With ardent GOP support Trump has spent three-and-a-half years decimating all parts of the federal government. Now his attention is fulfilling the GOP’s decades-long goal of destroying elderly Americans’ retirement and health insurance programs by starving them of funding.
It is no exaggeration to say that even Republicans are aware of how crucial the Social Security Trust is to hardworking Americans. And yet since the program’s inception they have attempted to put an end to all of the New Deal provisions enacted during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s tenure. The simple reason why has nothing to do with the nation’s debt and deficit; it is a government program that helps Americans and like everything that helps Americans is an atrocity in conservatives’ minds.
Over the past couple of decades, at least, Republicans have not enacted any legislation to help the people. They have, in fact, made eliminating any domestic program that helps Americans not in the wealthy class their cause célèbre; Trump has embraced the GOP’s assault on working Americans with extreme prejudice.
Over the past year, and particularly since he deliberately ruined the economy and killed over 150,000 American citizens, Trump has pushed a payroll tax cut and claimed it would help the people, reduce the deficit, and drive his mythical economic rebound. Even Trump and his Republican facilitators know that eliminating the “payroll tax” will have no effect on working Americans, but they are very aware that a payroll tax cut will further enrich the already wealthy and aid in the Social Security Trust’s demise; it will also damage Medicare that is included in any “payroll tax cut” legislation.
The big winners in any payroll tax cut are very large employers who will save the matching portion of Social Security in payrolls. Regular working people pay a tad over 6 percent of their income into the government’s retirement system and employers match that amount. Medicare tax is separate from Social Security, and like Social Security is funded by the workers. Like the GOP’s tried and true assault on every segment of the federal government, starving government programs of funding leads to their demise; it is precisely how Trump and Republicans intend on killing off the United States Postal Service.
Despite Trump’s insistence on a payroll tax cut, there is little interest from Republicans in Congress likely because by now working Americans comprehend it will have little effect, especially when millions of Americans are now out of work due to Trump’s effectiveness in aiding the coronavirus’ spread throughout America. Republicans are also aware, by now, that the quickest way to put an abrupt end to the people’s retirement system is starving it of funding.
That being the case, Senate Republicans have devised a better way to cut Social Security and because under Trump there is a never-ending and daily confluence of crises as distractions, few Americans are aware Republicans plan to “reform” Social Security: a not-so-fancy way of saying drastically cutting Social Security. And as is always the case with anything Republicans say will help the people, they claim “reforming” Social Security with cuts to beneficiaries will enhance the program’s fiscal health far into the future. It is a typical dirty Republican lie.
If Republicans were interested in keeping Social Security healthy far into the future, they would put a quick end to the cap on contributions from the wealthiest Americans. It is an abomination that every hardworking American pays 6.2 percent of their income while there is a cap on every American earning over $137,700 annually. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly income at the end of 2019 was “approximately $48,672.” Even workers earning twice that amount paid their full share of 6.2 percent Social Security (FICA) tax. Conversely, one of the Republicans most driven to slash Social Security, and likely kill it immediately, Willard Romney, pays less than 2-tenths of a percent on his very, very significant income.
If every bit of every Americans’ income was taxed at the same 6.2 percent rate, the Social Security Trust would be well-funded far, far into the future. However, Republicans, and likely a couple of Democrats, have reacted as violently to the the idea of every American contributing the same amount to the nation’s retirement system, and Medicare for that matter, as they rail against the concept of the extremely wealthy and corporations paying their fair share of taxes.
The concept of equality in taxation is as abhorrent to Republicans and Trump as equality under the law is and it is never going to change until the people are well-informed about exactly why Republicans claim a self-funded independent program like Social Security cannot meet its obligations in the future. For dog’s sake, Republicans still claim that Social Security is blowing up the deficit even though it is mandated in the Trust that the program cannot take from, or add to, the debt or deficit.
Republicans have lusted to slash, if not destroy, Social Security for decades, if not since it was instituted as part of the New Deal. And it is important to note that it is solely to enrich business at the expense of the working class that are not wealthy enough to risk even one penny in the stock market like the super wealthy class that funds the GOP.
It is even more abominable because Social Security is funded by the workforce at no expense to the government. The real impetus to decimate Social Security is endemic to conservatives who will move proverbial Heaven and Earth to take any and everything from the people whether it is their healthcare, freedom to peaceably assemble, access to clean air and water, and their self-funded retirement accounts – not because they can spend it, but simply because they do not want hardworking Americans to have anything.
This Congress will not give Trump the payroll tax cut he demands, but to hasten the demise of Social Security they are in the process of doing the next best thing; use COVID-19 stimulus legislation to “reform” a program and deny elderly Americans access to their own retirement income.
Perhaps if Trump knew he cannot possibly get his tiny hands on Americans’ old age pensions, then he would back off his demand for a payroll tax cut. However, it is more likely than not that he just wants to damage Social Security as part of his scorched Earth agenda.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.