Richtman Interview – Podcast September 21, 2020

Saving Social Security From Donald Trump And The GOP. Democratic Perspective welcomes back Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. He begins by noting that, for the first time in its history, the board of his organization voted to endorse a candidate for president – Joe Biden. The reason, he explains, is because of the danger Donald Trump poses to Social Security. He has already proposed nearly a trillion dollars in cuts to Social Security and Medicare. And Richtman notes, Trump has promised to permanently eliminate the payroll tax and fund the program out of the general budget. That would almost certainly cause Social Security to run out of money in a couple of years. “He either doesn’t understand how Social Security is funded” says Richtman. “Or he doesn’t care. Or it’s both.”

Richtman goes on to say that a lot of people don’t understand that the payroll tax funds the Social Security program. “I think a better way to explain it,” he says, “is that the payroll tax really is an insurance payment.” He points out that FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contribution Act. As a result, he emphasizes, “Social Security is not an entitlement. It’s an earned benefit.”

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