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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/15/20

Three Years is All That's Left of Social Security if Trump is Re-Elected

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Civil unrest, an unmitigated pandemic, white supremacist fascists marching in the streets, an ailing economy, worsening income inequality, lies, and voter suppression.

This is Donald Trump's America.

If he is re-elected to a second term, these will increase until our republic is rendered unrecognizable.

But these are the more visible, newsworthy manifestations of the mess Trump and complicit Senate republicans have made of America.

Two other less salacious areas Americans need to be aware of as they cast their votes are Trump's impact on the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and Social Security, which Trump is intent on eliminating within the next three years.

Yes, three years.

Last week, Chief Actuary Stephen Goss stated in a letter to Congress that under Trump's proposal to eliminate the payroll tax, with "no other changes to current law", the Social Security trust fund "would become permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023"; the disability fund "would become permanently depleted in about the middle of calendar year 2021, with no ability to pay DI [disability insurance] benefits thereafter".

Last month, Trump signed a memorandum suspending payroll taxes, which are, according to Investopedia:

"...A tax withheld from an employee's salary by an employer who remits it to the government on their behalf. The tax is based on wages, salaries, and tips paid to employees. Payroll taxes are deducted directly from the employee's earnings and paid directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the employer. In the United States, payroll taxes are divided into three main categories: Federal income, Medicare, and Social Security. The government also collects money for federal unemployment programs."

Those three main categories--federal income, Medicare, and Social Security--are crucial.

Although imperfect, and the victims of forty years of libertarian incursion, these are social-safety nets into which we pay so they are there when we eventually need them.

Funding them through payroll relieves Congress from having to negotiate their appropriation each year.

Social Security is essentially "old-age insurance" created from the ashes of the republican Great Depression of 1929, one of Franklin Roosevelt's most enduring New Deal initiatives.

But it isn't just for senior citizens.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides 8.9 million disabled workers with benefits.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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