Paul Ryan is probably running around in circles barking, seeing Donald Trump say this on TV. This is better than any trial balloon Ryan ever dared to float, this will starve Granny for sure. The disrupter in chief got up in front of his mini-rally in Bedminster today and announced a cut to the payroll tax — which sounds great, if you’re dumb as a rock and that’s evidently who he wanted to reach and impress. The Lincoln Project came along and shut it down in 19 words.
🤡 This defunds Medicare.
🤡 This defunds Social Security.
🤡 Tax collection is just deferred.
🤡 You’ll still owe these taxes next year. https://t.co/sraSTbHOxs
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) August 9, 2020
— American Bridge 21st Century (@American_Bridge) August 8, 2020
Candidate Trump promised to protect Social Security and Medicare.
President Trump just promised to PERMANENTLY DEFUND Social Security and Medicare.
— SocialSecurityWorks (@SSWorks) August 8, 2020
It isn’t everyday that the president* of the United States goes on live television and declares war on programs that keep countless numbers of people alive and out of poverty in their old age. Common Dreams:
“Trump’s executive order, which seeks to defer Social Security contributions, is bad enough,” said Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works. “But his promise to ‘terminate’ FICA contributions if he is reelected is a full-on declaration of war against current and future Social Security beneficiaries.”
“Social Security is the foundation of everyone’s retirement security,” Altman added. “At a time when pensions are vanishing and 401ks have proven inadequate, Trump’s plan to eliminate Social Security’s revenue stream would destroy the one source of retirement income that people can count on. Moreover, Social Security is often the only disability insurance and life insurance that working families have. If reelected, Trump plans to destroy those benefits as well.”
So today, Trump
– cut unemployment by $200/week in the middle of the pandemic
– drained funding from Social Security and Medicaid
– created a tax bill you'll have to pay in several months
— Swing Left (@swingleft) August 8, 2020
This is why we need a unified Democratic government now more than we ever have, at least since the Great Depression.
One thing I can tell you, on a personal note, is that Murfster and I wouldn’t be here without our disability checks and without Medicare. I would have died, and that is not hyperbole. If you don’t know my story, I was malpracticed by a quack, starting 17 years ago. I had severe anemia for many years, necessitating frequent hospitalizations, and a hip crippled from arthritis. The first hospitalization was several months after I had returned to work after being on temporary disability for nine months. Long story short, I was deathly pale and horribly weak. I decided to go to the hospital, on a Thursday afternoon, which I could do, because I had Medicare. If I didn’t have Medicare, I would have just gone home. And I would have been dead by that Sunday, I was later told. My blood count was 3.3. I was in the hospital for five days and had to have a massive transfusion of five packs of blood.
A woman that I worked with did die, because she had no health insurance. She was feeling poorly, never went to the doctor, and died — we believe — of an aneurism of some sort suddenly one night. That part of it was never made clear. Point being, health insurance is crucial, Medicare is crucial, and disability and social security checks keep people alive. At least they have been keeping Murfster and myself alive. If you read his piece on the GOP’s unemployment assistance failure you get a vivid sense of how real this situation is for so many people. There but for the grace of God go a lot of us.
I’ve known Murf since 2016 and he and I have been friends through many personal travails, most particularly health and economic ones. We both became disabled before retirement age, and we both worked very hard in our careers out in corporate America before that happened. He put in a lot of overtime and so did I. Disability happens to the best of us. There must be a social safety net in place, or a lot of good, hardworking Americans, the kind that keep the country going — and I hope you’ll excuse me if I lump Murf and myself into that category — get sick through no fault of our own. We need help to keep going, so that we can return to productive work, albeit in other ways, and continue to be of value in our communities. Social Security, SSDI, and Medicare make that possible. Lack of those things is a death sentence, make no mistake.
Donald Trump doesn’t get that, and even if you could explain it to him, he wouldn’t care. Empathy is not his strong suit and he doesn’t identify with the normal men and women of America, only with wealthy celebrities. The rest of us can drop dead.
I am alarmed at his stunt in Bedminster a few hours ago. I would be considerably more alarmed if there wasn’t a very strong possibility of a blue tsunami in the fall. The Democrats have to take back control of the White House and Senate or we are looking at an oligarchy in this country, and if you’re not in the ruling class, good luck. That is the message of Donald Trump and that is the message of the Republican party.