It has been less than two months since Republicans won an impressive electoral victory, and they are already committing political suicide. A powerful Republican Congressman has introduced legislation that would lead to dramatic cuts in Social Security benefits.
Most Americans would see their Social Security checks shrink by 11% to 35% if the so-called Social Security Reform Act of 2016 becomes law, the left-wing Center for American Progress claimed. The Act was written and introduced by Representative Sam Johnson (R-Texas).
Johnson is chairman of the Social Security subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, Forbes contributor John Wasik noted. Johnson claimed that his bill would “permanently save Social Security” by preventing it from running out of money.
Cutting Social Security to save it
Here is a synopsis of what the Act might do:
- Eliminate Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) to Social Security for people who have more than $85,000. A COLA is a mechanism that automatically raises benefits so they keep pace with inflation.
- Reduce benefits for Americans that make more than $12,280 a year.
- Increase benefits for those who make less than $12,280 a year by 20%.
- Cut the future benefits of some people who are working now by 50%.
- Raise the age for receiving full benefits to 69 at some point in the near future.
Johnson claims his plan would save Social Security by putting more money into the program’s trust fund. If funding is not increased the fund will only be able to cover 79% of benefits by 2034, a report from Social Security’s Trustees concluded.
Powerful Congressman on Collision Course with Trump
It is not clear how serious Johnson is about the Reform Act; but if he goes through with it, the Representative would be on a collision course with President-Elect Donald J. Trump.
“People have been paying in for years,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” in April. “They’re gonna cut Social Security. They’re gonna cut Medicare. They’re gonna cut Medicaid. I’m the one saying that’s saying I’m not gonna do that! I’m gonna make us so rich you don’t have to do those things.”
Trump Cabinet Nominee wants $1.7 Trillion Social Security Cut
Disturbingly Johnson is not the only powerful Republican to propose deep cuts to Social Security. Even more dramatic slashing has been advocated by one of Donald’s own cabinet picks.
Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services U.S. Representative Dr. Tom Price (R-Georgia) has proposed automatic budget cuts that would slash $1.7 trillion from Social Security over 10 years, the Center for American Progress charged.
That would work out to a $168 a month cut in the average Social Security benefit, The New York Times alleged. If those claims are true Price; like Johnson, might be on a collision course with Trump.
Trump Must Kill Social Security Cut Proposals Now
If he has any sense President-Elect Trump will put the kibosh on these proposals fast. History shows that proposed Social Security cuts are political suicide.
George W. Bush made a Social-Security cut proposal similar to Johnson’s Reform Act in 2005; a year later in 2006, Democrats captured both houses of Congress. Just two years after that in 2008; Barack Obama, a Democrat was elected President.
The only people who would benefit from the Social Security cut proposals are Democrats. One has to wonder if Price and Johnson are double agents for the Democratic Party?