[Newsweek] President Donald Trump says that if he wins a second term, he intends to eliminate the payroll taxes which fund Social Security, leaving it to Congress budget funds for the program each year. Democratic nominee Joe Biden, if elected, has plans for one of the biggest Social Security benefit expansions in decades.
Trump’s plan is too vague to know for sure how Social Security would be impacted. While some presume Trump would continue to provide current benefits, but he has not released much information on how exactly those benefits would be financed if the tax is cut, and what the cut would mean for Social Security’s long-term financial stability.
Biden’s proposal includes an increase to the minimum benefit, which would boost low-income workers. The change would raise the minimum benefit from $886 per month to $1,301 per month, according to an analysis by the Penn Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania.
The benefit changes would be paid for by imposing a 12.4 percent payroll tax on income earned above $400,000, evenly split between employers and employees. Today, people only pay taxes on earnings each year up to $137,700. Experts at the Urban Institute have estimated that in addition to covering the benefits, the tax increase would also expand the life-span of the Social Security trust fund by at least five years.
Trump’s statement on eliminating the payroll tax was enough to cause some advocacy organizations to endorse the Biden-Harris ticket. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a seniors advocacy group founded by the late son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, broke 38 years of tradition by voicing support for Biden last month.
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