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If Social Security matters to you, can you trust Trump?

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By Dave Lindorff

In 2016, exit polls show that Donald Trump won the over-50 vote by a big margin. With voters over the age of 50 accounting for 45% of voters that year, Trump, according to a study by AARP was the choice of 55% of that demographic,compared to 44% who voted for Hillary Clinton. Trump's margin was even higher in the three key "swing" states - Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - that went narrowly for Trump to give him the win where it counted, in the Electoral College.

Trump didn't win a majority of all older voters. Minority voters - both black and Latino - went heavily for Clinton, but Trump's support among elderly white voters was overwhelming.

Now, it's important to note that at that time, not surprisingly, the AARP also reports that its survey of voters over age 50 found that two-thirds of them, 67%, rated protecting Social Security ranked as their number one issue. The elderly and near-elderly, few of whom have traditional pensions where they work, and few of whom have any significant retirement savings, have been acutely aware that the Trust Fund established in a 1983 compromise between President Ronald Reagan and a Democratic Congress to pre-fund the wave of Baby Boomer retirees, is running down faster than anticipated, and will be exhausted by 2035 unless action is taken to bolster funding, and that if no action were taken, benefits would have to be cut at that point by 27% going forward.

But Trump took that issue off the table by promising during the 2016 campaign that he would "not touch" Social Security benefits as president.

Well, now we know the truth.

Firstly, Trump lied.

In his proposed 2021 budget, Trump called for a $75 billion cut in Social Security benefits for retirees over the next ten years, to be accomplished by reducing the inflation adjustment in benefits each year - an adjustment that has already been behind the rate of inflation for so long that retirees today receive about 30% less in monthly benefits in constant dollars the they were getting back in 2000, just twenty years ago. Trump proposed reducing the further. He also attacked Social Security Disability funding and Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) which helps boost benefits for those elderly and disabled people whose income is below the poverty line.

Now, Trump has said, on August 8, that come Jan. 20, 2021, if he is re-elected as president, he will not just waive the repayment requirement for those who took advantage of his Aug. 10 executive order allowing deferment until Jan. 1 of payment of the FICA and Medicare payroll taxes by employers and employee, meaning that those taxes would simply not be paid for the prior four or five months, and that he might eliminate the payroll taxes for both programs entirely going forward"

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:

(Article changed on August 29, 2020 at 19:01)

(Article changed on August 29, 2020 at 19:05)

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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