for social security recipients and Medicare open enrollment.By TheWorldNewsOrg
Wounded Warrior 2016.doc
Medicare Open Enrollment 2016.doc
COLA for 2017.doc
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