Posted on 22 Mar, 2017
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney acknowledged this week in a televised interview that President Trump’s budget plan includes cuts to both Social Security and Medicare. Trump had previously stated that his plan would protect Social Security and Medicaid. The proposed budget also includes massive cuts to regulatory agencies and massive increases in defense spending.
Mulvaney stated the Trump Administration’s disdain for entitlement programs, mentioning that the cost of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is ultimately too costly. The Trump administration has stated it will reform entitlement programs in the near future.
In 2015, $143 Billion was spent towards Social Security, with the majority of it rolled out through the Social Security payroll tax. This totals around 4 percent of the federal budget. The average monthly benefit for disabled and retired workers in January 2017 was $1,171.25.
Social Security has its own trust fund that’s separate from the program itself. The National Academy of Social Insurance has illustrated how disability insurance and funds for elderly citizens are financed similarly but administered by two different funds, both run by the Social Security Administration.
Social Security largely benefits older Americans who have worked for decades and are near retirement age. Workers pay Social Security throughout their years in the workforce so it is available to them when they need it. The average SSDI recipient has worked for 22 years, and 75 percent of those who benefit are 50 years old or older. 53 percent of voters ages 50 and over supported President Trump during the election in November.
The Social Security Administration rejects a majority of applicants for disability payments. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that fewer than 400 of 1,000 initial applications for approval are accepted.