By Linda Porterfield, Charlotte County Dems writer
A recent executive order could seriously alter your retirement plans and income, as well as critical income for children and persons with disabilities.
Under the guise of stimulating our struggling economy, Trump’s recent executive order to temporarily eliminate the payroll tax could turn into a permanent action if he wins on November 3rd. Experts estimate this move could deplete the social security trust fund by 2023.
During one of his frequent visits to his Bedminster golf course, Trump proudly proclaimed: “If I’m victorious on November 3rd, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax.”
If he does this, will you forgive him?
Estimates indicate the payroll tax cut would eliminate $350 to $450 billion in Social Security revenue for 2021 alone and initiate the ultimate exhaustion of the trust fund. When the trust fund is depleted, other Social Security revenues would be able to fund only a portion of the already modest monthly benefit that currently averages $1516 for retired workers and $1259 for disabled workers.
For a recent in-depth analysis of the national contribution of Social Security, not only to our seniors but also to children and families, see Policy Basics: Top Ten Facts About Social Security. It’s likely much more significant than you might think.
If you’re now a Social Security beneficiary, ask yourself if you could sustain a benefit cut and still maintain your lifestyle. How many vacations to visit the grandkids, purchases of new “used” cars, weekly dinners out, or even Friday happy hours with buddies would you have to cancel?
Let’s bring it closer to home. Look at this issue through a magnifying glass on Florida.
Recent data from the Social Security Administration reports that Florida is home to 4,747,364 Social Security recipients, and 72,580 of these recipients reside in Charlotte County. This represents 38.4% of the county’s total 188,910 population and these beneficiaries receive at least 50% of their income from the social security trust fund which our president is on the way to eliminating!
Take a deep breath.
Defunding Social Security would produce devastating impacts for Charlotte County retirees. Such a heartless, unnecessary policy would also bite deeply into our regional and state economic recovery. Less discretionary income, additional evictions, negative impacts on the senior living industry, the closing of small businesses dedicated to seniors, and greater stress on social service networks could create a recession-within-a-recession for our local economy.
What could he possibly be thinking?
Trump fails to understand an important concept, passed down through thousands of years…the inevitability of Karma. More than just a philosophical concept, Karma in Trump’s America is also a political/economic power.
The implications of “what goes around comes around” raises the possibility that any social security budget reduction affecting the largest voting segment in this country would decrease consumer spending on some of Trump’s favorite industries already hit by COVID-19: airlines, hotels, automotive manufacturing and cruise lines to name just a few.
Social Security benefits play a key role in the economy, supporting over 9 million jobs across the country and more than a trillion dollars of economic output. This crucial program produces a much greater impact on the economy than just the amount of its benefit payments. When beneficiaries spend their monthly benefit checks, the effects ripple throughout the economy and contribute to the financial coffers of every state where benefits are spent.
But, by far the loudest knock on his door by Karma will be from YOUR vote.
Don’t let the Trump administration rob you of what’s yours.
Contact your congressional representatives from this complete list. The future of Social Security depends on our lawmakers in Washington. Reach out to heads of congressional committees with budget responsibilities and demand they protect your trust fund.
After all, they work for you!
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