September 18, 2020 - Douglas Myser

Trumps war on social security. President Trump's memorandum to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ordering that he suspend Social Security taxes for some employers and their employees for the rest of this year makes no sense if the goal is to offset economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. But it makes a lot of sense if it is to undermine Social Security and stir up class and generational warfare, which is clearly the goal of both Trump and his close ally, Stephen Moore, who has rallied against the whole idea of Social Security for years. Step back and look at the big picture--and listen to Trump say that he'll eliminate Social Security tax next year should he he reelected--and you realize that if Trump prevails, it would likely mean the end of Social Security as we've known it. "What President Trump has been calling a Social Security "tax holiday" can easily turn into a permanent vacation," says William Arnone, chief executive of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Trumps war on Social Security.

Trump originally pitched the idea of including a Social Security tax cut in the upcoming stimulus package to help people who've suffered economic damage because of the coronavirus pandemic. As many people from across the political spectrum kept saying, this makes no economic sense. The reason is obvious--if your one of the millions of Americans who've lost your job because of Covid-19, you're not paying Social Security tax. Therefore, eliminating that tax doesn't put any money in your pocket. But if your idea is to undermine Social Security by turning it into just another Federal spending program rather than a program funded by a dedicated payroll tax and a $3 trillion trust fund, eliminating Social Security taxes for some employees and employers for the rest of this year and beyond makes a lot of sense. Americans without Social Security may end up in debt, including tax debt, and need Tax Resolution. Trumps war on social security.

In a Fox TV appearance, Mnuchin said the Treasury would make "An automatic contribution" to the Social Security Trust Fund to offset the loss of payroll tax revenue. And presumably if Trump got reelected and eliminated both the employee and employer portions of the Social Security tax permanently, the Treasury would make up for those losses too.

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