President Trump made a lot of campaign promises, and his record on making good on them thus far is stellar. One of those campaign promises was his word to our senior citizens that he would leave their social security as it is. That there would be no changes to the social security that many of them depend on, even so far as considering it their life or death.
It is President Trump who said over and over that voters like Social Security, and because of this, it should be left alone. It was one of the several things that really made our President stand out among his primary rivals who did not feel the same way. It threw them for a loop.
His logic, for his decision, was really on point as well.
“There’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more,’ ” Trump reportedly told House Speaker Paul Ryan, who wants entitlement cuts, in May.”
Trump vowed to leave the retirement age qualification and benefits intact. So now fast forward from his promise, and looking at this year’s and next year’s “proposed” budgets.
There was a lot going on in political discussion circles about this year’s budget proposal that called for $236 billion dollars worth of reductions to Medicare, the federal health-care program that serves Americans 65 and older. With this proposal it would seem that Trump’s campaign promise to our seniors is being contradicted, however, there are a few things we need to consider before closing the book on this promise. First of all, we need to remember that the budget proposal is a non-binding document, which means it could very well fall flat on the floor.
As we saw with this year’s proposal, that is exactly what happened. Furthermore, on top of that there were several provisions that actually benefit users of Medicare in it, possibly being the equalizer or maybe even better than their benefits were previously. Next, if we were to really look at it in black and white, nothing has been enacted that is contrary to the President’s promise to our senior citizens. The promise is still in the works even now as we look at 2019’s proposed budget for our older folks.
“In his 2019 budget proposal, President Donald Trump revived a proposal from his previous budget that would cut disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration.
Under the heading “reform disability programs,” the budget blueprint counts $72 billion in spending reductions over 10 years. These would be from two similarly named but distinct programs run by the Social Security Administration — Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (or SSI).
SSDI benefits people with physical and mental conditions that are severe enough to permanently keep them from working. It is funded by Social Security payroll taxes. Meanwhile, SSI payments are limited to low-income Americans — senior citizens, or adults or children who are disabled or blind. The payments are funded through general revenue from the treasury.
“The largest cut would come from an unspecified proposal to test new approaches to increase labor force participation of people with disabilities,” said Benjamin W. Veghte, the vice president for policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance.
As we noted last year when we looked at this promise, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has argued that putting forth this proposal doesn’t mean that Trump would be breaking his promise, because the budget proposal doesn’t cut from the Social Security retirement program.”
“Candidate Trump was right to promise not to change Social Security retirement benefits. Why punish seniors for the Great Recession? Why base policies on fantasies about our bodies never aging, or how morbid obesity and opioid deaths reduce the Social Security-eligible population?
President Trump has delivered on his promise. This is a basic, grassroots issue that House and Senate members facing mid-term elections can and should proudly talk about.”
At the end of the day if we look at the facts, the question is answered. Has President Trump kept his promise on social security? Well, I’d say thanks to a strong economy under Trump, recipients could be seeing him keeping his promise, and making even greater ones. Take a look at this:
“Last year, Social Security beneficiaries saw an increase of 2%. After a meager raise of 0.3% in 2017, and no bump in benefits in 2015 and 2016, this was a welcome change. For 2019, the increase is expected to be 3%.
The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), should the estimates hold true, would be the largest Social Security increase since 2012. Based on the average benefit amount of $1404, recipients can expect an increase of $42 a month.
In addition, for those reaching full-retirement age in 2018, earning the maximum benefit of $2788 a month, the increase would be $85. As usual, we know this isn’t enough but it’s certainly better than nothing.
Currently, the COLA estimate for 2019 is based on Consumer Price Index data through April. However, the actual number in October will come based on the third quarter CPI (July-September) so it could be higher or lower.”
What do you have to add to this discussion? We want to know what you think, let us know in the comments!