Trump-GOP Using COVID-Relief Act to Undermine Social Security: AARP, Not Amused

We report on ramping up our election campaign work and upon Trump’s effort to undermine the post office & eliminate payroll taxes due to COVID, a clear effort to withhold a key SSI revenue source. Plus, an URGENT Action Alert on LANL.

Retake Our Democracy on KSFR 101.1 FM, Saturdays, 8:30 – 9 am. 

This Saturday, I interviewed Rep. Melanie Stansbury, a Democratic House Rep from ABQ who is also an expert on water policy, water quality and water management. So if you care about water, you may want to listen in, as according to Melanie, we currently can’t legally manage our own water. What’s up with that? You can also listen/watch all of our shows going back to April 25 by clicking here. For older shows going back to 2017, you can only listen to podcasts from the first show in Feb. 2017 through April 25, 2020 via podcast by clicking here.

Working Families Party Statewide Convening

Saturday, August 8, 1pm – 4pm, a Zoom-Based Statewide Convening. Working Families Party, NM and its allies are in the midst of atransformative moment in our state and nation’s history. Not only are we in the most consequential election year of our lives, we are grappling with a global pandemic and resulting economic crisis, and experiencing a wave of uprisings as millions take to the streets to demand justice for Black lives. It’s important in moments like these that we come together to re-imagine what’s possible and chart a path forward for our communities.

Retake encourages everyone to join the virtual NM WFP State convening to build long-term plans to win in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

At the Convening, WFP will engage with others and discuss the health and economic crisis created by COVID-19 and how they are organizing the working class in this unparalleled moment. WFP will introduce and ask for feedback on their People’s Charter — a vision for how we not only survive these crises, but transform the country. WFP will also discuss WFP’s power-building strategy for New Mexico and give participants everything they need to participate in their presidential endorsement process.

If you’re ready to be a part of this fight, please join WFP NM August 8 from 1pm to 4pm for this important Convening.

Register here: RSVP for the Zoom call.

Call To Action: Public Comment to Stop LANL Nuke Expansion Must Be Made by Tuesday.

While the newspapers and media are publishing heartrending accounts by Hiroshima and Nagsaki survivors, they are blatantly ignoring the continuation of that nightmare here at home. The information in the link below is via the Los Alamos Study Group and Joni Arends at CCNS. Please do what you can to spread the word. Comments are due Tuesday. Click here for details, speaking points and contact info.

All Hands On Deck Zoominar with
Eric Griego, Working Families Party and Andrea Serrano, Olé

This past Tuesday, Retake Our Democracy hosted a tremendous Zoominar focused on the 2020 election. Next Tuesday, Retake will be updating and significantly expanding its 2020 Election Strategy. In advance of this, we’d like to encourage all who missed it, to take some time to review the recording of our Zoominar with Eric Griego, Working Families Party and Andrea Serrano, Olé. From Paul Dirdak, commenting on the Zoom:

My best moments were these:
“I’m not afraid of Debbie Rodella and you needn’t be either”  Susan Herrera quoted by Andrea Serrano

“I don’t call myself a progressive because of some people who do.”  Andrea Serrano

“All hands. No elbows.”  Andrea, again.

And I’ll add something you’ve been quoting: ‘If you think we can’t change the world, it just means you’re not one of those that will.’

Paul Dirdak

As today’s post outlines, now Trump is hellbent on destroying Social Security while continuing to create one corporate relief after another. This Zoom will help you better understand what is at stake in NM and Tuesday, we will include an update on what we all can do in swing states.

News In Brief: Both of today’s News In Briefs relate to today’s theme of Trump and the GOP systematically using COVID relief as another in a series of wealth thefts, shifting US resources to the wealthy and robbing Americans of wealth and economic security. And from Stacy Abrams, how Trump is using the deficit as rationale for postal service cuts, a clear effort to undermine the election. Together, these three pieces lay out points that may be useful in talking with friends and voters.

Long Preferring Aide to Billionaire’s and Mega Corporations
To Helping Us, Trump Now Takes Aim At Social Security

This may cost Trump dearly. Trump garnered 55% of the votes from seniors in 2016, to only 43% for Clinton. That was a huge plus for Trump. But I am guessing that those seniors were not expecting Trump to sign an executive order to eliminate the primary funding source for SSI, the payroll tax. But then there are no end to surprises from this man. From Common Dreams: “Retirees Vow to ‘Fight This Attempt to Gut Social Security’ as Trump Announces Executive Order to Suspend Payroll Tax”

An advocacy group representing more than four million American retirees warned Thursday that President Donald Trump took a dangerous step toward “single-handedly” dismantling Social Security by announcing he plans to sign an executive order suspending collection of the payroll tax as early as Friday afternoon.

With congressional negotiations over the next Covid-19 stimulus package still at an impasse, Trump told reporters Thursday that executive orders to suspend the payroll tax, extend boosted unemployment benefits, and reestablish an expired eviction moratorium are “being drawn now” despite questions over whether the president has the authority to unilaterally take any of those actions.

From Common Dreams: “Retirees Vow to ‘Fight This Attempt to Gut Social Security’ as Trump Announces Executive Order to Suspend Payroll Tax”

This is not going to sit well with seniors who are dependent upon Social Security which for many low-income seniors is their sole source of income. From the AARP:

“Older Americans have earned their benefits through a lifetime of work. Their retirement security should not be put at risk because President Trump is mad at Congress for not bending to his will.”

Richard Fiesta, Alliance for Retired Americans

Trump said he expects to sign the orders “tomorrow afternoon or maybe the following morning” if White House negotiators and Democratic leaders don’t reach a deal. They failed to reach a deal as of this morning. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have rejected the idea of cutting the payroll tax, the primary funding mechanism for Social Security. But Trump appears hellbent upon doing so by executive order, something that may well be unconstitutional (see News In Brief, above). But as explained by Common Dreams, the wealth grab began well before COVID.

Even before the pandemic, nearly 80 percent of Americans lived paycheck to paycheck. Now many are desperate, as revealed by lengthening food lines and growing delinquencies in rent payments.    

McConnell’s response? He urges lawmakers to be “cautious” about helping struggling Americans, warning that “the amount of debt that we’re adding up is a matter of genuine concern.” 

So let’s be clear, caution is important for Republicans when you are considering offering relief to seniors, unemployed workers and hungry children, but there is no caution whatsoever when offering relief to the privileged who are doing just fine without it or when increasing the military budget. This is just the most recent in an unending series of insults to the American people, as Trump, Senator McConnell and the GOP has held the relief act hostage because they do not want to sustain the $600/week unemployment relief or to provide any food stamp increases. The clear thinking is that if you are financially desperate enough or your kids are going hungry, you will return to work, no matter the risk. If they were sincerely concerned about the deficit, the GOP would not have passed the $1.9 trillion tax cut McConnell engineered in December 2017 for big corporations and the super-rich, which blew up the debt deficit. From Common Dreams, Mitch McConnell’s GOP Is Destroying America:”

That’s just the beginning of the GOP’s handouts for corporations and the wealthy. As soon as the pandemic hit, McConnell and Senate Republicans were quick to give mega-corporations a $500 billion blank check, while only sending Americans a paltry one-time $1,200 check.

The GOP seems to believe that the rich will work harder if they receive more money while people of modest means work harder if they receive less. In reality, the rich contribute more to Republican campaigns when they get bailed out.

And although the bill was also intended to help small businesses, lobbyists connected to Trump – including current donors and fundraisers for his reelection – helped their clients rake in over $10 billion of the aid, while an estimated 90 percent of small businesses owned by people of color and women got nothing.

From Common Dreams, Mitch McConnell’s GOP Is Destroying America:”

Robert Reich Breaks this Down in Three Minutes

We clearly have our work cut out for us. Be sure to catch the Tuesday post to find out more about how and what you can do to prevent this ongoing wealth theft.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Economic justice, Uncategorized

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