Is Trump going to change Social Security if elected, if so, you can guess it won’t be for the better. Social Security is vitally important to many Americans. According to the Social Security Administration, the majority of elderly beneficiaries get 50% or more of their income from Social Security, while 22% of married elderly beneficiaries and 47% of unmarried ones get fully 90% or more of their income from it. Therefore , we can all guess what the leading candidates for U.S. presidency have said about Social Security and how they might change it, but how would Donald Trump change Social Security?
To answer that question is harder because Trump hasn’t been very consistent in his views on Social Security and other topics. As Jim Geraghty noted in National Review last month, “Within 24 hours of becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump had reversed his positions on tax increases, paying down the debt, raising the minimum wage, and self-financing his campaign. It was a busy day.”
Still, it’s instructive to review things he has said about the program, as they can offer a little insight into his thinking, although it is very general, Republican positions on Social Security range from reducing benefits to raising the retirement age further to reducing the Social Security tax rate to even privatizing the system. (Democrats, including President Obama, have called for strengthening the program.)
Back in 2000, in Trump”s book The America We Deserve, Trump compared Social Security to a Ponzi scheme, suggesting that it should be privatized and that the retirement age should be increased.
During a Republican debate in March, Trump reportedly said, “It’s my absolute intention to leave Social Security the way it is,” adding, “I want to make our country rich again so we can afford it.”
In a 2015 debate, when asked about limiting Social Security by income, he said, “As a policy, I would leave it up to the people,” adding: “Don’t forget they pay in, and maybe they do well, and maybe some people want it. But the fact is that there are people that truly don’t need it, and there are many people that do need it very, very badly.
Trump’s words might be reassuring, but we shouldn’t just accept them at face value. Politicians rarely keep all their promises, and this one has a history of changing his position on various issues.
Here are some reasons to worry: Trump’s team has suggested that his economic plan will grow the U.S. economy faster, leading to a multitrillion-dollar surplus within a decade. The Tax Foundation, though, which is more right-leaning than left-leaning, has begged to differ, estimating that should Trump succeed in sharply reducing corporate taxes and simplifying the tax code, his plans will reduce tax revenues by some $10 trillion. With that kind of a shortfall, our economic environment might not be conducive to preserving Social Security. (The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget has estimated that Trump’s overall plans are likely to raise our national debt by $12 trillion to $15 trillion.)
Several of Trump’s recently hired advisors are on record as wanting to privatize Social Security, reduce benefits, and otherwise shrink the program — including cuts to disability, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. After Trump spoke out in general support of Social Security, his advisor Sam Clovis suggested on May 11 that Trump would consider making cuts to the program. While Trump may speak out in support of Social Security these days, note that he has also said “As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen.” He said that in a 2013 address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, and it shows him knowing that if he wanted to cut Social Security, it wouldn’t be wise to say so if he also wanted to get
With all that in mind, what is to happen to Social Security should Donald Trump get elected president? Well, the best answer is: We don’t know. He has changed his position on lots of topics, including Social Security, and he would be arriving at the job with little governing experience. He may well leave a lot to his advisors, in which case cuts may very well be on the table and if they are many people will suffer. Even today Medicare has changed significantly causing it hard for the elderly to get proper care. If there is much more changes Medicare is barely going to exist. With the job shortage, the elderly need their Social Security because it will be harder for them to find work and they will not be giving up their jobs for the younger folks to take over.
It has even be stated by some, if Trump begins to take a lead over Clinton, the Stock Market is going to begin to fall and if Clinton begins to take the lead the Market will rise. The last few days the Market has dropped considerably and Clinton has made remarks that is not favoring her in the election so lets hope for the Market’s sake, she watches what she says. It would be nice if it would go back up.