Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump’s advisers have a brazen plot to gut Social Security

Published

on

- Commentary
(AFP/File / Brendan Smialowski)

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the policy Donald Trump is fixated on has nothing to do with ramping up testing, getting protective equipment to workers, or sending resources to nursing homes where tens of thousands of seniors are dying of COVID-19. Instead, he’s obsessed with cutting payroll taxes, Social Security’s dedicated revenue.

Now, Trump’s economic advisers and his unqualified son-in-law Jared Kushner have another way to undermine Social Security: The so-called “Eagle Plan,” which would be more aptly named the Work ’Til You Die Plan. It would give people $10,000, but only if they agreed to sign away a portion of their future Social Security benefits. This plan asks desperate families, terrified of going without food or being thrown out of their homes, to sacrifice their retirement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Plans like this one betray a willful refusal to understand the nature of Social Security, which is insurance, not a piggy bank. It replaces wages lost when a worker retires, becomes disabled, or dies leaving dependents. Workers earn these benefits with every paycheck.

Turning Social Security from guaranteed insurance into a private account is a longstanding goal of Wall Street billionaires. Right now, Wall Street gets no money from Social Security. But if it were converted into hundreds of millions of private accounts, Wall Street would reap huge profits.

President George W. Bush infamously attempted to convert Social Security into a piggy bank for Wall Street, and was resoundingly rebuked by the American people in the 2006 midterm elections. Given this unpopularity, proponents of privatization are using sneaky backdoor tactics instead.

Back in 2018, Ivanka Trump released a parental leave plan with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). They referred to this proposal as “paid leave,” but it actually asked parents to fund their own leave by forgoing future Social Security benefits. The plan was developed by the Independent Women’s Forum, a Koch Brothers-funded think tank whose president eagerly anticipated that it would be a first step toward privatizing Social Security.

The so-called “Eagle Plan” is strikingly similar to Ivanka’s fake paid leave plan, but even more cruel in the choice it would foist upon people in the middle of a pandemic. With over 32 million people newly unemployed, families across the country are in desperate need of income. Thanks to the Trump administration’s utter failure to manage the pandemic by implementing a widespread testing and tracing program, that desperation isn’t going away any time soon.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yet the United States remains the wealthiest country in the history of the world. Congress just gave corporations a $4.5 trillion bailout. We can easily afford to both send families the income they need and expand their future Social Security benefits. Congressional Democrats are proposing to do just that by sending everyone in America $2,000 every month for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, while also expanding Social Security.

As long as Democrats stand united against Kushner’s terrible plan, it is a political gift to them. Workers across the country are already facing a retirement income crisis, and the pandemic is only making it worse. Voters overwhelmingly want to expand, not cut, Social Security’s modest benefits. The Trump administration’s attempts to undermine Social Security, whether through payroll tax cuts or through the “Eagle Plan” scheme, will be punished in November, as they should be.

Fortunately, the Democratic Party is on record in support of expanding, not cutting and certainly not privatizing, Social Security. During the Democratic primary, Joe Biden faced scrutiny for his past openness to cuts to Social Security. That said, as the presumptive Democratic nominee, he’s done the right thing by fighting to expand Social Security benefits to address the nation’s looming retirement income crisis. He’s also come out for an immediate across-the-board increase in response to the pandemic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Seniors and people with disabilities are hit hardest by COVID-19. Democrats in both the House and the Senate have released plans to increase Social Security benefits in response to the crisis. Congress should ignore the monstrous “Eagle Plan,” and pass those instead.

Alex Lawson is the executive director of Social Security Works, a non-profit advocacy group that supports expanding benefits to address America’s growing retirement security crisis. Lawson has appeared on numerous TV and radio outlets and is a frequent guest host of The Thom Hartmann Program, one of the top progressive radio shows in the country.

ADVERTISEMENT

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mary Trump sues president and his siblings for cheating her out of family inheritance

Published

on

President Donald Trump and his sibling were sued by their niece, who claims the family cheated her out of millions of dollars.

Mary Trump, whose best-selling memoir describes a deeply dysfunctional family, filed a suit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan accusing the president, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and their late brother Robert Trump of fraud and civil conspiracy, reported the New York Times.

The suit seeks to recover millions of dollars Mary Trump says she was owed from her own late father's inheritance after his 1981 death, when she was just 16 years old.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mitch McConnell slammed for his ‘oddly specific’ promise to accept results of Nov. 3 election

Published

on

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) added his voice to statements issued by other Republican lawmakers assuring they would accept the election results -- which President Donald Trump suggested he would not.

The president refused to commit to the peaceful transition of power if he loses to Joe Biden, and McConnell and some other Republicans offered some sort of assurance they would -- although none mentioned Trump by name and some suggested Biden had made similar threats.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Public health officials rip Trump-loving mayor to his face after he links them to ‘violent mobs’

Published

on

Tennessee Mayor Glenn Jacobs came under fire from his own public health officials this week after he narrated a video that attacked them as "sinister" bureaucrats who were linked to "violent mobs" trying to install a "socialist utopia."

Knox News reports that during a Knox County Board of Health meeting on Wednesday night, several members of the board ripped Jacobs to his face for narrating and posting a right-wing propaganda video that claimed scientists were working with left-wing anarchists to bring down the United States.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE