Thursday, July 16, 2020
Contact: Linda Benesch, lbenesc[email protected]

Trump is Holding COVID Aid Hostage for His #1 Priority: Defunding Social Security

(Washington, DC) — The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works, in response to Donald Trump demanding that the next coronavirus relief package include a cut in the payroll tax, Social Security’s dedicated revenue:

“The coronavirus pandemic is raging across America. Essential workers are in desperate need of tests and personal protective equipment (PPE). Millions of Americans are at risk of eviction. Over 57,000 nursing home residents and workers are dead. Hospitals are in danger of becoming overwhelmed.

Donald Trump is doing nothing to address any of this. Instead, he’s stated his intentions to hold any Congressional relief package hostage for his top priority: Defunding Social Security by starving it of its dedicated revenue.

As economic stimulus, this approach makes no sense. Payroll tax cuts waste money, delivering the wealthy and powerful the largest cuts while providing nothing to those who need it most, such as the millions about to lose their COVID unemployment benefits.

But cutting Social Security contributions advances a longstanding right-wing ideological goal: Weakening our Social Security system.

Congress must not give into Trump’s hostage-taking. Every Senator and Representative needs to call Trump’s bluff and work together to quickly send a COVID relief bill to Trump’s desk — without including any cuts to Social Security’s dedicated revenue.”