Letter to the Editor: Deleting FICA Taxes Would Threaten Social Security

Two years before I was born, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935. In addition to several provisions for general welfare, this act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement. It sought to address the long-range problem of economic security for the aged through a contributory system in which the workers themselves contributed to their own future retirement benefit through FICA taxes by making regular payments into a joint fund. This act was one of several programs – along with the CCC, WPA and others – developed during the Great Depression.

Rather than developing nationwide plans to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump signed a memo directing the treasury department to allow employers to defer FICA payroll taxes from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 for employees making less than $4,000 on a biweekly basis. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow thinks the deferral will be extremely helpful during the depression-like atmosphere created by the coronavirus pandemic.

President Trump has indicated that he would push for deleting FICA taxes if reelected. If FICA taxes are deleted or deferred indefinitely, the IRS says the Social Security Fund could be depleted by 2023.

Social Security checks account for about one-third of my family income. Therefore, this is another reason why I am not voting for Donald Trump to be my president for four more years. I hope others like me and those who have parents who receive monthly Social Security checks will join me in not voting for Trump.

Jack W. Travis

Ellison Bay, Wisconsin