Action Alert #98 Seniors in the Crosshairs–Again!

UPDATE (4-26-18):: This post was regarding the tax bill and is no longer relevant except as a warning.

We are in the Crosshairs—Again!

Nearly 35 years after public employees were cheated out of their earned Social Security benefits, Congress seems to be after senior citizens again.  The current tax proposals that are in process have a number of areas of jeopardy for seniors, including the elimination of income tax deductions which many of us rely on to lower our tax bills.  Although the standard deduction would be doubled, many of us have traditional deductions which add up to more than the proposed $12,000.

If you don’t already have your Representative and your Senator on your email address and phone numbers lists, find them at and and keep making noise. Tell them how these provisions will raise your income tax and how unfair that is! Here is the Capitol switchboard for an easy call to any member: 202 224 3121.

You might start with a message similar to the one below:

“As a retired public servant who has already lost $100,000 over the last ten years because of the Government Pension Offset, I am horrified to learn that I will lose even more money because of the proposed limitations on state and local taxes and the loss of the medical deduction.”

Fill in your own penalty and keep on repeating it!  (If you practice what you will say before you dial, your speech can be stronger.)

Here are the current cuts, in one or both aimed directly at Seniors:

The medical deduction.  In addition to what Medicare covers, long-term care insurance and medical insurance costs can easily go above the proposed deduction.  Non-compensated dental bills add to this total.

State and local taxes.  Those of us who are fortunate to be living in a home purchased many years ago are hit by increasing property tax bills, which might no longer be fully deductible. Those of us in states with income taxes, would lose that deduction, also.

The chained Consumer Price Index  The bills propose a switch to the chained CPI which gives a cost-of-living increase to Social Security that doesn’t reflect the spending patterns of seniors and results in lower yearly increases for Social Security retirement payments–for those who actually get any payments.

Probable add-on effects of the tax bill include a cut to Medicaid (which pays for nursing-home care for many) and cuts to Medicare, itself.

Here are some details (from NCPSSM*) that will give you an idea of what is being worked on now.

Things the House and Senate will need to reconcile to pass the same tax bill:

– Individual tax rates: The House bill reduces the number of tax brackets to four. The Senate keeps seven.

– Child tax credit: The House bill increases the credit to $1,600. The Senate bill increases it to $2,000.

– Mortgage interest deduction: The House bill caps the deduction for home values up to $500,000 for new purchases. The Senate bill keeps it at $1 million.

– Medical expense deduction: Current tax law lets you deduct qualified medical expenses that cost more than 10% of adjusted gross income. The House bill repeals it. The Senate bill keeps it and actually expands it.

– Education deductions: The House bill repeals deductions for student loans and other education expenses, like teachers buying school supplies. The Senate bill keeps them.

– Corporate tax cut start date: Both bills cut the corporate rate from 35% to 20%. They differ on the start date.

– Estate tax: The House bill eventually repeals it. The Senate bill only expands how much can be exempt from it and then allows that to expire.

– Obamacare’s individual mandate: The House bill doesn’t touch it. The Senate bill repeals it. An estimated 13 million fewer Americans would have health insurance if it were repealed.

The Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision are Unfair, Unconscionable, and Un-American!

*The National Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare supports our campaign to abolish the GPO/WEP.


  1. Joseph Romero says:

    Pass the Social Security Fairness Act Of 2017. Repeal The WEP/GPO Act… We paid into both Retirement Systems and being penalized for our Public Service! This is Unfair!
    Teachers,Police,Firefighters ,Postal Workers,Public Employees,Retirees And Public Servants!
    Congress Repeal the WEP/GPO Act Of 1983!
    Write your Congressman to have this REPEALED!
    Fix the GPO/WEP ACT is Illegal ….”FAILURE TO DISCLOSEURE LAW” is Stealing Our SS Benefits Make It right Washington.
    Public Servants beware of this penalty!
    This is what suddenly happened without any warning or notice to 6.5 million (and still counting) Americans on a sunny day in April, 1983. Some were given warnings and quit. The vast majority’s new Social Security. Plan became their current Government Retirement Plan. If they quit then after the passing, they would still be penalized by the Windfall or Offset penalty written into the law. A total failure of due process and the rights of working Americans!
    #REPEAL The WEP/GPO ACT Of 1983!
    Public Servants beware of this Law! As always, check to see if your
    Representative in Congress has signed on to H.R. 1205 and S.915 the WEP/GPO Repeal Bills!

  2. Joyce Chunias says:

    I am a victim of GPO/WEP for 22 years-losing $10,000 a year in earned SS benefits as a widow and 35 years as a Public School Teacher. My Income is below the poverty level–why can’t we get this repealed??? Also, now my Medicare payment went up to $134 monthly even though my SS has always reduced by two-thirds. Also, now a copay has been added to all my office visits…work to get us some help before I die…Time is running out! Nothing has improved…

  3. Kenneth Barychko says:

    It’s time to stop steeling from the American People who worked for the Government and private sector. We didn’t work multiple jobs and pay multiple pensions to get robbed. We did it to survive. Meanwhile The Government gives money to other countries. Well it’s time to take care of your own people first. We are not asking for something special, we want what we paid for. When you pay into two buckets, you should receive from two buckets. The problem is, the government stole from the national bucket. Stop robbing the Americans who supported you.

  4. Steven Dictenberg says:

    How come Rep. BRADY include the repeal of wep/gpo in the upcoming vote. How’s that ,after all it is inconceivable if he hasn’t since he sponsored the legislation dozens of times ,right?

  5. John J Dimacchia says:

    I have served in the military and have served the public as a firefighter for 26 years. Prior to that I worked under social security for 16 years and paid into social security for every part time job I had up until 2016. I have more than enough time in social security for full benefits however because I collect a firefighter pension I am not paid what I am entitled to under social security. I am 76 years old and can use that extra money for living expenses for myself and my wife. It’s time to remove this antiquated law and give those of us that are being cheated by our government what we have earned.

  6. Kevin in Kolorado says:

    Thanks for continuing to fight the constant erosion of pensions and other senior citizen benefits. One good news is that representative Kevin Brady from Texas is continuing to work for pension & SS reform. In particular, he is trying to make WEP at least a little more fair.

  7. Janet Gipson says:

    I am tired of the liars that are running our government. They are robbing Peter to pay Paul. I just telephoned the office of Texas, Senator John Cornyn and Texas, Senator Ted Cruz about WEP/GPO and my loss of $700 per month since I retired as a teacher. I also let them know that starting January 2018, my SS benefits will drop an additional $50 per month due to an increase in Medicare fees. Where is the raise that they supposedly gave to senior citizens? All I get when I email these people is a standard form letter thanking me for contacting their office. The telephone call to the office is pretty much the same thing except I get to record my message.

    1. Linda A Windhorst says:

      Unfortunately, that is all you will get. They don’t care, and they never will. One thing for sure…they will get their pension and health insurance for life. Why should they give a rip about all of us????

  8. JohnBemiss says:

    Like many I worked and payed into SS, however as a federal retiree I am not allowed to collect my full SS benefits because the political theives in Washington have it stolen from me. Pay me what you owe me so I can pay the increase in Medicare and everything else that has gone up in cost. These politician have hiddenfunds to pay off sexual harrsament but can pay us what is rightfully ours. I am not holding my breath anything will change —screwed again by Washington.

  9. Richard Heck says:

    As long as Republicans control our government, working class people and retirees will continue to get swindled out of their hard earned benefits under the moniker of “welfare reform” and “tax cuts”. Don’t forget it was the Reagan administration that signed WEP/GPO into law. Now we have another administration that uses the slogan MAGA. Same old same old, only this time its worse. Calling any GOP politician is a waste of time. The only people they listen to are their mega-donors….

    1. SS Fairness says:

      Legislators of both parties have failed to repeal these unfair offsets. Plenty of blame to go around!

  10. Elvira Lopez says:

    i want to hear from repeal of wep and gpo

  11. Nathaniel Lawson says:

    In 1970 I started work as a part time student until 1975 when I enlisted into the military. Served 4 years active and without a break in service I joined the reserves. Sep of 1979 I worked full time in the private sector until July 1980 when I was hired into a full time position with the federal government. I retired from military reserves in 2005 and from civil service in 2012. I paid into social security all those years and when time came for me to draw social security benefits I was met with the WEP. My Senator Johnny Isakson informed me that he was totally against repeal of windfall elimination provision and would vote to keep it in place.

    1. John Bemiss says:

      Your store is identical to mine, we are fighting a lost cause. Washington practices legalized theft

    2. Donald Craig says:

      Then he needs to go next election!

  12. This is a lost cause! Capital Hill doesn’t give a rip on either side of the aisle. All they do is offer lip service but no action. Truth be told , neither party cares. When Democrats have been in, they ignored it. Now Republicans, they ignore it.

    I am so angry with any and all in politics. This country is in a death spiral, and I see no stopping it. As long as both Parties are hell bent on destroying each other, the American people will suffer.

  13. By the way…come Spring and the primaries, I will not vote for any incumbent.

    1. Linda Windhorst – more people need to agree with you and I. Everyone must stop voting for an incumbent because they recognize their name.

  14. It is almost laughable, yet truly emotional inducing, to try and explain to anyone younger than self, just how truly messed up our criminal and civil laws and technological systems are.

    When the news says that U.N. peacekeepers have been brought into Chicago to try and “quell the violence”, just what rules of engagement Rahm Emanuel, thinks he can legally give to foreign troops. When Hilary didn’t even know the rules of engagement to her own State Department Contractors in Libya, and our own ex military men and women, who were working as contractors to guard the “CIA Annex” but not the Ambassador or the “other consulate house”, had to wait for permission to go to help from her or the President. Then a massive lye and spin job had to be concocted and investigated to cover up for States failure so as not to embarrass the Democrats and Lawyers working for her and the Foundation while planning for election. One has to see why we are so divided between two Parties of thought and two systems of law. Personnel and Personal, Civil and criminal, Corporate and Public, Private and Public. ETC ETC ETC.

    These are the same fat cats who passed the GPO and WEPP bills during tax reform back in 1983, and who now call for white men to step down if they ever harassed a female. How brave they are once they have their government pensions and foundations secure and can afford their face lifts and medical bills, while contractors, cops, civilians who just want to do a honest days work and hopefully prepare for whatever their future holds, get to hire lawyers and spend their lives in court fighting for the crumbs of civil rights that are left in the oldest of contracts between government and individuals. Men and women all, with no LGBT OMG acronymns confusing the basic nature and words within the original Constitution. The problem with “progressive” is eventually you run out of road and the rules don’t apply anymore.

  15. We must stop re-electing the politicians who refuse to support the Bills to repeal WEP/GPO.

    1. Linda A Windhorst says:

      Amen! It’s our only chance. Everyone in Congree has turned a deaf ear to this situation. They do not deserve to be reelected.

  16. 99% of the responses from the politicians in Washington are generic. We must contact newspaper editors throughout the US, local/national media, the ACLU, the NAACP, the Heritage Foundation, Civil Rights Organizations, labor unions, physicians, ministers, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, hairdressers, bartenders, people sitting next to you on the bus, etc. Many good US citizens have never heard of the WEP/GPO. Remember what Martin Luther King Jr. said, “we shall overcome someday, someday”. I want to wish my fellow victims a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We can make 2018 the year of change. Never give up!

  17. Many people do not know that this is going yo hit them when they are going to collect there SS, are they ever in for a shock.

  18. Pamela Crabtree says:

    I contact the President and my Ohio Federal legislators monthly & I even contacted the Ways and Means Committee practically begging that the WEP/GPO be repealed. I have asked them to include it in the Tax Reform (& we know how that turned out) and now I’m concentrating on requesting before DACA is approved they treat us retirees who are penalized by the WEP/GPO as fairly and sensitively as the illegals. I paid into my SS, this is not an entitlement…I paid and now I am a recent widow (8/3/17) and was stripped not only of my husband’s SS benefits but my widow’s benefits. I say we ask Alan Dershowitz to lobby for us non-rich people since he says he doesn’t need his social security and pretty much gives his money away to those more needy. We need more lobbyists.

  19. They don’t mind taking your tax money making you pay into a flawed SS system and making you pay at a rate of 6.5 percent into this flawed system I paid 34 years into this garbage system then I got a state of Ohio job paying into PERS little did I know what kind of a screwing I was going to take from that flawed system between SS and PERS I will lose 400 or more dollars a month because of these blood-sucking cowards that sit on there fat ass and make the rules up as they go and you know they don’t have to follow these same rules because they think they are better than the ones that have to pay them they think we work for them they don’t have a problem giving are hard earned money to other countries that hate us they don’t have a problem giving there lazy fat asses pay raises anytime they feel like it because in there own mind they work so hard for us what a joke they are and I don’t even want to get started on that sorry governor from Ohio he hates state workers and teachers he thinks we are all lazy I would like to see him come and do my job he wouldn’t last 20 min. But we can all sit here and talk about this all day and until we stand up to these jerks and tell them they work for us and make them have the same retirement system we have hell people in this country can’t agree on one thing let alone stand together and fight for what we have worked so hard for it’s sad but true. I use to think the enemy was in another country but they’re not they are right here in front of us telling us lies stealing from us and they do it with a smile on there face because to them we are just sheep and expendable assets it’s a shame that this great country that we live in has come to this they walk all over us taking more from us so they can spend on other countries and that hate us. Sorry for the bad grammer

  20. Pamela, I live in S.W. Ohio. I agree Senator Portman and Congressman Davidson are useless. They have lost my vote. Senator Brown introduced S915 to repeal WEP/GPO. I am not sure his support is true or just a political ploy to get our vote.

  21. Tim Flaherty says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that our politicians care more about 800,000 immigrants that 1.9 million people affected by the WEP and GPO. They also don’t seem to care about the homeless Amaricans in this country. Is it because they don’t vote? Well I do vote in every election and you choice to ignore this issue will not be forgotten. I will do what ever I can to each and every one of you out of office!

  22. Lets try a first class action suite against the fed. gov./social security /and all of our reps. the reason this falls upon DEATH EARS ? The fact is that no one knows about this. Ask a friend or a neighbor or a stranger see what type of reaction you get Ill bet all the tea in china that their Obviously ignorant to that this exists. WE NEED EXPOSURE!!!!!!

  23. Just heard the President of the Cincinnati, Ohio FOP state on a Cincinnati radio station that he planned on retiring before he got to old and then find another career to retire from. LOL Perfect example of the problem. No one knows a thing about WEP/GPO.

  24. Al Lindsay says:

    WEP & GPO need to be repealed period. End of story stop the wast on illegals we seem to have plenty of money for someone who doesn’t or did not obey our Laws and absolutely nothing for the people who play by the rules and obey our laws. What a system!!!

  25. Mariusz (Mark) Luczkiewicz says:

    7. Who does GPO penalize?
    There is one more category of people penalized by WEP: naturalized citizen. Whatever live in other country they have no SS number, they have no right to work in the US. WEP is saving 1.5% is SSA budget!

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