Trump promises to defund social security, give himself a tax cut if he’s re-elected

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On August 8, one day after criticizing Congress for not extending COVID unemployment insurance, Donald Trump signs an executive order that does more for himself (and his wealthy friends) than most Americans.

The order includes a payroll tax holiday for the rest of the year, which means workers will pay less in taxes from their paychecks but have to pay those taxes when they file in 2021. The bigger story is that Trump promises he will make the payroll tax cut permanent if he is re-elected in November.

Medicare and social security are funded by payroll taxes, so Democrats see this as an intentional effort to defund social security. There’s another explanation though.

We know Republicans have wanted to kill social security for quite some time… but Trump would not just straight up sign an executive order to defund social security in the middle of an election year.

He did it for a much simpler reason. He did it because it’s going to put millions of dollars in his own pocket. It’s going to increase the net worth of his businesses by a few million dollars…. He owns a massive multi-billion dollar organization that pays millions of dollars a year in payroll tax.

Farron Cousins, ROF

The executive order does give unemployed citizens $300/week in federal assistance and orders states to provide an additional $100/week (which most states can’t afford to do). However, up to $44 billion will be taken from FEMA to fund unemployment insurance… during hurricane season.

Another problem: the executive order could be illegal.

This executive action could be challenged legally since the Constitution gives Congress control over federal spending. As such, Trump doesn’t have the legal authority to issue binding executive orders about how money should be spent during the coronavirus pandemic.


The White House can also not give federal tax cuts like the payroll tax holiday without congressional approval.


Photo: Public Domain

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