Cutting Entitlements to Offset Tax Cuts

Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed a tax reform package.  However, there is still a ways to go before anything becomes law.

The differences between the bills passed by the two chambers are significant enough that a final bill needs to be negotiated in committee and then both chambers of Congress will need to vote on it.

Both bills would add approximately $1.5 trillion to the national debt. This has caused many observers to wonder what happened to the GOP’s normal stance that the budget should be balanced.

Remarks by Sen. Rubio have come to light that have many observers nervous.

The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog reported on the remarks in “Rubio: Offset Tax Cuts By Reducing Social Security, Medicare Benefits.”

The Senator suggested that the tax cuts could be paid for eventually by cutting programs the elderly rely on including Social Security and Medicare. He proposed to cut benefits for future generations, since they would have plenty of time to prepare for the changes.

One problem with that is Americans are already not saving enough for their retirements with current benefit amounts. It is not certain that changes to benefits would spur them to save more.

It is likely that some version of tax reform will pass, since Republicans are very motivated to get something passed. Elder law advocates will want to watch what they do no next very closely.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Dec. 3, 2017) “Rubio: Offset Tax Cuts By Reducing Social Security, Medicare Benefits.”

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