Monday, May 16, 2022

Is Trump Going To Cut Social Security And Medicare

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Did They Back Up Their Claim

Full story behind commercial that claims President Trump will cut Social Security and Medicare

Linked inside the tweet was a letter from Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration. In this letter, which was penned at the request of four Democratic senators, Goss explains the effects of a permanent payroll tax cut. Goss letter states that, f this hypothetical legislation were enacted we estimate that Trust Fund asset reserves would become permanently depleted in about the middle of calendar year 2021, and also that Trust Fund reserves would become permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023.

This is a memo from a government official that describes what would happen if payroll taxes were to be permanently cut and no alternative source of revenue was used to pay for these benefits. But is that the presidents plan?

President Trump Wont Destroy Social Securitybut Hes Not Going To Save It

    Former Vice President Joe Biden is running campaign ads that claim President Trump signed an executive action directing funding cuts for Social Security and proposed slashing hundreds of billions of dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund every year.

    The problem is, however, that this just isnt so.

    A Biden campaign TV ad falsely claims that a government analysis of President Donald Trumps planned cuts to Social Security shows that if Trump gets his way, Social Security benefits will run out in just three years from now, says FactCheck.org.

    The cliche politics aint beanbag exists for a reason: Campaigns use overhyped rhetoric to distort their opponents positions and make them appear less electable. Seniors should rest easy and understand that their Social Security benefits arent going anywhere.

    But this dynamic of misleading charges belies a more fundamental problem: Something will eventually need to be done to buttress Social Securitys finances. Episodes like this dont bode well for future attempts to reform Social Security.

    Heres How The Gop Could Remove $174 A Month From Retirees Paychecks Without A Direct Cut

    On Capitol Hill, both political parties have acknowledged that Social Security needs some TLC. Unfortunately, neither party is in the same ballpark as to how best to fix whats estimated to be a $13.9 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years.

    What isnt in doubt, though, is that if Republicans were able to implement their two most prominent solutions, every beneficiary would see some form of reduction in their payout.

    The GOP has long favored cost-cutting as the best means of reducing Social Securitys shortfall. The most commonly touted method of tackling this would be by gradually raising the full retirement age i.e., the age at which you become eligible for 100% of your monthly payout. Currently set to peak at age 67 in 2022 for those born in 1960 or later, Republicans would like to see this figure gradually increased to age 70. Such a move would require future generations of retirees to either wait longer to collect their full payout or to accept a steeper up-front reduction by claiming early. No matter their choice, lifetime benefits, and therefore program outlays, would be reduced.

    But the thing about raising the full retirement age is that it takes a long time to work. Meanwhile, the other Republican proposal changing Social Securitys inflationary tether from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers to the Chained CPI could yield modestly faster savings.

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    Trump Opens Door To Cuts To Medicare And Other Entitlement Programs

    The president signaled a willingness to scale back Medicare, a shift from his 2016 platform of protecting entitlement programs.

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    By Alan Rappeport and Maggie Haberman

    WASHINGTON President Trump suggested on Wednesday that he would be willing to consider cuts to social safety-net programs like Medicare to reduce the federal deficit if he wins a second term, an apparent shift from his 2016 campaign promise to protect funding for such entitlements.

    The president made the comments on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Despite promises to reduce the federal budget deficit, it has ballooned under Mr. Trumps watch as a result of sweeping tax cuts and additional government spending.

    Asked in an interview with CNBC if cuts to entitlements would ever be on his plate, Mr. Trump answered yes.

    At some point they will be, Mr. Trump said, before pointing to United States economic growth. At the right time, we will take a look at that.

    Mr. Trump suggested that curbing spending on Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly, was a possibility.

    Were going to look, he said.

    Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is expected to cost the federal government more than $30 trillion through 2029, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    ‘i Am Free’: Alice Marie Johnson Thanks Trump For Commuting Her Sentence At The Rnc

    No Plans by Trump

    Johnson had been in federal lockup for more than 21 years after being found guilty in connection to a drug trafficking conspiracy, and she would likely have died behind bars without the president’s clemency. She was one of the thousands of Americans serving life sentences for nonviolent offenses, according to a 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, the vast majority of whom are there on drug crimes.

    Since her sentence was commuted by Trump in June 2018, she has consistently thanked Kardashian West and the president for her release and Trump has also used her story as he advocates from criminal justice reform. In her speech on Thursday, she did explicitly not urge Americans to re-elect the president, but praised and thanked him for his actions on criminal justice.

    “I pray that you will not just hear this message, but that you will be inspired by my story and your compassion will lead you to take action for those who are forgotten. That’s what our president, Donald Trump did for me,” she said. “And for that, I will be forever grateful. God bless you. God bless President Trump, and God bless America.”

      Ali Gostanian and Caitlin Fichtel

      The Republican National Convention aired a video on Monday decrying U.S. protests and citing potential chaos in the streets if Joe Biden is elected president.

      The Trump campaign and the RNC did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment.

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        They Havent Taken A Dime From The Social Security Program That Isnt Accounted For

        Another misconception is that the Republican Party stole money from the Social Security Trust and used it to fund wars. More specifically, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have come under intense scrutiny for borrowing from Social Security and not putting the money back.

        However, the truth of the matter is that Congress has been able to borrow Social Securitys excess cash for five decades, and its happened under every single president over that stretch. In fact, the Social Security Administration is required by law to purchase special-issue bonds and certificates of indebtedness with this excess cash. Please note the emphasis on required by law that Ive added above. The federal government isnt simply going to sit on this excess cash it borrows from Social Security. Its spending this cash on various line items, which may be wars and the defense budget, as well as education, healthcare, and pretty much any other expenditure you can think of.

        This setup is actually a win-win for both parties. The federal government has a relatively liquid source of borrowing with the Social Security Trust, and the Trust is able to generate significant annual income from the interest it earns on its loans. Last year, $85.1 billion of the $996.6 billion that was generated by the program came from interest income.

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        First Read: Real World Chaos Undercuts Trump’s Convention Message

        Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and Melissa Holzberg

        WASHINGTON For most of this year, the events of 2020 have overshadowed the actual presidential campaign. And its happening again as the Republican convention concludes and with 68 days until Election Day.

        A powerful hurricane has slammed into the Louisiana-Texas Gulf Coast. The shooting of Jacob Blake by police has resulted in unrest, further violence and the arrest of a 17-year-old charged with murder during the protests. Also because of the Blake shooting, professional athletes from the NBA and WNBA, to Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and tennis star Naomi Osaka walked off their respective courts and playing fields.

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        Nypd Union Boss Pat Lynch Underscores Trumps Law And Order Message

        Dartunorro Clark

        Pat Lynch is the president of the Police Benevolent Association, a union with 50,000 active and retired NYPD officers. While it is unusual for him to speak at a political convention, he has been a bullhorn for law enforcement in New York City and around the country, particularly as officers violently clashed with protesters calling for defunding the police.

        Lynch has been at loggerheads with the citys mayor, Bill de Blasio, and has generated controversy over the years, such as fiercely opposing the firing of the officer who killed Eric Garner.

        His RNC speech was similar to Trumps rhetoric about Democratic-run cities.

        The Average Retired Worker Benefit Could Be Cut By More Than $4300 In Less Than 15 Years

        Trump Promised to Not Cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

        The good news, if theres a silver lining to pull out of this mess for seniors and future retirees, is that Social Security wont be bankrupt, even if Congress fails to act. Two of Social Securitys three sources of funding the 12.4% payroll tax on earned income and the taxation of benefits are recurring sources of revenue. As long as the American public continues to work, money will be flowing into the Social Security program for disbursement to eligible beneficiaries.

        On the other hand, no money left in asset reserves would mean that the existing payout schedule, inclusive of cost-of-living adjustments, would no longer be sustainable. Translation: Benefit cuts would be necessary to maintain Social Securitys solvency for decades to come.

        According to the latest Trustees report, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust would only be able to pay 76% of scheduled benefits once its coffers are cleaned out. Put another way, it means retired workers and survivors could face an across-the-board benefit cut of 24% by 2035.

        Now, think about this for a moment. In May 2020, the Social Security Administration published data showing that the average retired worker was bringing home $1,512.63 a month. Thats $18,151.56 a year for the typical retiree. A 24% benefit cut would, in May 2020 dollars, equate to a benefit cut of $4,356 a year. Thats terrifying when you consider that 62% of retired workers rely on their monthly payout to account for at least half of their income.

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        How Alice Marie Johnson Became Of Symbol Of Trumps Criminal Justice Reform Agenda

        Dartunorro Clark

        Two years ago, reality star Kim Kardashian West personally lobbied the president in an Oval Office meeting to intervene on behalf of Alice Marie Johnson.

        Johnsons story went viral after she did an interview from inside of an Alabama federal prison in which she was serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense.

        In that video, Johnson shared the details of her story.

        Social Security Is A Little Over 15 Years Away From Big Problems

        But as youre also probably aware, its a social program thats seen better days. A slew of ongoing demographic changes have weakened Social Securitys long-term outlook. In fact, the latest Board of Trustees report projects that big changes are brewing in 2020.

        The newest report suggests that, for the first time in 38 years, Social Security will expend more than it collects in revenue next year. This accounts for the benefits it pays, which comprise about 99% of the programs outlays, as well as general and administrative expenses for the agency, and transfers to the Railroad Retirement exchange. With each passing year after 2020, this net-cash outflow is only expected to grow in size.

        The frightening prognostication offered by the Trustees is that Social Security will have completely exhausted its asset reserves i.e., the net-cash surpluses built up since its inception by 2035. If and when this excess capital disappears, retired workers and future generations of retirees could be facing an across-the-board benefit reduction of up to 23%. While there is a silver lining in that Social Security wont go bankrupt, theres still not much solace for the 62% of current retirees leaning on the program for at least half of their monthly income.

        The big question is: How do we resolve this dilemma?

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        Republicans Have Tried For Years To Privatize The Wildly Popular Federal Health And Retirement Programs

        President Trump tried to circumvent Congress this weekend and freeze the payroll tax that funds Medicare and Social Security, starving the vitally important programs of much needed cash. This isnt unusual for Republicans, who have been trying for years to downsize Medicare, which provides health insurance for people over age 65, and Social Security, which helps 64 million Americans meet basic living expenses when they are older or disabled.

        The presidents legal authority to delay the payroll tax isnt clear. It also doesnt do away with it, but defers payments until later, and there is little question that it would take an act of Congress to completely forgive those taxes. In other words, while people might not pay this tax now, it is not at all guaranteed that they wouldnt have to pay the tax back at a later date. And the money wouldnt help the 17 million Americans who are currently out of work, instead, aiding highest-wage earners the most.

        In addition to being a gift for wealthier Americans, the payroll tax freeze accomplishes another Republican goal. For years, the GOP has worked to undercut Medicare and Social Security, citing a growing deficit, despite passing a massive tax cut in 2017 that grew the US deficit to over $1 trillion and failed to deliver promised benefits for the economy.

        Trump Broke This Promise From The Beginning

        Donald Trump is on track to break his promises on Medicaid ...

        This is Trump on the campaign trail in 2015:

        I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me.

        Donald J. Trump May 7, 2015

        Trumps budgets and the policies he has supported around health care and government spending in Congress reflect the opposite. Some of this can be attributed to Trumps appointed budget chief Mick Mulvaney the former Congress member who was part of the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus has long rallied for cutting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

        In fact, Mulvaney once bragged to a Politico reporter that he tricked Trump into accepting a proposal to cut Social Security by calling SSDI just disability insurance spinning it to the president as general welfare reform. The idea has been in every single one of Trumps budget proposals to Congress since the president came to office.

        Then there was the Republican Obamacare repeal push every bill proposed massive cuts to Medicaid in order to pay for tax cuts elsewhere. Trump supported every iteration of Republicans Obamacare repeal-and-replace bills. He even held a party for House Republicans in the White House Rose Garden when the lower chamber of Congress narrowly passed a proposal that slashed more than $800 billion from Medicaid over 10 years.

        Now his policy positions around those programs break from that promise.

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        Trump Just Admitted On Live Television He Will ‘terminate’ Social Security And Medicare If Reelected In November

        President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon openly vowed to permanently “terminate” the funding mechanism for both Social Security and Medicare if reelected in Novemberan 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.

        “We just heard it straight from Trump’s own mouth: If reelected, he will destroy Social Security.” Social Security Works

        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 backbut 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 permanenta move that would inherently bankrupt the Social Security systemthat it clipped the portion of the press conference and after it concluded. The president’s critics did as well, though they carried a different message:

        Friendly reminder, if victorious on November 3rd, will GUT Social Security and Medicare.#TrumpPressConference#trumppresser

        American Bridge 21st Century

        So today, Trump

        Harris Speech Will ‘prosecute The Case Against Trump’ Aide Says

        Kristen Welker

        Just hours before Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech tonight, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris, is expected to unleash her harshest criticism yet of the president and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

        She will prosecute the case against Trump, one Harris aide told NBC News.

        Harris will speak at 3 p.m. in Washington on President Trump’s failures to contain COVID-19 and protect working families from the economic fallout and the Biden-Harris plan to contain COVID-19 and build a different path forward in America, according to a press release.

        Harris has done some virtual campaign events but this will be her first public appearance since the Democratic convention. The campaign is framing this as a response to the RNC and a prebuttal of the president. She isnt taking questions afterward and neither she nor Biden have traveled anywhere since she was named his running mate in contrast to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who have crisscrossed the country over the same period.

        The Democrats had previewed a robust counterprogramming effort this week, and while some top surrogates have held phone calls and briefings with reporters, so far their efforts have failed to break through, particularly against the backdrop of another Black man being shot and killed by police, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Hurricane Laura. Harris will address Kenosha with emphasis, an aide said.

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