WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — The chief analyst at the Social Security Administration says the agency may run out of money by 2023 if President Trump’s payroll tax cut becomes permanent.
In a statement, SSA Chief Actuary Stephen Goss said, “If this hypothetical legislation were enacted, with no alternative source of revenue to replace the elimination of payroll taxes…Trust Fund reserves would become permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023, with no ability to pay…benefits thereafter.”
Many Democrat lawmakers expressed concern with the payroll tax cut.
“It undermines these essential critical elements of our economic system,” said Rep. Dan Kildee, Democrat from Michigan. Kildee says the President’s executive order to cut payroll taxes, which fund social security, isn’t an efficient way to stimulate the economy or help those in financial need.
“It only goes to people who are employed,” Kildee said. “It’s just not targeted the way it should be…I’m not sure the president has the authority to execute these executive orders.”
Kildee also expressed concern about President Trump’s executive order to extend unemployment benefits, using FEMA emergency dollars.
“I just don’t think it’s enough, and I don’t think the way the President did it is going to be for a long enough period,” Kildee said.
Joel Griffith with the conservative Heritage Foundation says concern over the President’s executive orders, especially their cost, are politicized.
“A lot of the same folks that are saying this is fiscally reckless are the same ones that have been applauding the ‘Green New Deal’ and programs that would cost tens of trillions of dollars,” said Griffith.
He says many conservatives acknowledged concerns about dwindling social security benefits before the pandemic. Griffith says Democrats in Congress and the White House must be cautious about over-spending on stimulus.
“It will mean we’re going to have to print more money, borrow more money or raise taxes,” said Griffith.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern said the SSA analysis isn’t based in reality, but rather on a request from Senate Democrats about a hypothetical inquiry. He says Social Security will not run out of money, because President Trump has said the funds would be replenished from the general fund.
The President cannot unilaterally make cuts to payroll taxes permanent without a vote from Congress.