On Monday, Stephen Goss, the chief actuary of Social Security, sent a letter to four senators, warning them that President Donald Trump's plan to eliminate payroll taxes would drain the Social Security trust fund in three years.
"If this hypothetical legislation were enacted, with no alternative source of revenue to replace the elimination of payroll taxes on earned income paid on January 1, 2021 and thereafter, we estimate that DI Trust Fund asset reserves would become permanently depleted in about the middle of calendar year 2021, with no ability to pay DI benefits thereafter," concluded Goss. "We estimate that OASI Trust Fund reserves would become permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023, with no ability to pay OASI benefits thereafter."
The letter came in response to queries about the viability of Trump's plan by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
In response to a congressional standoff over coronavirus stimulus, Trump recently signed four executive actions, one of which temporarily defers payroll taxes that are used to fund Social Security. The president has proposed eliminating this tax altogether if re-elected, and has not clarified how he plans to replace the lost revenue.