• By The Financial District

TRUMP ROASTED AFTER ADMITTING HE’LL GUT SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE

President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon (Sunday morning, August 9, 2020 in Manila) openly vowed to permanently “terminate” the funding mechanism for both Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November—an admission that was seized upon by defenders of the popular safety net programs who have been warning for months that the administration’s threat to suspend the payroll tax in the name of economic relief during the Covid-19 pandemic was really a backdoor sabotage effort.

Announcing and then signing a series of legally dubious executive orders, including an effort to slash the emergency federal unemployment boost by $200 from the $600 previously implemented by Democrats, Trump touted his order for a payroll tax “holiday”—which experts noted would later have to be paid back—but said if he won in November that such a cut would become permanent. 


The Trump campaign was apparently so satisfied with the public acknowledgement of the president’s promise to make the payroll tax permanent—a move that would inherently bankrupt the Social Security system—that it clipped the portion of the press conference and shared on social media immediately after it concluded. The president’s critics in Common Dreams did as well, though they carried a different message, Raw Story reported. 


Defenders of the program, including the advocacy group Social Security Works, were quick to point out the implication of what the president said and condemned Trump for threatening the program that has kept countless millions of people out of poverty—during retirement years or due to disability—since it was created over 75 years ago. “We just heard it straight from Trump’s own mouth,” the group responded: “If reelected, he will destroy Social Security.” Commonly known as the payroll tax, those are taxes paid both by employers and employees—as dictated by the The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)—that go to pay for both Social Security and Medicare.