One of Democrats’ favorite new talking points is that Donald Trump’s campaign to “dismantle” the USPS will snatch away seniors’ Social Security checks:
Everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small businesses trying to keep their doors open. They can't be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 14, 2020
Americans don't just rely on the mail for voting.
They rely on the mail for medications, Social Security checks, small business operations, and so much more.
Push your lawmakers to fight back and save the USPS. https://t.co/HEgO7M3jHa
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 10, 2020
The president has admitted that he is slowing down your prescriptions, social security checks and other mail because he also wants to keep you from casting absentee ballots this November.
This is unprecedented in US history, and only possible if members of his party allow it.
— Tom Malinowski (@Malinowski) August 13, 2020
In this pandemic, millions are relying on their medicine and Social Security checks to arrive on time.
Trump’s attack on the Post Office is truly a matter of life and death.
We will stand up, fight back, and protect our Postal Service. https://t.co/gA2qtfV3JG
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 17, 2020
Millions of Americans rely on @USPS for timely delivery of medications, mail in ballots, rent and utility checks, Social Security checks and much more. If Senate Republicans let Trump get away with sabotaging the USPS, millions of Americans will suffer. #DontMessWithUSPS
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) August 14, 2020
President Trump’s attempts to sabotage the Postal Service are deeply disturbing. Americans rely on our Postal Service for prescriptions, voting, social security checks, and more. The @USPS needs to be fully funded, full stop.https://t.co/V2rOrs7Jdv
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) August 13, 2020
Trump, we’re all hearing from seniors! They need their medicine, their groceries, they need their disability & social security checks! Why are you harming us by slowing down the mail system & destroying the #USPS! Don’t you understand how important the mail system is?
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) August 16, 2020
There’s plenty more where that came from. The problem is that it’s dishonest:
In the first sentence of her letter announcing the House will come back to vote on Postal Service legislation (*not unemployment benefits) Pelosi warns of mail delays delivering social security checks.
But the Obama admin ended social security cheeks by mail 10 years ago pic.twitter.com/LT5Pw8V7fl
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) August 16, 2020
Indeed, the ball got rolling in 2010:
Americans receiving payments for Social Security, unemployment insurance, veterans benefits, railroad retirement, and government benefits will now find the money automatically deposited into their personal bank accounts. Americans without bank accounts can get paid using the Treasury Department’s Direct Express Debit MasterCard program.
The administration will make the direct deposit announcement on Monday when Treasury publishes a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to begin a 60-day period of public comment. Once the final rule is published, the administration will roll out the changes with a public education campaign.
The new rule will primarily take effect in March 2011, with a few exceptions that will not take effect until March 2013.
A sitting lawmaker that doesn’t know Social Security checks are no longer delivered by mail.
I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you.
— The Dank Knight 🦇 (@capeandcowell) August 16, 2020
Doesn’t know? Or doesn’t care? Maybe a little of both?
Hard to believe, considering Social Security stopped sending paper checks in March 2013 https://t.co/QCwoH57RDC
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) August 16, 2020
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) August 16, 2020
But Trump wasn’t president in 2013!
2013? But that was the era of No Scandals™ https://t.co/LwfZ2zbqlf
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 16, 2020
This is all so confusing, you guys.
In case you were wondering if there might be some baseless fear monger it afoot.
Either Pelosi doesn’t know how social security works or she wants to scare up some seniors. https://t.co/WWxkPpFl3t
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) August 16, 2020
What possible motivation could Nancy Pelosi and Democrats have to frighten seniors? Oh.
I’ll put my money on the latter.
— Patricia Brandao (@PatriciaBrand67) August 17, 2020
Now, it’s important to note that it’s still possible to receive Social Security payments in the form of paper checks, though those who wish to do so are supposed to fill out a waiver. It seems pretty clear, though, that Democrats’ message is effectively “Donald Trump wants to steal your money, your medicine, and your food.”
And that’s shameful.
The media won’t report this widely. https://t.co/FpVg11kawf
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 16, 2020
Of course not. Because what fun would that be?