A new survey of National Committee members and supporters suggests that the Trump administration and so-called “fiscal hawks” in Congress are seriously out of step with American seniors when it comes to Social Security. In the face of an intensifying campaign to undermine the program using the COVID pandemic as cover, the majority of respondents told us they want Social Security expanded – and not misused for unrelated purposes.
Ninety-six percent said they oppose the use of Social Security funds to pay for other fiscal priorities. In particular, 88% oppose President Trump’s reckless proposals to cut the payroll taxes that fund Social Security. These proposals would not only interfere with the program’s revenue stream, they would mostly benefit larger companies and higher earners, instead of the low-income workers who need the most financial relief during the pandemic.
Ninety-two percent of our members and supporters reject Senator Mitt Romney’s TRUST Act, which would establish “rescue committees” for Social Security’s trust funds – and would allow severe benefit cuts to be fast-tracked in Congress.
Seventy percent of respondents are against a new scheme (which White House aides considered) to give Americans the option of forfeiting some of their future Social Security benefits for emergency cash now.
The National committee recognizes that working Americans need relief from the financial pain of the COVID crisis. But we disagree that Social Security – a program funded by Americans workers – should be misappropriated for purposes having nothing to do with its core mission, which is to provide basic income upon retirement, disability, or the death of a family breadwinner. That is the very reason that President Franklin Roosevelt and his aides crafted Social Security as a worker-funded program – to protect it from politicians who might seek to misuse or dismantle it.
“This polling shows that many policymakers continue to be tone-deaf to the overwhelming support for social security and overwhelming opposition to proposals to tamper with Social Security. These proposals may be attractive to campaign donors on Wall Street, but certainly not among American seniors.” – Dan Adcock, Director of Government Relations and Policy, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
While our members and supporters reject the President’s and fiscal hawks’ policies, they overwhelmingly support legislation to expand and strengthen Social Security. Ninety-two percent say it’s time to pass the Social Security 2100 Act, which would boost earned benefits and ensure Social Security’s long-term solvency.
The future of Social Security very much hinges on the outcome of the 2020 elections. If the President is re-elected and his party maintains its Senate majority, the harmful proposals that most Americans reject could take root. If, on the other hand, seniors vote in their own interests – as they did in 2018 – destructive policies can be blocked and legislation like the Social Security 2100 Act can be enacted, giving beneficiaries a much-needed raise and safeguarding the program’s financial future. Seniors need true champions in the White House and in Congress. The new poll results are an encouraging sign for seniors… and a stunning rebuke for Social Security’s opponents.