Inside The Debate Hall: Lots Of Masks And Some Notable Vips
Hallie Jackson, Jonathan Allen and Freddie Tunnard
The view from inside the debate hall: masks. Lots of them. We havent seen anyone without one, though, notably, the Trump family hasnt arrived yet. They were the main ones defying the mask mandate at the Cleveland debate.
The presidents motorcade is set to arrive any minute, and Joe Biden is already here. Seats are marked off for some of those members of the first family Melania, Eric and Ivanka Trump. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, is also here in the hall as are some former members of Congress: Democrat Lincoln Davis and Republican Jimmy Duncan Jr. among them.
The arena is bigger and less intimate than the room for the first debate in Cleveland, and in another contrast, people are freely mingling and chatting. The vibe is pretty low-key.
Pete Buttigieg has made several viral appearances on Fox News in recent weeks as a Biden surrogate. On Thursday night, he appeared again and offered a retort to the accusations leveled against Hunter Biden.
“If they want to make this about the business deals of a government official, let’s talk about the president of the United States having a secret Chinese bank account,” Buttigieg said.
The Trump campaign had previously sought to push the accusation that Hunter Biden’s relationships in the Ukraine were illegal, and has recently shifted its focus to China.
Trump’s Presidential Budgets Have All Called For Social Security Spending Cuts
Secondly, Trump’s four presidential budget proposals tell quite the tale. Although presidential budget proposals tend to be more of a talking point than any foundation for concrete legislation, they help people understand where a president is planning to focus their priorities. In each of Trump’s four fiscal-year budgets, he’s proposed a 10-year outlay reduction.
Keeping in mind that federal fiscal years start on October 1 and end September 30, Trump has proposed outlay reductions of:
- Fiscal 2018: $72 billion
- Fiscal 2020: $26 billion
- Fiscal 2021: $24 billion
According to these released budget proposals, most of the outlay reductions would come from removing perceived inefficiencies with the Social Security Disability Insurance program, as well as limiting SSDI retroactive pay to six months from the current 12 months that approved disabled workers are able to collect.
Note, though, that these outlay reductions are a drop in the bucket compared to the $15 trillion in estimated total spending from Social Security over the next 10 years.
Trump Has Previously Commented On His Intent To Scale Back Entitlement Spending
A fourth clue that suggests Trump may attempt to reduce Social Security’s long-term outlays can be found from snippets of commentary throughout his presidency.
For example, Joe Perticone of Business Insider reported in December 2017 that Trump had told a Republican member of Congress that “he was willing to go after Social Security and other entitlement programs at the beginning of his second term.” Again, this ties back into no longer having reelection concerns and being able to take a bolder stance on issues during a second term.
Trump also walked back commentary about possible entitlement cuts as recently as two months ago. When speaking at a Fox News town hall in early March, the president said, “Oh, we’ll be cutting , but we’re also going to have growth like you’ve never had before.”
Although Trump has never concretely stood by the idea of making long-term spending cuts to Social Security, he’s certainly intimated that idea on a handful of occasions over the past 3.5 years.
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Fact Check: Trump Boasts Of Delivering Ppe Early In Pandemic Doesn’t Mention Ongoing Shortages
“We shipped hundreds of millions of masks, gloves and gowns to our frontline health care workers. To protect our nations seniors, we rushed supplies, testing kits, and personal to nursing homes, we gave everything you can possibly give and were still giving it because were taking care of our senior citizens,” Trump said on Thursday night, talking up his COVID-19 response.
In the early days of the pandemic, the Trump administration did indeed procure millions of supplies, even flying personal protective equipment in from overseas, with much fanfare and often exaggerated numbers.
But Trump fails to mention that the shortages of PPE and critical testing supplies are ongoing.
One in five U.S. nursing homes faced severe shortages of PPE this summer, according to a study released in August. The American Medical Association decried the persistent shortage of N95 masks and other protective equipment yesterday.
“It is hard to believe that our nation finds itself dealing with the same shortfalls in PPE witnessed during the first few weeks that SARS-CoV-2 began its unrelenting spread, the groups president, Dr. Susan Bailey, said on August 26th. But that same situation exists today, and in many ways things have only gotten worse.
Midway through his speech Thursday, Donald Trump mentioned Kenosha, Wisconsin but did not make mention of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by the city’s police.
Biden Must Reverse Trumps Assault On Social Security
President Biden has inherited a Social Security program that is on a weaker footing than when Donald Trump took office. But the new President has pledged to strengthen and expand the program both by working with Congress and through executive action. In fact, President Biden is well positioned to safeguard one of the landmark achievements of one of his most prominent Democratic predecessors, Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose son, Congressman James Roosevelt, Sr., founded our organization.
Joe Biden has a record over four decades of being a strong supporter of Social Security. He was a strong voice in the Senate for the needs of seniors and its clear that the proposals that Biden and Harris are offering demonstrate a clear understanding of American seniors needs. James Roosevelt, Jr., vice-chair, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare advisory board
As if Americans needed a reminder of how crucial Social Security is, the pandemic which disproportionately impacted seniors has underlined its importance. Social Security is there for eligible older workers who lose their jobs or are forced to retire early by sickness or disability. It is there as a financial lifeline for retirees, who face higher medical expenses or loss of other income during the pandemic. It is there for families of workers when they become disabled, or pass away.
Trump Keeps Proposing Entitlement Cuts And Then Denying That He Did So
In 2015 and 16, Trump differentiated himself from the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls by campaigning on a vow to not cut entitlements.
Im not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and Im not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid, Trump told the Daily Signal, a conservative publication affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, in 2015.
As his budget proposals indicate, this promise was an empty one. Trump, however, seems to realize that cutting entitlements is a political loser for him, and as a result has continued to make assertions about preserving them that are at odds with reality.
All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they dont, they will after I speak to them. I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well!
Donald J. Trump
Last month, however, Trump seemed to have a moment of radical honesty when he told CNBC during an interview conducted in Davos that at some point entitlement cuts will be on the table.
CNBC: Will entitlements ever be on your plate ?TRUMP: “At some point they will be”CNBC: But you said you wouldn’t do that in the pastTRUMP: “We also have assets that we never had”
Those comments created a negative stir, so the very next day Trump tried to walk them back.
Democrats are going to destroy your Social Security. I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!
Donald J. Trump
Bidens False Attacks On Trumps Social Security Plan
A Biden campaign TV ad falsely claims that a government analysis of President Donald Trumps planned cuts to Social Security shows that if Trump gets his way, Social Security benefits will run out in just three years from now.
The Social Security Administrations chief actuary analyzed hypothetical legislation that would eliminate the payroll tax that funds Social Security not a proposal from Trump. The president has said he wont cut benefits.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and others who oppose Trumps reelection have capitalized on confusing statements Trump made in August. He has said on multipleoccasions that, if reelected, he would look at ending or terminating the payroll tax.
But White House and Trump campaign officials have said the president actually wants to forgive a four-month payroll tax holiday he authorized via executive action last month. Trump himself has said: hen I win the election, Im going to completely and totally forgive all deferred payroll taxes without in any way, shape or form hurting Social Security. That money is going to come from the general fund.
Advertising Analytics says the Biden campaign has spent over $1.3 million on the 30-second commercial, which has aired more than 5,500 times in swing states like Michigan and Arizona since Sept. 3.
What Has Trump Said?
What Does He Mean?
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How Alice Marie Johnson Became Of Symbol Of Trumps Criminal Justice Reform Agenda
Two years ago, reality star Kim Kardashian West personally lobbied the president in an Oval Office meeting to intervene on behalf of Alice Marie Johnson.
Johnsons story went viral after she did an interview from inside of an Alabama federal prison in which she was serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense.
In that video, Johnson shared the details of her story.
Fact Check: ‘record’ Job Gains Still Leave The Us Labor Market In Worse Shape Than Great Recession
On the last night of his partys convention, President Trump bragged about record job gains in recent months, but the 9.1 million jobs he touts come with some qualifiers.
“Over the past three months, we have gained over nine million jobs, and thats a record in the history of our country,” Trump said Thursday.
The recent job gains are still less than half the number of jobs the economy shed in March and April at the height of pandemic-ordered lockdowns. From March through July, the economy lost a net 12.9 million jobs, the most in American history.
The nearly 2 million jobs added in July also represent a sharp slowdown from the almost 5 million jobs added in June.
And several major groups of workers are at greater risk of falling behind. Black unemployment, at 14.6 percent in July, registered less than a percentage point of improvement. Among Hispanics, the rate of unemployment also remained elevated at nearly 13 percent, compared to just nearly 9 percent for white workers.
It still has a long way to go, and risks falling back in as the pandemic continues to rage and causes more layoffs and curtails hiring, he said.
President Trump spoke for roughly 70 minutes on Thursday, one of the longest convention speeches in modern history.
The president is known to insert new material into his speeches on the trail. It just wasnt the case in one of the biggest speeches of his presidency.
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Trumps Plan To Defund Social Security
Permanently terminating the employee payroll tax along the lines President Trump has proposed would empty Social Securitys trust fund by 2026 or earlier.
On August 8, at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Donald Trump announced that his administration is seeking to delay much of the payroll tax that funds Social Security1 of 4 unilateral actions he took in lieu of negotiating with Congress on meaningful economic relief legislation. The president also said that if he is reelected, he wants not only to turn the delay into a tax cut that would result in significant revenue losses for Social Security, but also to eliminate employee payroll taxes for good. As our analysis based on the Social Security trustees projections shows, eliminating employee payroll taxes along the lines that the president has proposed would, absent additional action, completely exhaust the Social Security trust fund by 2026 or earlier and result in steep benefit cuts.
people receive Social Security.
This would drain about $350$450 billion in payroll tax revenue in 2021 and more in later years.
The percentage of promised benefits recipients would receive in Social Security if the trust fund is exhausted
Based on the latest Social Security trustees projections, we estimate:
Seth Hanlon and Christian E. Weller are senior fellows at the Center for American Progress.
Nypd Union Boss Pat Lynch Underscores Trumps Law And Order Message
Pat Lynch is the president of the Police Benevolent Association, a union with 50,000 active and retired NYPD officers. While it is unusual for him to speak at a political convention, he has been a bullhorn for law enforcement in New York City and around the country, particularly as officers violently clashed with protesters calling for defunding the police.
Lynch has been at loggerheads with the citys mayor, Bill de Blasio, and has generated controversy over the years, such as fiercely opposing the firing of the officer who killed Eric Garner.
His RNC speech was similar to Trumps rhetoric about Democratic-run cities.
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He’d No Longer Have Reelection Concerns
Another important point to consider is that Trump winning a second term would remove any concerns about having to campaign for another election. This lack of worry about future elections is what often inspires second-term presidents to take on issues that they may have previously swept under the rug.
This would bring a Trump quote from the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013 into greater focus. Said Trump:
As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen … What we have to do and the way we solve our problems is to build a great economy.
At the time, this was Trump’s way of suggesting that direct fixes to Social Security will cost the GOP votes. That’s because any direct fix will make some group of people worse off than they were before. However, without any future elections to concern himself with, a second-term president might be willing to tackle direct changes to Social Security head-on.
Ap Fact Check: Trump Payroll Tax Cut Is Social Security Risk
President Donald Trumps proposed payroll tax cut is a threat to Social Security no matter how he casts it
BALTIMORE — President Donald Trumps proposed payroll tax cut is a threat to Social Security no matter how he casts it.
During a news conference Wednesday, he insisted he could eliminate the tax if he were reelected, and do it without undercutting retirement benefits or greatly adding to the deficit. He said economic growth would offset the revenue losses.
That claim has little basis in reality.
He also pointed to a manufacturing boom during the coronavirus pandemic but there isnt one.
A look at some of his economic claims:
TRUMP: At the end of the year, the assumption that I win, Im going to terminate the payroll tax … Well be paying into Social Security through the General Fund.”
THE FACTS: Trump, in effect, has proposed a dramatic restructuring of how Social Security is financed by not relying on the payroll tax as a dedicated source, but instead by tapping the general fund. Trump campaign officials stressed that the general fund consists of assets and liabilities that finance government operations and could do so for Social Security. The general fund is nicknamed America’s Checkbook on the Treasury Department’s website.
That average is so large that it suggests Trump either wants to eliminate the payroll tax or he did not understand his administrations own policies.
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Potential Problems With The Executive Order
The executive order only defers Social Security payroll taxes it doesn’t eliminate them. The tax will have to be withheld and paid gradually from paychecks issued between January 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021. It would take Congressional action to actually wipe out the tax debt.
Mnuchin has also acknowledged that the president’s order doesn’t force businesses to stop withholding the tax. As a result, many private employers continue to withhold Social Security payroll taxes from their workers’ paychecks. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 32 other U.S. business organizations said that “many of our members will likely decline to implement deferral, choosing instead to continue to withhold and remit to the government the payroll taxes required by law.” That means no bump in workers’ take-home pay.
The president’s order also directs the Secretary of the Treasury to “explore avenues, including legislation, to eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes deferred,” and Trump said he would “terminate” the suspended taxes if he’s re-elected. But at this point there’s no telling if the eventual payment of the deferred taxes will ultimately be avoided.