Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed refusal to even contemplate cuts to Social Security during last year’s presidential race reeked of a con for a basic reason: It almost certainly was one. His statements were simultaneously strident, certain, and vague—all too reminiscent of Trump University’s get-rich-quick, positive-thinking vibe. “I am going to save Social Security without any cuts. I know where to get the money from. Nobody else does,” he once tweeted. Another time, at a 2016 campaign rally, he claimed, “We’re going to save your Social Security without killing it like so many people want to do.”
It’s all but certain these sorts of sentiments helped Trump prevail in the Republican primary, where competitors ranging from Marco Rubio to Ted Cruz seemingly competed to see who could toss more future senior citizens under the bus. It’s also likely they had an impact in the November election as well. Trump denied he wanted to make cuts to the program. Why worry?
Now, details of a possible Trump administration plan for Social Security are emerging, and you don’t need any knowledge at all of what’s in his still-unreleased tax filings to know it will favor the Trump family bottom line—at the expense of yours and mine. That’s how Donald Trump rolls.
According to the Associated Press, someone described as a “lobbyist with close ties to the Trump administration,” is promoting a scheme that would do away with the 12.4 percent payroll tax—which is jointly paid by workers and their employers—and replacing it something resembling a value-added tax (VAT). The money raised by the new tax would be used to fund Social Security. As the Associated Press reported, “This approach would give a worker earning $60,000 a year an additional $3,720 in take-home pay.” A tax cut! What could go wrong?
– The Nation