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Is Trump Trying To Get Rid Of Social Security

The Republican Obsession With Dismantling Social Security And Medicare

President Trump’s Budget Slashes Billions From Medicaid, Social Security | All In | MSNBC

The Republicans are desperate to destroy Social Security and Medicare. These two programs demonstrate government at its best. The federal government runs these two extremely popular programs more efficiently, universally, securely, and effectively than the private sector does with its alternatives or indeed could, no matter how well those private sector programs were designed.

Because Social Security and Medicare are government programs that work so well, the Republican elite with its seemingly religious belief that the private sector is always the best hates them. So obsessed are the Republicans in their desire to eliminate these effective government programs that the very first action that House Republicans took in the new Congress was to adopt a rules package that included a new rule that amounts to a stealth attack on Social Security and Medicare.

The rules package, adopted at the start of every new Congress, sets out how the chamber will operate for the next two years. This years package is already infamous for provisions in the initial version that would have gutted the Office of Congressional Ethics provisions that were ultimately dropped after a massive outcry from the American people. Unnoticed by most was an additional provision, which is one part of the Republican game plan to destroy Social Security and Medicare.

Congressional Republicans, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Tom Price

Our Rating: Partly False

Based on our research, the claim that Trump said he will “terminate” Social Security if he is reelected is PARTLY FALSE. Trump recently signed an order offering temporary relief from the payroll tax that funds Social Security, and he has repeatedly said he’d terminate the tax entirely if he’s reelected.

But ending the tax that pays for Social Security and ending the Social Security program itself are not the same. When asked, Trump said he the measures would have “zero impact” on Social Security, and he said he’d “protect” the program. And it’s true that he could advocate an alternate source of funding, like the general fund although it would have to go through Congress first.

Hillary Clinton Says Trump Plans To Get Rid Of Social Security And Medicare

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said President Donald Trumps executive actions on Saturday signaled his intention to dismantle Social Security and Medicare if hes re-elected.

During an MSNBC interview with AM Joy host Zerlina Maxwell, Clinton described Trumps actions as a stunt.

Clinton said Trump hinted at ending the financial contributions that Americans make to fund crucial government programs like Social Security and Medicare.

RESOCIAL SECURITYTHREATFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said President Donald Trump’s executive actions Saturday made it very clear he intends on going after Social Security and Medicare if he’s re-elected.

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Hes bypassing Congress, trying to spend money he has no authority to direct, and its also meant to be a big diversion from the hard work Congress should be engaged in to provide the relief tens of millions of Americans need, Clinton said.

She warned that if Americans were unlucky enough to have Trump as president again, he would hurt not only the elderly, but all Americans, including the younger generation that will one day have to rely on programs like Social Security and Medicare.


The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee expressed hope that Republicans can find their patriotism and conscience while trying to reach an agreement regarding a realistic stimulus relief package.

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A Partial Or Permanent Elimination Of The Payroll Tax

The third and most recent example of President Trump’s call for Social Security benefit cuts involves his pursuit of a partial or permanent cut to the payroll tax. The 12.4% payroll tax on earned income was responsible for $944.5 billion of the $1.06 trillion that Social Security collected in 2019.

In an effort to combat the economic struggles tied to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, Trump signed an executive order in mid-August that deferred payroll tax collection between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. This deferral was designed to beef up workers’ paychecks for the remainder of 2020 but have those same workers repay what was deferred in 2021. Some states and businesses have chosen to opt out of the voluntary deferral program.

President Trump has also tossed around the idea of permanently eliminating the payroll tax, if reelected. This would allow workers to receive beefier paychecks but would remove the most critical source of Social Security’s funding. It should be pointed out that while Trump has mentioned the idea of eliminating the payroll tax on more than one occasion, no one else in his administration has taken the idea seriously, as it would leave a gaping hole in the Social Security program. Neither Democrats nor Republicans would be in favor of eliminating the payroll tax.

Trump Opens Door To Cuts To Medicare And Other Entitlement Programs

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The president signaled a willingness to scale back Medicare, a shift from his 2016 platform of protecting entitlement programs.

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By Alan Rappeport and Maggie Haberman

WASHINGTON President Trump suggested on Wednesday that he would be willing to consider cuts to social safety-net programs like Medicare to reduce the federal deficit if he wins a second term, an apparent shift from his 2016 campaign promise to protect funding for such entitlements.

The president made the comments on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Despite promises to reduce the federal budget deficit, it has ballooned under Mr. Trumps watch as a result of sweeping tax cuts and additional government spending.

Asked in an interview with CNBC if cuts to entitlements would ever be on his plate, Mr. Trump answered yes.

At some point they will be, Mr. Trump said, before pointing to United States economic growth. At the right time, we will take a look at that.

Mr. Trump suggested that curbing spending on Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly, was a possibility.

Were going to look, he said.

Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is expected to cost the federal government more than $30 trillion through 2029, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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Did Trump Say He Will Terminate Social Security If Re

If Your Time is short

  • Trump has deferred about $100 billion in payroll tax payments through the end of the year. The payroll tax currently funds 90% of Social Security.

  • Trump told reporters that if he wins re-election he wanted to terminate the programs primary funding source. He cant do that on his own.

A Facebook post has a dire warning about the future of Social Security under President Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump says he will terminate Social Security if re-elected,” states the Aug. 10 post by Social Security Works, a nonprofit group that supports expanding the federal program. “A vote for Trump is a vote to destroy our Social Security system.”

This post was flagged as part of Facebooks efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

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Trump did use the word “terminate” when speaking about the payroll tax that funds Social Security, but his actual memo only pauses the tax for some employees for a few months. Trump hasnt said he would end Social Security payments, but he has made comments that many have interpreted as him wanting to eliminate the payroll tax entirely.

That means someone making the median weekly wage of about $1,000 would see an extra $62 in their paycheck. Trumps memo applies to people making up to $2,000 per week, so people who earn $104,000 a year or higher wouldnt get the tax break.

Featured Fact-check

Trump White House Claim The Tax Relief Will Not Impact Social Security

On Sunday, as he boarded Marine One, Trump told reporters that the executive order deferring payroll taxes for some Americans will “have zero impact on Social Security.”

“We protect Social Security,” he added, according to Fox News.

An official from the White House told USA TODAY on Tuesday that the Social Security Trust Fund is not at risk, since payment deferral is only temporary, and at present, must be paid back early in 2021. The official confirmed, though, that the president called on Congress to make the deferral permanent, thereby eliminating the tax.

Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy think tank, told USA TODAY that eliminating the tax is not the same as eliminating Social Security.

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“Strictly speaking, Social Security could be funded using general fund revenue or alternative revenue source, so terminating a tax and terminating a program are distinct things,” he wrote in an email.

“However, it would be reasonable to ask what would happen with the program absent an alternative plan to fund it,” Watson added.

On Wednesday, Trump suggested an alternate source for the first time the general fund of government revenues per Fox Business.

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Trumps Push To Cut Payroll Taxes Opens A Democratic Line Of Attack

Because the taxes provide funding for Social Security, Democrats have seized on the issue as they try to erode support for the president among older voters.

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By Annie Karni and Thomas Kaplan

WASHINGTON When President Trump announced that he was unilaterally deferring payroll taxes to bring economic relief to struggling Americans, he and his aides thought it would allow them to frame him as pro-worker.

But the move comes with political risks. Eliminating the payroll tax could jeopardize the funding stream for Social Security, which is one of the governments most popular programs, providing benefits to about 65 million people.

The president has given Democrats an opening to raise Social Security cuts as an issue in the final months of an election in which his support among older voters already appears to be shaky.

On Monday, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. capitalized on the opportunity. Donald Trump said that if hes re-elected, hell defund Social Security, he tweeted. We cant let that happen.

The Democratic National Committee amplified the line of attack the next day, blasting out a statement that highlighted At Least 7 Times Trump Said He Will Permanently Eliminate Funds To Social Security And Medicare.

He is now balancing the potential benefits of giving working people more money in their paychecks at least temporarily versus undercutting his own pledge from the 2016 campaign that he would protect entitlement programs.

Republicans Very Much Dislike The Current Cola Measurement

Trump Lied about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

You should understand that the Republican Party doesn’t like the current inflationary tether, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers .

The biggest issue Republicans have with the CPI-W is that it doesn’t do a very good job of measuring the inflation that seniors are facing, thereby resulting in an inaccurate cost-of-living adjustment each year. That’s because, as the name implies, the CPI-W tracks the spending habits of urban and clerical workers, who in nearly all instances aren’t receiving a Social Security check. Essentially, seniors’ annual raise is tied to the spending habits of non-seniors, and that doesn’t sit well with anyone in Congress.

In particular, Republicans would like to replace the CPI-W with the Chained CPI. The Chained CPI takes into account the idea of substitution bias, which involves trading down from a pricier good or service to something less expensive if prices go up. For example, if the price of ground beef rises 40%, you might buy pork or chicken instead. The CPI-W does not take into account substitution bias.

Although substitution bias does take into account a real-life purchasing strategy of consumers, the consensus view among pundits is that it would result in lower annual COLAs more years than not, relative to the CPI-W.

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The Depletion Of The Trust Fund Is Not Bankruptcy Or Anything Like It

Fast forward to the 2010s, and everything was working as planned. Importantly, that plan necessarily involved reaching a date at which the Trust Fund would be depletedvery much on purpose. From that date forward, we would be back to a PAYGO system, with annual benefits matching annual revenues.

Yet the shocking levels of innumeracy and financial illiteracy among reporters and politicians led far too many people to say that reaching zero in the Trust Fund would mean that the whole system is flat broke.

For example, a group called bills itself as the leading non-governmental source of legislative information and statistics. Whether or not it provides accurate information, at least one of its writers clearly does not understand how Social Security works, offering this whopper:

Social Securitys costs are projected to overtake its expenses starting next year, in 2020. Worse still, the program is projected to become entirely insolventmeaning they essentially wont have any money left to pay out benefits at allin 2035.

The PDF file in question is the Social Security trustees 2019 annual report, and on the fifth page of that document, the trustees tell us that if their possible-but-not-definite forecast that the Trust Fund will reach zero in 2035 turns out to be true, scheduled tax income is projected to be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through the end of the projection period in 2093.

Social Security Seemed Like A Future Problem The Virus Changed That

Even before the pandemic, Social Securitys finances were under growing pressure. The next president and Congress will play a crucial role in what happens next.

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By Tara Siegel Bernard

Social Security has always seemed like a future problem, with experts long predicting a benefits squeeze in the decades ahead. But the coronavirus has put tens of millions of Americans out of work, and economists are predicting that the recovery will take years.

That means the future is now.

If nothing is done to shore up the program, all benefit checks will need to be cut by roughly one-quarter in perhaps 11 years or, if the recession is protracted and severe, maybe even sooner.

We thought we had more than a decade, and now it could be less than a decade, said Kathleen Romig, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. That makes a big difference both psychologically and in policy terms.

The pandemic has hastened the cash crunchs arrival by wiping out jobs and the payroll taxes Social Securitys dedicated source of revenue that they provide. Fewer people are paying into the retirement trust fund, and the longer theyre out of work, the deeper the problem becomes.

President Trump will always protect Social Security, as he has stated numerous times, she said.

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