I’m certain other residents of Kern County are concerned about Social Security and Medicare becoming obsolete by 2023 if payroll taxes are eliminated as the chief actuary of Social Security stated last week.

Social Security and Medicare are fallback protections that are financed by payroll taxes. With many businesses having been restructured or forced out of business, employees either being temporarily furloughed or let go due to the financial uncertainty, we have more companies and employees unable to pay into the system at one of the most critical times of economic disintegration. The president stated that if reelected, his administration will make these payroll cuts permanent so people will have more take home pay.

Problem: Given that we’re in the midst of a global recession due to the pandemic, increased take home pay isn’t feasible if people aren’t employed, losing their homes, no prospects for what the future employment structures will look like, filing for bankruptcy, seeking to retain health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that covers pre-existing conditions and low-income consumers. Which is actively being pursued for permanent dismantling.

Who gets hurt: Disabled/disabled workers (and their dependents), senior citizens and veterans. This is a life or death issue to our community if we displace the most vulnerable among us, and this list is growing under the current conditions of once in a lifetime events we’re now experiencing.

Jill West, Bakersfield