Former President Trump Holds Rally In Support Of Wisconsin Candidates

Former President Donald Trump, now the presumptive 2024 GOP nominee, tosses hats to supporters during a rally on August 05, 2022 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Want to Kill Social Security? Vote for Donald Trump in 2024

Republicans refer to it alternatively as a Ponzi scheme, a con, or as socialism. They want to destroy it. They admit it but then hope you forget. Don't forget.

Want to end Social Security? Just vote for Donald Trump or pretty much any Republican this fall.

Every year that Donald Trump was president he proposed budgets that would have cut Social Security funding and benefits; in 2020 he even campaigned on ending the payroll tax — that funds it and Medicare — altogether.

The Republican Study Committee, which claims 175 of the House’s 219 Republican members of Congress, released their annual budget proposals last summer, and, sure to form, they also called for the setup of draconian cuts to Social Security.

Weirdly, the title of the section of their budget that cuts Social Security is titled Preventing Biden’s Cuts to Social Security. If you’re baffled by that because Biden has never called for cuts to Social Security, you live in the reality-based world.

But in RightWingLand, Social Security is on the verge of collapse and so needs to be gutted for young people. Their budget notes:

“Retirement benefits as they are currently structured cost more than the revenue streams that pay for it. … the reforms in the RSC Budget would not affect benefits for any senior in or near retirement…”

In other words: “the system is going broke and we’re going to gut it, but not for the older voters the GOP needs: we’ll just stick Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen X with the pain.”

Similarly, Project 2025, the nearly-900-page rightwing blueprint for gutting the American middle class, ending voting rights, imposing Christianity on all Americans, killing public schools, and ending women’s abortion and birth control rights also has Social Security in its crosshairs.

Having been sponsored by billionaires and bankers who’ve been lusting for decades over the trillions in cash in the Social Security trust fund, it makes perfect sense that it would also contain explicit threats to Social Security.

They argued that the law doesn’t even need to be changed: the big banks could take over Social Security right now, if only the right president were to push the issue:

“The most promising avenue for innovation is to involve workers and private-sector organizations more directly, freed from unnecessary bureaucratic strictures. … Existing statutory language in the Social Security Act does not prohibit non-public organizations from administering the program, nor does it specifically authorize states to do so.” (Page 637)

After all, if the system were privatized and taken over by the big New York banks, each one could skim off hundreds of billions every year to share with their senior executives, shareholders, lobbyists, and the Republican politicians and judges they own. Just like the Medicare Advantage scam providers are already doing.

Thirteen years ago, I debated Stephen Moore about Social Security; he’s now leading Project 2025’s efforts to “reform” the program. A former Reagan advisor and neoliberal, he’s repeatedly called the program a Ponzi scheme. In our debate, he was adamant that we should “fix” the system by, essentially, ending or privatizing it. “Let them [Americans] own the money,” he repeatedly argued.

Of course, Republicans have been trying to gut or privatize Social Security ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt put it into place in 1935. They refer to it alternatively as a Ponzi scheme, a con, or as socialism.

These days, Republicans don’t even try to hide their hatred for the “socialist” program. For example, in this election year, each of the Republican candidates for president were unabashed in their commitment to destroying Social Security.

— Nikki Haley came right out and said that the retirement age of 65 is “way too low.” Apparently, nobody told her that Reagan raised it to 67, and that went into effect in 2022. But 67 is probably also too low for Haley.

— Vivek Ramaswamy wanted to fire 75% of all the employees in the Social Security Administration, bringing the program to its knees and making it impossible for people turning 67 or with disabilities to even apply for benefits.

— Chris Christie told Americans we need to “deal with” Social Security by cutting benefits, while Ron DeSantis voted, as a Congressman, three times to raise the retirement age to 70 and privatize the system.

— And Senator Rick Scott, who recently met with Trump about the possibility of his bid to replace Mitch McConnell, has called for the Social Security and Medicare programs to both “sunset” at the end of five years if Congress doesn’t write new legislation to keep them alive.

And, of course, Trump proposed gutting the program four times, in each of his budgets when he was president.

The Democratic side is far more helpful for Americans looking for retirement security. President Biden has promised, repeatedly, to not cut or reduce benefits or go along with GOP schemes to raise the retirement age. He’s also called for expanding and strengthening the program, although so far all his efforts have been blocked by congressional Republicans.

Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a new law he calls the Social Security Expansion Act. It would make the program solvent for the next 75 years, answering all the hysteria Republicans are constantly parading in the media, by simply asking millionaires and billionaires to pay the exact same FICA tax as bus drivers, teachers, fast food workers, and cops.

Right now, if somebody makes more than $168,600 a year, they stop paying into the system. So, somebody making $1,686,000 pays only 1/10th the Social Security tax of somebody making less than $168,600. A person making ten million a year pays 1/100th of what the average worker pays.

If the morbidly rich were to pay their fair share — the same percentage as everybody else — it would generate so much revenue that every retired person in America could also get a $2,400 a year raise. The key, Sanders says, is to also apply the tax to the forms of income most often received by wealthy people: capital gains and dividends (which are both currently exempt).

The bill is co-sponsored by a great group of Democrats, and if you recognize one of their names as your member of Congress you may want to reach out to thank them. Here’s the list as of this week:

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Van Hoyle (D-OR, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Troy A. Carter (D-La.), Greg Casar (D-Texas), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Jesús Chuy García (D-Ill.), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

And if your representative isn’t signed on to the legislation, call them at 202-224-3121 and encourage them to do so!

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