Howard Dean on Social Security
Former VT Governor; Former Democratic Candidate for President
Reverse Bush tax cuts to shore up trust fund-don't privatize
Dean strongly opposes any effort to privatize Social Security. He said the government "must return to fiscal discipline and use some of the savings to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund."
He said eliminating Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, closing corporate tax loopholes and spending cuts would provide money for the fund.
Source: Editorial, The State (South Carolina)
Nov 16, 2003
Considered raising retirement age to 70-now keep it at 67
Q: What is your position on raising the retirement age?
DEAN: We shouldn't do it. You know, Dick Gephardt considered means testing Social Security and Medicare both, something that I have never considered. I considered raising the Social Security age
possibly to 70, possibly to 68. I've rejected that. I think Dick has since rejected means testing Social Security. So my view is, we do not need to raise the retirement age above 67. We do not need to means test Social Security or Medicare.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan
Sep 25, 2003
Maintain long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare.
Dean adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The IssueWith the first federal budget surplus in a generation and estimates of non-Social Security surpluses ranging from $750 billion to $1.9 trillion over the next decade, the issue is whether Congress and the President will agree to dedicate a portion of the projected surplus to tax cuts and, if so, what the impacts on states might be.
Tax issues raise several concerns for states.
- How much of the potential non-Social Security surplus should be dedicated to tax cuts and breaks?
- Absent any consensus on long-term legislation to ensure solvency of Social Security and Medicare, would major federal revenue losses for tax cuts risk shifting substantial entitlement burdens to states?
- How would federal tax changes affect state income taxes?
- What are key elements for states of any future major tax bill? In school construction? For retirement? For housing and economic development? For health care?
NGAís Position NGA opposes reductions from current discretionary spending levels or changes that could risk the long-term solvency of the nationís Social Security and Medicare systems. NGA supports provisions to ensure reduced barriers to state and local capital finance through tax-exempt bonds and to ensure maximum flexibility in setting and maintaining state retirement plans and programs.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA16 on Aug 1, 2001