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Kildee: Trump Tax Proposal Would Bankrupt Social Security

September 24, 2020
Press Release
Deferring or Eliminating Payroll Tax Would Cut Social Security Benefits for 2+ Million Michiganders

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today highlighted how President Donald J. Trump’s latest tax proposals would contribute to the defunding and dismantling of Social Security.

During a congressional hearing of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, Kildee and other Members of Congress heard testimony from expert witnesses about how the President’s proposal to delay or eliminate the payroll tax cut would hurt families and seniors. The Social Security Administration (SAA) uses money from payroll taxes to pay out current retirees' benefits. Deferring or eliminating the payroll tax, as the President has suggested, would permanently deplete the Social Security Trust Fund, according to the SAA Chief Actuary Stephen Goss.

President Trump’s latest tax proposal comes after Republicans passed a tax scam that raises taxes on many in the middle class in order to give huge, permanent tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Their tax scam bill added $1.5 trillion to the national deficit while giving 83 percent of the tax breaks to the top 1 percent of the richest Americans and biggest corporations.

“Social Security is not a handout—it is an earned benefit paid for by workers in each and every paycheck,” Congressman Kildee said. “Republicans have long wanted to privatize or eliminate Social Security, and now President Trump has proposed tax proposals that would bankrupt Social Security within just a few years. That’s not my opinion, that is the testimony of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration. I am strongly opposed to cutting Social Security benefits for Michigan seniors and families.”

Social Security benefits are a major source of income for millions of retirees, with around one in five married couples depending on their benefits for at least 90% of their income in retirement, according to SAA. In Michigan, more than 2.2 million seniors, families and disabled people rely on Social Security.

The coronavirus pandemic has put Social Security benefits at serious risk, since high unemployment has resulted in lower payroll taxes. To help remedy this problem, Kildee has introduced the Social Security COVID Correction and Equity Act. The bill fixes and prevents a reduction in benefits for those born in 1960 and expands benefits to address economic inequalities.

Congressman Kildee has consistently fought to protect Social Security benefits. Kildee also previously introduced legislation, the Social Security 2100 Act, to make sure the system is financially strong through the end of the century.

A video of Congressman Kildee’s remarks today at the Social Security hearing can be found here.