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GOP now backs payroll tax cut to raid, undermine Social Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2020) — The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works, in response to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) revealing that Congressional Republicans plan to demand a cut in payroll contributions, Social Security’s dedicated funding:

Republican activist Grover Norquist once famously stated that he wants to reduce government to the size where he can “drown it in the bathtub.” That’s exactly what Donald Trump, now joined by Congressional Republicans, is trying to do to our Social Security system:

Step One: Slash payroll contributions.
Step Two: Slash Benefits.
Step Three: Drown Social Security in the bathtub.

President Roosevelt designed Social Security as an earned benefit. He astutely included contributions by workers “so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits.” He added, “With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program.”

The damn politicians have tried and failed for decades to go after Social Security directly. Now, they’re seeking to raid the system’s dedicated revenue as a pathway to destroying it.

If the money lost in payroll contributions is replaced with general revenue, Social Security will still be a target. Currently, Social Security doesn’t add a penny to the deficit. Raiding its dedicated revenue is a set up to the claim that it must be cut in the name of reining in the debt!


McCarthy’s statement today means that every Republican member of Congress supports defunding Social Security — unless they quickly and explicitly denounce their party’s plan to raid our earned benefits. The American people are eagerly waiting to hear what Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) have to say.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And what do Washington’s Republican members of Congress have to say? Feel free to call them and find out: U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (202-225-3536 or 360-695-6292), Dan Newhouse (202-225-5816 or 509-452-3243) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (202-225-2006 or 509-353-2374).

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