So Donald J. Trump has is now the President Elect of the United States and many with disabilities are left wondering what does a Donald J Trump presidency mean for those with disabilities and their Social Security Benefits.
Trump’s Social Security Campaign Promise
Trump has promised many times to leave Medicare and Social Security alone. His Campaign told CNN in August, “We will not cut Medicare or Social Security benefits, but protect them both” and during the GOP debates he said he would “do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is”
Trump’s Social Security Transition Team
However Trump’s transition team for Social Security signals that privatization of Social Security may become an initiative under the Trump Administration. Trump has allegedly selected Mike Korbey and Dorcas Hardy to run the Social Security Trump Transition Team.
Mike Korbey is a former senior advisor in the Social Security Administration under President George W. Bush and before being hired into the Bush Administration he worked for the United Seniors Association that pushed for privatization of the Social Security Administration. He was also the subject of a short Government Accountability Office investigation into using government funds to advocate for the privatization of the Social Security Administration under the George W. Bush administration but was cleared.
Dorcas Hardy was a Commissioner of the Social Security Administration during the Reagan Administration that has a history of calling for the privatization of Social Security. In a 1995 Press Conference that called for the privatization of Social Security she joined the Cato Institute to push for the privatization of the Social Security Administration. Pushing for privatization in 1995 she said the United States must “develop a system that prevents intergenerational warfare” and followed it up saying “We’ve got a problem in this country and it’s not too early to begin talking about it.”
Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on Social Security
Vice President-Elect Mike Pence is however the most concerning signal when it comes to privatization of Social Security. During his time in Congress Pence pushed for the reduction of Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments and privatization of the Social Security System.
So while the Trump Campaign has promised one thing, its starting to signal another with its choice. It is important to note that the Trump administration can’t unilaterally change the Social Security Administration, it requires legislation with congress. While the Trump Administration has both a Republican controlled house and senate it is unknown if they will support touching the third rail of politics, the Social Security system.