Congress weighs payroll tax cuts as part of larger tax reform plan

It’s back to the drawing board for President Trump’s anticipated tax reform plan.

On Monday morning, the Associated Press reported original plans for Trump’s tax overhaul have been abandoned or at least tabled while Congress considers all of its options for creating the growth-stimulating tax plan he made an important part of his campaign.

With this new tax package, Trump looks to give Americans a much-needed tax break — a strategy he hopes will kickstart the economy, particularly in rural or low-income areas.

Though the White House hasn’t confirmed which options it may be considering — and indeed, has kept nearly silent about what may be in store — the AP reports early stages of discussion have included considering massive cuts to the payroll tax.

Administration officials weighing the option estimate it will put around $3,000 back into the pockets of working Americans, but critics say it will obliterate the dedicated revenue source Social Security has relied on to function since the FICA tax was enacted in 1939.  The federal government would be forced to locate funding for this program elsewhere to keep it intact in its current form.

More importantly, by reducing or eliminating the payroll tax that funds Social Security, the Trust Fund ceases to be the self-funded and work-based insurance program that has made it widely supported across party lines.

Yet again it seems our elected officials are looking to hide drastic cuts to Social Security behind the veneer of tax cuts for the middle class.

This new release by Nancy J. Altman at Social Security Works calls this a “trojan horse attack” on our benefits, cautioning beneficiaries — and future beneficiaries — not to be fooled by tax cuts targeting the payroll tax.

At a time when the long-term solvency of Social Security is called into question, the last thing we should be entertaining are cuts to the primary source of income for our benefits.