You may think that elections don’t matter. All the politicians are corrupt and it makes no difference who wins.  But this year the future of Social Security is at literally on the line.


Social Security is an 85 year old program that provides basic financial security for all Americans. Social Security is a cherished and essential financial safety net for millions of Americans. It serves not only people in retirement, but many who are disabled, and children who have lost a parent.  Many people in Wisconsin would have NO INCOME without Social Security.  Many would be in poverty or have their incomes seriously reduced without this vital program.


Social Security is an EARNED BENEFIT that people contribute to over their entire working lives. It is not a handout or “welfare.” Social Security is a participatory program requiring both employees and employers to contribute to its financial strength. These contributions (FICA or payroll taxes) are essential to the financial strength of both Social Security and Medicare.


But the Trump administration has issued an executive order temporarily suspending collection of FICA taxes.  President Trump has also publicly said he would make this action permanent if reelected.  This action would destroy the funding for Social Security and effectively destroy the program.


There are other problems with this executive order. It is probably illegal. Social Security was created by Congress and can not be changed by executive order. Congress must change the law to make changes to Social Security. In fact, Congress has specifically refused to make these changes in the past because they are not prudent or in the interests of the vast majority of the American people.  The action will be fought in the courts. Individuals and businesses may also have to eventually pay the full payroll taxes. So the program will be weakened and everyone will be hurt by the politically motivated actions of the current administration.


Changing Social Security from a public social insurance program to a private investment scheme has been advocated for many years. There is a lot of money to be made by Wall Street investment “advisers” if Social Security contributions can be converted to stock market based individual investment accounts.  This is the real agenda of the recent actions to cut funding for  Social Security.


Most working people would have a less secure financial future and a much lower income in retirement if these plans succeed. Social Security currently provides a stable, guaranteed, non-stock market based retirement income plus disability insurance benefits. It is a financial foundation on which other retirement savings are built. It is part of prudent savings diversity and must not be destroyed.


No one should be allowed to play political games with the financial security of millions of American and their EARNED current or future Social Security benefits . Presidents Trump’s unprecedented executive order is dangerous to the financial sustainability of the entire Social Security program.  If left unchecked it will harm many future recipients and indirectly the economy of Wisconsin.


Voters need to remember this on November 3rd.