8 New Social Security Bills in Congress Now

Link:https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/04/21/8-new-social-security-bills-in-congress-now/

Excerpt:

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, pressed House leaders Tuesday to pass the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust Act, H.R. 5723, which adopts the consumer price Index for the elderly as the basis of the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and applies the payroll tax to annual wages above $400,000.

“I wish to indicate our strong support for H.R. 5723 – Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust and encourage its prompt floor consideration this Congress,” Jayapal told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday in a letter.

The bill, Jayapal wrote, “increases benefits across the board at a time of higher inflation, protects low-income seniors, widows and widowers, ends wait-times for those with disabilities needing support and more. Crucially, it is paid for by making millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else by ensuring the payroll tax is applied to wages above $400,000.”

She urged Pelosi to move the bill to a vote in the House “as soon as possible.”

Author(s): Melanie Waddell

Publication Date: 21 April 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

A Politicized Fed Endangers the Economy

Link:https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-politicized-fed-endangers-economy-monetary-federal-reserve-powell-balance-sheet-climate-stress-test-social-justice-11642448983

Excerpt:

It is time to depoliticize monetary policy. First, instead of making the Fed’s mandate broader, Congress should consider narrowing it to one of price stability. The Fed’s contribution to achieving full employment should be through focusing on long-term price stability. Next, as we learn to live with Covid and as the economy continues to recover, the Fed must go beyond merely tapering its bond purchases. It must set out a credible process and timetable to unwind its balance sheet.

Should the Fed be called on again to exercise emergency powers, Congress must ensure those powers are of limited duration and that any credit facilities created are quickly transferred to the Treasury Department. Finally, the more improvisational and discretionary the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy, the more difficult it is to withstand political pressures. The Fed should move to a monetary-policy framework that is more systematic, predictable and transparent.

If politicized monetary policy doesn’t prove transitory, it is doubtful the Fed will be able to deliver either stable prices or maximum employment.

Author(s): Jeb Hensarling

Publication Date: 17 Jan 2021

Publication Site: WSJ

MishTalk TV Episode #1: Is Inflation Transitory or Not?

Link: https://mishtalk.com/economics/mishtalk-tv-episode-1-is-inflation-transitory-or-not

Excerpt:

The great debate is whether or not inflation is transitory. 

I discuss the pros and cons with Chris Temple at the National Investor. 

Chris is primarily in the “not transitory” camp, especially in regards to energy.

I discuss the “it is transitory” case. 

In  my view, much depends on what Congress does or doesn’t do and I do not think the matter is settled, depending of course on the duration of “transitory”.

Author(s): Mike Shedlock, Chris Temple

Publication Date: 20 Sept 2021

Publication Site: Mish Talk

Labor Shortage Draws Attention of U.S. Lawmakers

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/labor-shortage-draws-attention-of-u-s-lawmakers-11622712602

Excerpt:

Congressional lawmakers from both parties are considering incentives such as providing federal funding to pay for hiring bonuses for workers and expanded tax credits for employers. A handful of states are moving to implement such programs on their own, without waiting for Washington.

Some economists, Republican lawmakers and business owners say enhanced federal unemployment benefits are contributing to the labor shortage, because many workers receive more in government aid than they would get on the job. Those benefits — $300 a week on top of regular state payments — are due to expire after Labor Day.

Other economists say the payments have provided a boost to many lower-income families, who have disproportionately lost jobs in the coronavirus pandemic, while in turn pushing money back into the broader economy.

Author(s): Kate Davidson

Publication Date: 3 June 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Cuomo: Congress must include SALT cap repeal in future legislation

Link: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/549083-cuomo-congress-must-include-salt-cap-repeal-in-future-legislation

Excerpt:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday urged Congress to include repeal of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap in future legislation as House Democrats from the state are pushing to include such a repeal in an infrastructure package.

“Don’t pass another bill until you fully repeal SALT,” Cuomo said during a news conference.

Cuomo’s remarks came as he signed a state budget that raises state taxes for wealthy individuals and lowers taxes for the middle class.

The legislation Cuomo signed Monday raises the top state tax income rate to 10.9 percent for income above $25 million. It also continues phasing in tax cuts for middle-class households that were first enacted in 2016 and provides an income tax credit for certain homeowners with income up to $250,000.

Author(s): Naomi Jagoda

Publication Date: 19 April 2021

Publication Site: The Hill

Bill Reintroduced to Shore Up Social Security, Medicare

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/04/15/bill-reintroduced-to-shore-up-social-security-medicare/

Excerpt:

A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced Thursday legislation to shore up the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.

The Time to Rescue United States Trusts, or TRUST Act, would establish bipartisan, bicameral commissions to address the long-term solvency of major trust funds.

….

The Congressional Budget Office projects the Highway Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2022, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund in 2026, the Social Security retirement fund in 2032, and Social Security Disability Insurance in 2035.

Author(s): Melanie Waddell

Publication Date: 15 April 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

No, ‘Infrastructure Of Care’ Is Not Infrastructure – And Three Reasons Why It Matters

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ebauer/2021/04/18/no-infrastructure-of-care-is-not-infrastructureand-three-reasons-why-it-matters/?sh=25de6d53721c

Excerpt:

First, as I referenced in passing in my prior column, the long-lasting nature of infrastructure is what justifies paying for it over time. This proposal’s spending is meant to be accomplished over 8 years, with the tax increase funding it over 15 years. That could be justifiable for some types of infrastructure, when it is something new rather than ongoing maintenance, but is not at all appropriate for ongoing day-to-day spending.

Author(s): Elizabeth Bauer

Publication Date: 18 April 2021

Publication Site: Forbes

Office of Financial Research Annual Report to Congress, 2020

Link: https://www.financialresearch.gov/annual-reports/files/OFR-Annual-Report-2020.pdf

Graphic:

Excerpt:

There remains a striking contrast between the quick recovery of financial markets and the slower recovery of the economy, which experienced the highest unemployment rate since World War II (see Figures 5 and 6). The possibility remains for heavy ongoing credit losses and failures. Consumer spending and business investment face pervasive uncertainty about the course of the pandemic and its consequences.

Date Accessed: 6 April 2021

Publication Site: Office of Financial Research

Multiemployer Pensions: Will the Recent Bailout Destroy Pensions (in the Long Run)?

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/multiemployer-pensions-will-the-recent

Graphic:

Excerpt:

I think it unlikely that Congress, at least this Congress, will pass any MEP reforms. The bill allowing for MEP benefit cuts passed under Obama, during his second term – with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate.

There may eventually be MEP reforms, but with a big cash injection into Central States Teamsters, the reckoning day has been pushed off.

The real crisis was Central States Teamsters going under. It would have taken down the PBGC. The puny plans like Warehouse Employees Union Local No. 730 Pension Trust (total liability amount: $474,757,777) are drops in the bucket compared with Central States (total liability amount: $56,790,308,499).

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 5 April 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

How To Stop The Manchin Presidency And Raise The Minimum Wage

Link: https://www.dailyposter.com/p/how-to-stop-the-manchin-presidency

Excerpt:

Any standalone, substantial minimum wage bill will face a filibuster requiring 60 votes to overcome it. Despite the White House fantasizing that Republicans might support a serious minimum wage increase, there probably are not 10 GOP senate votes to break such a filibuster. 

Meanwhile, if Democrats try to attach a minimum wage increase to a bill that Republicans actually really want to vote for — say, the National Defense Authorization Act — Republicans could move to simply strike it out of that underlying bill, which enough conservative Democrats might agree to, and then the GOP would vote en masse for final passage of the stripped-down legislation.

Everyone in Washington knows this script, so a move to attach a minimum wage to a bill like this would likely be a performative gesture, but not a legislative victory.

Author(s): David Sirota

Publication Date: 4 March 2021

Publication Site: Daily Poster

EXPLAINER: Why rising rates are unsettling Wall Street

Link: https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-financial-markets-stock-markets-inflation-prices-96e01a1db876bd4ad7e183e8cb4874e8

Excerpt:

WHY ARE INFLATION AND GROWTH EXPECTATIONS RISING?

Coronavirus vaccines will hopefully get economies humming this year, as people feel comfortable returning to shops, businesses reopen and workers get jobs again. The International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to grow 5.5% this year following last year’s 3.5% plunge.

A stronger economy often coincides with higher inflation, though it’s been generally trending downward for decades. Congress is also close to pumping another $1.9 trillion into the U.S. economy, which could further boost growth and inflation.

Author(s): STAN CHOE and ALEX VEIGA

Publication Date: 26 February 2021

Publication Site: Associated Press

The ‘COVID Relief Bill’ Is Mostly an Expensive Bundle of Politically Motivated Giveaways

Excerpt:

A sizable portion, about $500 billion, is a bailout of state and local governments that for the most part do not need one. While state tax revenues took a small hit from the pandemic and associated economic lockdowns, the damage is far smaller than was once feared. States should handle their own finances.

But it’s not just a bailout; it’s a bailout in which the funding is allocated based on the size of each state’s unemployed population. In other words, states that imposed draconian and unnecessary economic lockdowns during the past year are going to get a larger share of the federal cash than states that managed to balance public health needs and the economy—an arrangement that New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu rightly calls “outrageous.”

Author(s): Eric Boehm

Publication Date: 3 March 2021

Publication Site: Reason