The W.H. Just Revealed Trump’s Plan For Social Security, And It’s Horrifying
As if Donald Trump hasn’t inflicted enough pain on millions of Americans, the Trump administration plans to roll out its tax reform plan, a proposal the White House just hinted could destroy Social Security forever.
President Trump’s new tax plan may propose drastic cuts to — or the outright repeal of the 12.4 percent payroll tax that funds Social Security, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Advocates for Social Security are sounding the alarm about Trump’s proposal to eliminate payroll taxes, the program’s primary source of funding.
The move is threatening to undo what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did when he defended the payroll tax as the cornerstone of an agreement between the U.S. government and American workers, that as long as a worker paid a portion of each paycheck to the Social Security fund, they had the full right to draw a pension when they retired.
“We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral and political right to collect their pensions,” Roosevelt said in 1935. “With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program.”
Though it is not yet known how far along the White House proposal has progressed, those who want to protect Social Security say they are taking the news “extremely seriously.”
According to the Associated Press, lobbyists aligned with the Trump administration are pushing for the elimination of the 12.4 percent payroll tax, which provides benefits to the elderly and the disabled. The report published Monday details how they plan to sell the idea to lawmakers and the public:
“The plan is likely to be marketed as a means of putting more money in the pockets of working-class families, with lobbyists claiming that a worker making $60,000 per year would keep an additional $3,720 in take-home pay. However, leading Social Security advocates say the repeal of the payroll tax is a trap.
“Even if this is just a trial balloon, we want to puncture it as quickly as we can,” Nancy Altman, the president of the advocacy group Social Security Works, told Talking Points Memo (TPM).
“Republicans will sell it as a tax cut for the middle class, but really this is undermining middle-class economic security, and the ability to retire,” Altman said. “They’ll say they’re ‘saving’ Social Security, but basically they want to scale back or get rid of the program.”
She added: “People need to rely on Social Security 20, 30, 40 years in the future. It can’t be subject to appropriations. They’re essentially saying, ‘Just trust the future Congress.’”
If the plan to eliminate or scale back the payroll tax is successful, it would essentially mean that Congress is responsible for appropriating funds to keep Social Security solvent. With no payroll tax to support the longstanding retirement program, members of Congress would have unprecedented power to decide whether or not Social Security lives or dies in the future.
President Trump campaigned on an explicit promise not to cut Social Security, a promise Altman and other advocates say he would betray with this plan.