Trump’s Payroll Tax Deferral Is Fundamentally Corrupt, Disrespects Military Service Members, Civil Servants
Washington, September 11, 2020
Late last night President Trump made clear that his Executive Order allowing employers to defer payroll taxes until 2021 was intended as coercion, tweeting, “When we win I, as your President, will totally forgive ALL deferred payroll taxes with money from the General Fund.” The Constitution vests tax powers with Congress, meaning the President cannot deliver the political bribe he offered.
In a clear demonstration of the confusion and inconvenience Trump’s payroll tax policy is inflicting on the military, Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston, the highest ranking enlisted member of the Army, encouraged soldiers to “set the ‘extra money aside,’” which is exactly what military payroll providers did for soldiers until the Trump Administration ordered them to stop. Chief Master Sergeant JoAnne Bass, the highest ranking non-commissioned member of the U.S. Air Force, wrote that “unfortunately, neither military members nor civilian employees are eligible to opt-out of the deferral.”
“The President’s mandatory payroll tax deferrals show disrespect for America’s military and civil service, and Trump is making it clear that this is intended as a form of political blackmail,’ said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “Trump’s openly corrupt message is, ‘vote for me and I will pay you, otherwise your paychecks will decrease in January.’ This is corruption as public policy, and both the Constitution and the law make it clear that Trump cannot do what he says. Congress should void this policy entirely, and as it explores means of doing so federal workers and military servicemembers should be allowed to opt out of the payroll tax deferral.”
Federal employees and military families, meanwhile, will need better communication from their agencies or service branches to fully understand and prepare for the reductions in their paychecks next year. As they attempt to make sense of the policy, here’s what they’re seeing:
Federal News Network: Federal employees can’t opt out of payroll tax deferral, agency says