T

lion to

u.u.o.I StIles ~

loB ~

• ...",....,.

JIff1IlIGm

/a show

it< oppmda)'OUT

.m~

who help rem:h its goal of l,ooo.()fX) signatures. By con/ributing
10

time and energy

help Wake Up, Ameriaz

by dtrulating

petitions, your chopter can

tpIIlIify for this program.

Incentive Level I Incentive Level II Incentive Level III -

Wake Up, America Cc.1ifiude (one per chapter) 4"x 4" Marble MOIdage plus a Wake Up, America Certificate (one set per chapter)

I.er-engraved Ludte plaque 011 wood base, plus4"x4"
Wake Up, America Certificate

MaIbIe Moorage and

Incentive Level IV-One round-trip ticket to WMhhtgton, D.C. and hotel aa:ommodations for September 13-17 for the 1986 Governmental Affairs Leadership Seminar and participation in the Wake Up, America presentatioo to Co~ (recipient to be detennined by chapter president)
LisJed below are gooJs for etlCh chaJxer popuJaJion division.

Goak Per OIapfer To Qua6fy Population Uwell LevelH Division (Minimum# of signoJun!s)
I D

Level m
Must be top chapter in population divmoo with the highest sipatwe total in exa:ss ciLevelDquoca.

UweI IV
Must be chapter with the highestperantage

m
IV

300 350 400 SOO

600 700 800 1,000

ci signatures per member based 00 July 1
membership. Must have achieved Level m
SIatm.

V
VI

600
750

1,200
1,500

VII

900
1,250

1,800
2,SOO

vm

"

I

Davld

,1

Rennie Wark, Administrative Assistant

Wiley, Program Manager

Volume 3 Issue 3 January 1984

.Issu~&Action
©

1984 THE UNITED STATES JAYCEES®

This edition of Issues & Action is devoted to two issues that are far from "household topics". However, they have a direct affect on EVERY American in one way or another. The topics - Legislative Veto and COLAs (Automatic Cost-Of-Living Adjustments). We carefully you edition provides Action very encourageas thisto re<ldIssues &

1/

I

/

important issues a background on lives. your chapter withthat affect all our these very (\~ II. II As chapter president, you are the only ?~ member of your chapter to receive Issues & (i., ~.~\ Action. Please read it and pass it along to I your board of directors a~d o~er ~~apter ~;;:,~,~~>~:,;, .• members to read. After re<ldingthis editIon of ~\~~;" "~ Issues & Action, it is hoped that you and~/ . ". /. ~

\\M~\'
~ ".~~ ~~

your c~pter will get involved in these important tOpiCS ...

Social Security and A Balanced Budget
resident Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation cre<lting America's Social Security system in 1935, establishing a federal insurance program to provide retirement income at age 65. Congress decided to fund the retirement benefits from a special tax which, in effect, was an "insurance premium." Those who paid the premium were to be guaranteed monthly checks, with payments directly related to how much they e<lmedduring their work careers. Thus, from the beginning, Social Security was not a federal welfare program. The Social Security system is re<llly three different systems: I) The Old Age & Survivors Insurance (OASI) program, adopted in 1935; 2) the Disability Insurance (0[) A Community Development Program of The u.s. Jaycees; A Leadership Training Organization. ® program, adopted in 1956; and 3) the Hospitalization Insurance (HI) program, also known as Medicare, approved by Congress in 1965. A percentage of the wages of e<lch American worker covered by Social Security is withheld for each of the three programs. A separate trust fund (account in the U.S.Tre<lSury) is maintained for each of the three. A worker's employer matches his or her contributions to the three trust funds dollarfor-<lollar.Self-employed workers contribute at different rates. The OASI fund is by far the largest and currently the We<lkest f the three trust funds. o The 0[ and HI funds are in stronger positions, with gre<ltersurpluses. In the early years of Social Security, when millions of dollars were being paid into the system and few were collecting benefits, the trust funds contained large surpluses. The surpluses provided a "cushion," so that benefit payments could be assured in bad economic times when revenues came in at a slower pace. At the beginning of 1980, for example, the OASI trust fund contained only enough surplus for 2.7 months of benefit payments. (This figure assumed that there would be absolutely no new revenues coming into the trust fund.) During its history of over 45 Ye<lrs, Social Security has been altered and expanded on many occasions. Benefits for dependent and survivors of covered workers have been revised and improved a number of times, most recently in the spring of 1983. In 1972, when inflation skyrocketed, Congress "indexed" benefits to the Consumer Prii:e Index (CPI), guaranteeing a yearly increase in Social Security checks to keep pace with inflation. This automatic increase feature is known as an AUlOmaJic Cost-Of-living AdjustmenJ or COLA.

Sponsored

By:

The United States Jaycees@

The COLA system has allowed Social Security recipiEntsto fare much better than the typical worker in keeping pace with rising prices.
Basic Data: Social Security Administration, u.s. Depl of Labor

Consumer Prices - 84.4%

In March of 1983, Congress passed a bipartisan act entitled the Social Security Amendments Act of 1983. The act was designed to "save the faltering Social Security system." In so doing, it increased some taxes, cut some benefitsand delayed others. It is estimated that the new act will increase the Social Security system funds by $164 billion in the I980s. Lawmakers felt that everyone must "share the load" of restoring the Social Security's system's solvency. Therefore, the Social Security Amendments Act of 1983 postponed for six months (from July, 1983, to January, 1984) payment increases scheduled under the COLA provisions. From now on, January will be the regular adjustment date. Experts estimate that this will save 39.4 billion dollars by 1989. Another change under the Social Security Amendments Act waves for one year (1983) a provision in the law denying COLA increases if the yearly rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is less than 3 percent The new Act also provides for a "failsafe" provision that is designed to protect the Social Security system against periods of high inflation. "For 1985 through 1988, this socalled stabilize. will go into operation if reserves in the old-age and disability funds ever fall below 15 percent of the money needed to provide payments for a year. If that occurs, the automatic rost-of-living increases
(COLA) will be based on the lower of the rise

Many economists and Congressmen do not feel that the Social Security Amendments Act went far enough in addressing the problem that exists relative to a balanced budget, a solvent Social Security and the provisions guaranteed within a system designed with· automatic rost-of-living (COLA) features. There are several pieces of legislation currently pending before Congress. One of the more popular approaches addressing the COLA problem is the "DANFORTHBOREN DEFICIT REDUCTION PLAN." This plan calls for a "redefinition of indexing of COLAs." This would be accomplished by a temporary change in the annual COLA adjustment to "Federal non-means tested" benefit programs. This would include social security, civil service retirement, military retirement, veterans compensation to name a few. During the 1985 through 1988 period, the annual COLAs for these programs would be based on the factor CPI minus 3 percent rather than the CPI. After 1988*, the CPI would be used as under current law. This measure is expected to save 60.2 billion dollars through 1988. (Note: *Many experts feel that 1988 is an excellent "target date" and, if the need warranted, could be set back by Congress.) Senator John C. Danforth, Republican of Missouri, offered the following comments in a speech to the U.S. Senate. "Since 1960, the United States has had
one balanced budget and 22 deficits. In these

"... deficits are popular. It is the nature of elected officers to seek the popular course of action. Politicians want to be re-elected. For two decades. politicians have prospered by promising higher spending without the need to pay the price. Very few of the men and women who serve in Congress have ever seen anything but red ink budgets. "We will never straighten out the economy until we jettison a set of extremely popular myths about how to control the budget ... "There are a number of budgetary myths floating around, all of which have a common characteristic. That characteristic is to pretend that the deficit is someone else's fault and that it can be reduced without any sacrifices on our part ... "But fairy tales don't solve problems. To solve the problem of the deficit and do so with fairness, we must do a number of unpopular things at the same time. We must hold the line on domestic spending. We must restrain the growth rate of large and popular entitlement programs and their COLA s such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. and federal pensions. While reconciling ourselves to a necessary rise in defense spending, we cannot give the Pentagon a blank check ... You cannot reduce the deficit if nearly onehalf of all federal outlays (the entitlement programs) are off limits." Editor's Note: The Danforth-Boren bill was introduced in the United States Senate as S 1627 and is currently in committee. A similar bill was introduced into the House of
Representatives as HR3790 by Congressman

in the CPI or the average gain in wages."

years, we have created nearly 90 percent of our existing debt

James R. Jones, Democrat of Oklahoma, Chairman of the House Budget Committee.

. President Carter, explained that "the legislative veto had, for example, given Congress the right to block Executive actions without the obligation to say what shouJd be done." He noted that "it will likely force Congress into a more direct role on many matters. In the future, Congress may find itself having to say with much more specificity what it would allow under cen.ain legislation.... For example, instead of passing a Oean Air Act, then reserving the right to veto specific regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection There are several ways that you and Agency (EPA), Congress may have to step into the business of deciding in advance what your chapter can get involved in the issues presented in this edition of Issues & Action. reguJations are appropriate." They include: A. Write your U.S. Senators and Congressmen • Legislative Veto - Urge them to use restraint in drafting legislation without the availability of the legislative veto device. As you can see, the issue of a legislative Further, to realizethe importance of keepveto or congressional veto is rather technical ing the government pr~ moving on an and complex in. nature. Although there are efficient business-like basis within the pros and cons to its usage, most experts feel guidelines of the Constitution. AND rethat since it's adoption in 1932, the congressearch the feasibility of using the legislasional veto had been effectivein the passage of tive veto process strictly in a Joint Resolegislation that might not have otherwise been lution situation. passed, AND has helped to reduce some of the "government bureaucracy" and bottle- • COLA - Urge them to seriously address the entire COLA issue. Stress necks that have existed within dealings the need to bring COLA provisions in between Congress and the Executive branch of government. HopefuJly, most of these acts line in order to help balance the budget. have been for the best of the American people Request their suppon of the DanfonhBoren bill, S1627. as a whole. • In writing your U.S. Senators and ConDuring the Third National Jaycee Leggressmen, be sure to ask for their opinislature held in Washington, D.C., in Septemion on the legislative veto and the ber, 1983, The U.S. Jaycees Executive Board COLA issue,as well a.~ expressing yours. of Directors addressed the issue of the legislative veto. The Board passed a "mock Senate It is imponant we realize where our elected officials stand on issues. bill" reaffirming the right of Congress to exercise its legislativeveto powers in the form of a • Request the Senator and/or Congressman, or a representative of their office, joint resolution. As you will recall, the address your membership on the Supreme Court did not rule on the Constitutopic(s) of the legislative veto and/or tionality of the legislative veto incorporated in the COLA issue. a joint resolution. Also, that a joint resolution requires passage by both the Senate and the R Write the President of the United States • Legislative Veto - Once again, urge House of Representatives and is then the President to use restraint in dealing forwarded to the President to either sign or veto. with the Congress on this matter. Urge WE ENCOURAGE YOUR CHAPhim to help develop a system within the TER TO SUPPORT THE NEED ON THE framework of the Constitution that will PART OF BOTH CONGRESS AND THE help to keep legislation from being "bottle necked" with too much "administraPRESIDENT TO CONTINUE TO tive details." ASSUME A "LEADERSHIP ROLE" IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES IN • COLA - Request the President to supREGARD TO THE LEGISLATIVE VETO pon the Danfonh-Boren bill, S1627. PROCESS. FURTHER, THAT THEY DO Urge that he work with the Congress in THEIR BEST NOT TO GET "BOGGEDa serious review of the entire COLA sysDOWN" IN PARTISAN POLmCS AND tem and its effect on a balanced budget. POWER STRUGGLES THAT COULD DEVELOP BETWEEN CONGRESS Some additional points and ideas to AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. AND consider are: THEY CONTINUE TO ALWAYS KEEP I. As local president, you shouJd read IN MIND WHAT'S BEST FOR THE Issues & Action carefully. Then pass it NATION AND THE AMERICAN along to your board of directors for their review. You can then decide if you wish PEOPLE. For ideas on how to go about this to appoint a oomminee to review these and other involvement suggestions, please read the article: "How To Take Action". issuesand develop a course of action or

2.

How To Take Action

3.

Jaycee Action

4.

assign it to your Community Development vice president or Governmental Affairs chairman. The chairman and his committee shouJd review the issue thoroughly and make a recommendation to the president and board as to what course of action to take. You might include whether or not to participate and what type of action to take. Steps I and 2 can help you set the stage to determine what your chapter's feelings are on the issue. • This can be accomplished by presenting the issue at a membership meeting for a vote. • Or, through a chapter survey passed out at a membership meeting and/or published in your chapter newsletter. As a chapter, there are any number of things you can do. A few examples include: • Get your members to write your elected leaders in Washington, D.C., and express their view and concerns relative to the legis1ative veto and C;)LA s. (See steps A & B). • To write the President, your U.S. Senators and Congressmen, simply write: The President The White House Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: The Honorable (full name) The U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Senator (last name): The Honorable (full name) House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Congressman (last name):

• Conduct a survey of your entire membership on the legislativeveto and/or the COLA issue. • Develop an opinion poll for your community. A couple of ways 10 conduct a poll are: -run a radio call-in program in conjunction with the local station -set up a table in a shopping center or a grocery store • After you obtain this information, be sure to publicize it through the local news media. Remember to obtain consent from your board to run any project. NOTE: Any chapter president who writes his Senator and/or Congressman on this issue and sends a copy to The U.S. Jaycees along with his name and address, has qualified for The American Eagle Award in the Governmental Affairs Awards Series. Send to The U.s. Jaya:es, Governmental Affairs, P.D. Box 7, Tulsa, OK 74121-0007.

f you have '"y funhe< qoestioru; rega"ling Wake Up, America, please contact The United States Jaycees Wake Up, America program manager P.O. Box 7 Tulsa, Oklahoma 74121-0007 (918) 584-2481

I

This kit was produced through a grant from the J.M. Foundation

in New Yark. New York.

WE BELIEVE: That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life; That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations; That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise; That government should be of laws rather than of men; That earth's great treasure lies in human personality; And that service to humanity is the best work of life.

©1986, The U.S. Jaycees

A CommW1ity Development program of The U.S. Jaycee~ A Leadership Training Organizarion. P.O. Box 7. Tulsa. Oklahoma 74121-0007.
(91 R) 584-24R I

L

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful