Opinion

Former Social Security Senior Officials Beg Biden: Please Stop Lying About Social Security

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Former Social Security Senior Officials Beg Biden: Please Stop Lying About Social Security

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Tens of millions of Americans rely on Social Security for retirement security and peace of mind. And we are always on guard to counter slanderous attempts to scare seniors. So, we were more than pleased to see others step forward to counter these election eve lies that Democrats always turn to, trying to garner votes by scaring seniors into the voting booth when all else fails.

We dedicated part of our careers helping the agency fulfill its mission of supporting retirees, surviving spouses and children, and workers with disabilities. We know that Social Security touches the life of every single American and every American family.

That’s why we’re begging Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to stop lying to seniors about their benefits. Here’s the deal. President Trump signed an Executive Order that allows employers to defer the collection of payroll taxes for workers earning less than $104,000 annually. The deferral allows these middle-class workers to keep more of their earnings this year, to help tide them over until, we hope, a vaccine becomes widely available early next year. 

Nothing in the president’s order affects Social Security’s solvency. The order simply allows employers to defer a portion of payroll taxes for a few months, until next year. Those taxes will have to be repaid unless Congress decides to forgive the deferrals through general revenues. That’s it, nothing more.

Media watchdogs have thoroughly discredited the Biden campaign’s attacks. The Washington Post gave them four Pinocchios.Factcheck.org labeled Biden’s ads “false.”  PolitiFact debunked the claims. Even CNN acknowledged that President Trump wants to protect Social Security’s funding.

The Biden campaign’s lies is triggering false alarms with senior citizens at the worst possible moment. These older Americans worry about COVID-19. They worry about their grandkids learning remotely. They already receive unwanted, false telephone calls and emails from scammers trying to steal their benefits. When the Biden campaign lies to retirees about the security of their benefits, they worry even more. That’s wrong.

The Biden campaign is also besmirching the legacy of a dedicated public servant. Steve Goss is the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration, a good and honest man. Mr. Goss never said that Trump’s order would defund Social Security. Instead, Mr. Goss confirmed that no one has proposed ‘hypothetical legislation’ to end payroll taxes. It is truly disgraceful that the campaign is distorting Mr. Goss’s words to score cheap political points. Come on, man.

We would like to believe that Joe Biden is better than this. If he wants to talk about Social Security, engage in an honest debate about its future and ways to help Americans during the pandemic. In the past, Biden advocated for a freeze on all government spending, including Social Security -- maybe he should talk more about that? But whatever he does, the Biden campaign shouldn’t distort the truth to scare Social Security beneficiaries. They need help, support, and certainty, now more than ever.

Saul Anuzis is president of the 60 Plus Association; Jim Martin is the group’s founder and chairman. Legendary Entertainer Pat Boone is Spokesman. Asheesh Agarwal and Mike Solon, who contributed to the piece, served in senior roles in the Social Security Administration.