Trump White House advisors float proposal to trade Social Security benefits for cash stimulus payments

On the heels of President Trump’s repeated calls to eliminate Social Security’s funding stream through payroll tax cuts, influential White House advisors are considering a fresh ploy to undermine Americans’ earned benefits.

“Senior White House economic officials… are exploring a proposal floated by two conservative scholars that would allow Americans to choose to receive checks of up to $5,000 in exchange for a delay of their Social Security benefits, according to three people familiar with the internal matter.” – Washington Post, 5/11/20

This is another colossally bad idea from right-leaning think tanks with influence on the Trump administration, designed to dismantle Social Security under the guise of helping working people.  The truth is:  today’s workers will need every penny of their future benefits and should not be duped into postponing their right to claim Social Security when needed for retirement, disability or survivors income.

Inducing workers to trade their future retirement benefits for temporary cash payments now is akin to similar schemes in recent years from the White House and Congressional Republicans.  In 2018, Ivanka Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and others hatched a plan for parents to sacrifice their future Social Security benefits in exchange for paid family leave.  These ideas represent a gross misuse of Social Security for purposes unrelated to its core purpose:  providing baseline retirement security for American workers.

Republicans are laying in a plan to steal your social security to pay for your decimated wages and benefits, while keeping landlords, banks and big corporations fully capitalized. There is no plan, however, to roll back any of the Trump, Bush or Reagan tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy.” – David Atkins, Washington Monthly, 5/10/20

President Trump has repeatedly promised “not to touch” Social Security, and one must assume that he is either too disengaged or too disingenuous to reject dangerous policies from his own advisors.  The trading-cash-for-retirement-benefits scheme is only the latest in a series of proposed assaults on Social Security, including calls from the administration and congressional Republicans to cut payroll taxes, to raise the retirement age, to adopt stingier cost-of-living adjustments, and slash Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) by billions of dollars — along with their insistence that ‘entitlements’ be ‘reformed’ to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations.

“Seniors will not be fooled by the administration’s duplicity.  President Trump postures as a leader who will protect Social Security while his appointed foot soldiers continue to hurl bombs at workers’ earned benefits.” – Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.