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Conservatives Demanding Trump Cripple Social Security With Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

It’s starting to look like the next coronavirus relief bill is being held hostage over one issue near and dear to the hearts of conservatives in the GOP: A payroll tax cut, which would deny the Social Security Trust Fund of billions in badly-needed dollars at a time when more people are retiring and retirees are living longer.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump called for a cut in the payroll tax, cut, though the wording of his tweet in support of such a move was strangely worded:

According to Jeff Stein, economics reporter for the Washington Post, conservatives are even launching an ad blitz to build support for cutting payroll taxes across the board:

However, a payroll tax cut wouldn’t help the millions of Americans who are out of work and have much less money since enhanced unemployment benefits expired Friday. Many out of work Americans are also facing eviction since a moratorium on evictions also expired on Friday. That could lead to tens of millions being added to the ranks of the homeless.

Also, cutting payroll taxes wouldn’t add that much in the way of economic stimulus. In uncertain times such a the ones the U.S. is currently experiencing, consumers tend to hold on to extra money rather than spend it. So while the idea is to jump start the economy, that seems highly unlikely with the many challenges still facing the country as we head into the Fall and both COVID-19 and influenza threaten to overwhelm hospitals.

Conservatives have long dreamed of drastically slashing both Social Security and Medicare. If they get their way this time, both programs will likely be bankrupt in less than a decade.

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Mnuchin Accidentally Confirms That Donald Trump Has Plans To Cut Social Security

Shortly after he announced he was running for president in 2015, Donald Trump swore he would never cut Social Security, declaring:

“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican’s going to cut, and even if they wouldn’t, they don’t know what to do because they don’t know where the money is. I do. I do.”

And yet in early March when he appeared on Fox News for a town hall meeting, Trump had this to say on the matter of entitlements such as Social Security:

“Oh, we’ll be cutting. We’re also going to have growth like you’ve never seen before.”

A day later, when he realized he was running for reelection and needs the votes of senior citizens, Trump tried to walk back what he said the night before, tweeting out this denial:

But as it turns out, if we’d been listening more closely a month earlier when Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin testified before the Senate Finance Committee, we’d have known that Social Security was on the chopping block.

Asked by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) about the White House’s budget for fiscal year 2021 and the massive cuts over the next decade in Social Security, Mnuchin tried desperately to call those cuts something else. He said:

“I believe it’s not a cut, it’s a reduction in the rate of increase. And it’s not to the benefits of people on Social Security.”

The Nevada senator was having none of Mnuchin’s double talk, telling him:

“If that is not a cut, then I would love to talk to you about what it is this administration values and what they see, how these groups and important individuals in our communities are being affected. My concern is this administration says one thing, but their actions are just the opposite.”

Alex Lawson, executive director of progressive advocacy group Social Security Works, says both Mnuchin and Trump are lying:

“When Steve Mnuchin or any other politician says that a ‘reduction in the rate of increase’ is different than a benefit cut, they are shamelessly lying. If Social Security benefits were to stay flat every year, they would quickly begin losing value due to inflation. We need to make annual cost-of-living adjustments more generous, not less.

“Any ‘reduction in the rate of increase’ would lead to benefit cuts.”

If Trump wins a second term in office, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will be cut to the bone. As Trump himself confessed behind closed doors when he met with then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and was asked about slashing entitlements:

“From a moral standpoint, I believe in it.”

The most immoral man to ever hold the office of president is coming for the benefits you worked decades to earn. And the only way we can stop him is at the ballot box.

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Trump Says He Fully Supports Cutting Social Security From A ‘Moral Standpoint’

Social Security has been called the third rail of American politics: Touch it and you die. And if that is indeed the case, then Donald Trump might want to start picking out a nice casket.

Bloomberg is reporting that when Trump met with Paul Ryan before the 2016 election, he told the former House Speaker that he does indeed favor cutting Social Security. Bloomberg cites an unnamed source who was in the room when the meeting was held.

According to the source, Trump told Ryan:

“From a moral standpoint, I believe in it. But you also have to get elected. And there’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more.’ ”

This is in stark contrast to what Trump has repeatedly said on the campaign trail. Trump has said time and time again that he would leave Social Security alone.

Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, believes the real intent of Trump is the same as that of most Republicans: Drastically cutting benefits while pretending to support the program:

“It is really clear: Donald Trump would 100 percent go along with the Republican donor class position of cutting Social Security. He openly says he will lie to the people about it because he knows that the people are against it.

“In his eyes the ‘moral’ thing to do is to steal people’s hard-earned benefits and not talk about it.”

As we have seen repeatedly, Trump lies about everything, reverses his positions on issues by the hour, and often seems to be utterly lost when asked for specifics about various policy questions. The man is a complete idiot. He’s also a danger to the very essence of American democracy.

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Trump Looking To Slash Social Security Benefits With A Controversial Executive Action

While it was established a long time ago that Donald Trump is a complete and utter asshole who only cares about himself and will screw over anyone to get his way, a new plan from the current president is perhaps the lowest he’s sunk so far.

Trump is about to cut Social Security benefits to millions of Americans, and he might be able to do so without getting the approval of Congress.

Salon reports that Trump will make his raid on Social Security via what’s known as the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI):

“Last week, the Trump administration revealed that it is planning to employ the so-called chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) in a way that does not need congressional approval. ‘Chained CPI’ might sound technical and boring, but anyone who has closely followed the Social Security debate knows better. It has long been proposed as a deceptive, hard-to-understand way to cut our earned Social Security benefits.”

Without getting too far into the weeds, here’s how using Chained CPI works:

“Social Security’s modest benefits are automatically adjusted to keep pace with inflation. If not adjusted, those benefits will erode, slowly but inexorably losing their purchasing power over time. These annual adjustments are already too low, but they are better than no adjustment at all. The chained CPI would make these adjustments even less adequate.”

However, while Trump thinks he can get away with this clear cutback to Social Security and other social welfare programs (the CPI change would also impact Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance), his end run around Congress may not be accomplished if all of us let our representatives know we won’t stand for this kind of blatant stealing from both retirees and those who are most in need of assistance to afford the basics of food and shelter. That might cause such a ruckus that Trump will back down, especially with an election just months away.

If we don’t act, millions of Americans are about to see a drastic cut in their benefits. And then Trump and his GOP allies can use your money to help pay for the tax cut they gave to themselves and their rich friends.

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Trump’s ‘Second-Term Project’: Slash Social Security To Pay For His Massive Tax Cuts

In just three and a half years, Donald Trump has managed to destroy nearly everything that it took decades to build in this country, and now it appears that he has even more dangerous ideas if he happens to win a second term in office.

Just recently, the New York Times reported that as a result of the GOP tax scam bill that cut taxes on the biggest corporations and richest Americans, the the federal budget deficit will surpass $1 trillion in 2020. That’s in addition to the $1 trillion the tax cut has already tacked onto the long-term national debt.

To alleviate the ballooning deficit and debt, right-wingers and conservatives are suggesting that massive cuts to social programs are needed, and they have specifically noted that Social Security and Medicare are ripe for the picking. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) informed the Times:

“We’ve brought it up with President Trump, who has talked about it being a second-term project.”

That matches reporting from the Washington Post, which also says Trump has big plans to slash the budget by going after the two main entitlements, Medicare and Social Security:

“Trump’s advisers say he will be better positioned to crack down on spending and shrink or eliminate certain agencies after next year, particularly if Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives.”

All of this is a dream come true for conservative and libertarian groups who for years have been urging that entitlements be cut to the bone, no matter the consequences for senior citizens or the disabled:

“Conservative groups—which largely supported Mr. Trump’s tax cuts—have pushed Congress to cut future deficits by reducing benefits for federal health care and retirement programs, like Medicare and Social Security. ‘Something must be done soon,’ the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks said in a news release on Wednesday, ‘and that means taking a hard look at mandatory spending, the root cause of the United States’ fiscal woes.'”

The stakes in 2020 could not be clearer. If you value your future and the health and safety of tens of millions of your fellow Americans, the only sane choice is to vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. This country will not survive a second Trump term and GOP control of Congress.

The only “second-term project” Trump deserves is one that boots him from the Oval Office and into a prison cell.