I know. They are tired. And it’s hard to summon anger anymore.
However, there is still no excuse. Major news organizations are powerless to do anything about Donald Trump’s announcement on Saturday night that Donald Trump’s announcement of the permanent abolition of payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare.
Decoupling the funds of the Social Security Fund from payroll taxes will deplete its funds or, at best, expose it to annual political turmoil and the play of Congress and the President.
For defenders of the social safety net, Trump’s call is clearly an act of war.
You might think that when the president grasps what is historically called the “third track of American politics,”
But for our main news organization, this is just another day in Trumpland.
Among several other actions, Trump issued a memo (not an executive order) on Saturday calling for a four-month payroll tax deferral starting in September. He also announced: “If I win on November 3, I plan to exempt these taxes and cut payroll taxes permanently. Therefore, I will make them all permanent.”
In the Washington Post on Monday, Tony Roma, Erica Warner and Jeff Stein underestimated Trump’s oath, saying that his goal was simply to “make deferred payments a permanent reduction. tax”.
It was not until the end of their article that they indicated that there might be more dangers:
Historically, pensions are paramount in American politics. Trump merely hinted that he might seek permanent reforms of funding methods, which immediately aroused people’s concern that this might lead to permanent payments to the elderly. Monthly checks change.
The Associated Press is pleased to point out that Trump “proposed [the payroll tax deferral] Permanent, although experts say he lacks that kind of authority. “
On Sunday or Monday, there is nothing on the front page of the New York Times to suggest the cause of the alarm.
Where is the anger?
Do you know what all major news organizations reporting on Trump have in common? They are indestructible.
Like that is a good thing.
What Trump said, they wrote it down. Perhaps in a few weeks, Trump’s oath to cut payroll taxes is an atrocity, an act of impetuous, malicious and crazy, and a gift to his hardworking friends. This has become a traditional concept. But for now, news reports will not tell you what you need to know.
For this, as is the case today, you must move elsewhere: specifically, to the author of the opinion.
Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik was furious on Monday: “Don’t get me wrong: he’s talking about bankruptcy social security.”
The order and the comments made by Trump at the signing ceremony pose a fatal threat to the 64 million Americans who are currently receiving Social Security benefits and the hundreds of millions of Americans who will receive benefits in the coming decades.
William J. Arnone, president of the National Institute of Social Insurance, told Shields: “This is a deliberate campaign that undermines social security and health insurance.”
Shieldsik pointed to the trap set by Trump when he announced that the Democrats “will be able to raise taxes for everyone and eliminate the option of this”:
In other words, he is offering bribes to voters, which is actually “Voters, you will have to repay the debt; if you choose me, you will get a pass.”
The Washington Post business columnist Allan Sloan wrote that Trump’s proposal only makes sense if “social security is to be undermined and class and generational wars are instigated”:
Take a step back and look at the big picture-listen to Trump saying that if he is re-elected, he will abolish social security taxes next year-you will realize that if Trump wins, it will most likely mean the end of social insurance, because we have already understood.
Sloan wrote that the end result was “to undermine Social Security by turning Social Security into another federal spending program, rather than a program funded by a special payroll tax and a $3 trillion trust fund.” He explained: “The allocation of social security funds from general taxation will make it extremely vulnerable to political and fiscal pressure.”
The New York Times opinion writer Paul Krugman did not write a column on this topic, but he posted the most memorable and obvious tweet about the whole idea:
The Democratic leader grasped what Trump said without misunderstanding. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in a statement on Saturday. “When the elderly suffer the huge impact of an uncontrollable pandemic, he is posing a huge risk to Social Security. And don’t get me wrong: Donald Trump said today that if he is re-elected, he will be retired. Social Security.”
World War I
Trump’s salary tax proposal has no clue in Congress, and neither Democrats nor Republicans have expressed support for this idea.
Despite Trump’s delusion on Saturday that “everyone wants it,” its sole advocates seem surprising-people who have been trying to destroy Social Security for decades, either because they think it’s too expensive. Over time it will lead to higher taxes, or because they want Wall Street to get a pay cut, or both.
It also has nothing to do with the response to the COVID-19 crisis. Trump has been talking about salary cuts since 2017. He told Sean Hannity of Fox News in early April this year: “No matter if we are just this problem, I want a pay cut-this is a recent one.”
As Shieldsk (and others) have pointed out time and time again, cutting payroll taxes will not help those who are unemployed. Because they are not on the payroll.
But Trump’s conspiracy remains insidious. In the short term, this is a bribe to the middle class, and for this reason, his Democratic successor will have to endure a political blow to take it away again.
In the long run, even if the funds are miraculously restored, Trump said lightly on Sunday: “We will repay the medical insurance and social security plans with ordinary funds.” This move will change the nature of social security. .
The fact that workers “pay” the system has always been critical, which gives them a sense of ownership. At the same time, these funds provide a plan that is more humane and progressive than any modern Congress I have ever imagined to support reliably every year.
Today, Social Security provides benefits for approximately 63 million Americans, not only for retired workers, but also for spouses and family members of workers who died prematurely, as well as disabled workers and their families.
It involves a large number of subsidies-not only from the next generation of retirees to this retire, but also from single workers to married couples, from two-income couples to single-income couples, from high-income earners to low-income earners, and from healthy people to married couples. The disabled, from those who die early to those who die late. (I am here with the contents of the 1999 Social Security Special Report I wrote for the Washington Post.)
This is a magnificent and beloved program that is essential to the modern American experience. The fact that Trump is trying to undermine this fact should arouse widespread outrage even in our most vulnerable countries.