Biden’s Social Security Pledge Will Likely Mean Huge Middle Class Tax Hikes, Expert Warns

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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President Joe Biden promised to block any attempts to reduce Social Security or Medicare benefits, but this will almost certainly lead to a tax hike on the middle class, Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, wrote in The New York Times.

Biden pledged to block Medicare and and Social Security cuts in his recent State of the Union address, in which he also promised not to hike taxes for families earning less than $400,000. But the two systems are slated to run $48 trillion and $21 trillion shortfalls, respectively, over the next 30 years, making it nearly impossible to avoid significant tax raises without cutting benefits, Riedl wrote.

“The president’s implication that full benefits can be paid without raising taxes for 98 percent of families has no basis in mathematical reality,” he wrote. (RELATED: Biden Pledges To Prevent Medicare Cuts — But He’s Cutting Medicare Advantage Right Now)

Even if Congress imposed state and payroll tax rates nearing 100% for wealthy taxpayers through upper tax bracket rate hikes, high-worth asset taxes and a raised corporate tax rate, the new tax revenue still couldn’t cover the next three decades of Social Security and Medicare costs, according to Riedl.

Instead, continuing these programs as they currently exist will mean much higher taxes for the middle class, possibly in the form of a nine-point payroll tax hike and a 20% value-added tax, a tax hike at a scale not seen since the Second World War, he argued. Congress could mostly avoid these tax hikes, however, by raising the eligibility age and reducing the growth of benefits for retirees who are not poor, according to Riedl.

The White House did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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