MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Both President Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden are visiting “swing state” Minnesota on Friday.
Now, a couple of Biden TV ads say President Trump is planning to end Social Security, but that’s a stretch.
The Biden ad claims President Trump has a plan to cut Social Security and let it run out of money. That’s false.
Here’s what the ad says, in its entirety:
“For our seniors, Social Security is a sacred obligation.
A sacred promise made.
The current President is threatening to break that promise.
He’s proposing to eliminate a tax that pays for Social Security.
Without any way of making up for that lost revenue.
I will not let that happen.
If I am your President, we’re going to protect Social Security and Medicare.
You have my word!
I’m Joe Biden and I approve this message.”
Here’s another Biden ad: mischaracterizing a “study” of a hypothetical Trump plan that it says could end Social Security benefits.
“The chief actuary of the Social Security Administration just released an analysis of Trump’s plan to cut Social Security. Under Trump’s plan, Social Security would be permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023.
If Trump gets his way, Social Security benefits will run out in just 3 years from now.
Don’t let it happen.
Joe Biden will protect Social Security.
I’m Joe Biden, and I approve this message.”
Here’s what’s true:
President Trump signed an executive order suspending some payroll taxes until after the election. That’s what pays for Social Security.
It means more money in paychecks now but workers must pay it all back next year. President Trump says they shouldn’t have to.
Part of the challenge of fact-checking what the President said is that he makes conflicting comments on different days. One day, promising to eliminate the payroll tax, on other days only lowering it, and sometimes doing nothing.
Here’s what the president said on the payroll tax during one week in August:
Aug 8: make permanent cuts to the payroll tax
Aug 10: end the payroll tax
Aug 11: terminate the payroll tax
Aug 13: forgive the payroll tax deferral
But on August 12, the president clearly said he’d protect Social Security, using general fund money.
“I’m going to go completely and totally forgive all deferred payroll taxes,” the President said on August 13, “without in any way, shape or form hurting Social Security. That money is going to come from the general fund. We’re not going to touch social security.”
One more point worth noting: despite what President Trump says he doesn’t have the legal power to “forgive” anyone’s taxes by himself, or raise taxes, or change taxes.
That’s what Congress does.