The TRUST Act - A Potential Start at Entitlement Reform

By ROGER STARK  | 
Jul 28, 2020
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The U.S. Senate just passed its $1 trillion version of the latest pandemic stimulus bill, pretty much along party lines. This now has to be reconciled with the U.S. House $3 trillion bill, passed in May. There are some significant differences, but rest assured, some compromised spending bill will make it to the President’s desk to be signed.

Included in the Senate bill is the TRUST Act, sponsored by Senator Romney (R-UT). (here) This part of the bill would establish a bi-partisan committee composed of Senate and House members to make recommendations on entitlement reform. The committee would examine any federal program that spends more than $20 billion per year and would make proposals to insure the longevity of those programs.

The two programs facing insolvency in the near future are Medicare and Social Security. Medicaid is a true pay-as-you-go entitlement, but theoretically could be included in the committee’s review.

Opposition to the TRUST Act is already lining up, with the usual argument that the committee will destroy Medicare and Social Security. The reality is that these programs cannot survive in their present form and are not viable for future generations. Meaningful reform is necessary. (here)

Although the TRUST Act is only a first step to reform and utilizes bi-partisan input, it is unfortunately doubtful that Congress will include it in the final compromise stimulus bill. It will be one more victim of the partisan politics playing out in the U.S. today.