State of Arizona Archives: on Social Security


Jeff Flake: Nobody's talking privatization; ensure solvency after 2026

Q: Privatizing Social Security: is that something that might work in the future?

A: We've got to find a way to ensure, first, that the system that is in place now remains solvent for those who've relied on it their entire lives, that we don't pull the rug out from under those who planned on this. With the Ryan budget, we do that. We say if you are at or near retirement, anybody 55 years of age or older, the system would not change. For those who are under that, we've got to do some things, we've got to recalculate benefits in a way that will make the system solvent over time and also continue to raise the retirement age beyond what it's going to in 2026 (67 years). The bottom line is, unless we change and reform it, it's not going to be there, so we've got to do it. But I don't think anybody's talking about privatization.

Source: The Sahuarita Sun on 2012 Arizona Senate debates May 29, 2012

Richard Carmona: Raise retirement age; raise payroll tax ceiling above $106K

Q: How bad off are we on Social Security and what's it going to take to save it?

A: There's a number of things that have to happen over time. First and foremost, for those people who we've contracted with, the seniors in the room who've paid in to the system, we owe it to them to honor those contracts. It's not an entitlement, they've paid; they've paid expecting their government will return that investment and help them through their senior years. On the other hand, as we move forward and we look at what we can do, there are a couple of things. We can raise the ceiling above that $106,000 and say, 'OK, let's get more money into the pot.' We can look at the retirement age. We can't keep running the system the way we did 50-60 years ago. There are a number of steps we can take to make it solvent over time, but also to reorient and educate people as to what is needed in the future for Social Security.

Source: The Sahuarita Sun on 2012 Arizona Senate debates May 29, 2012

Richard Carmona: No privatization; no Trust Fund as slush fund

While Social Security faces challenges in the future, we must approach it from a position of preserving, not destroying, this retirement security. This is a program that belongs to the American people--we all pay into it. I do not support efforts to privatize Social Security and strongly oppose the use of the Social Security Trust Fund as a slush fund for other federal spending. We can and should take steps to strengthen Social Security, but we cannot go back on our responsibility to our seniors.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, carmonaforarizona.com Mar 15, 2012

George W. Bush: Let young people use personal retirement savings accounts

Q: Where do you get the $1 trillion over the next 10 years to continue paying benefits?

BUSH: There is a problem for our youngsters. We’ll honor our commitment to our seniors. But for our children, we need to have a different strategy. I believe that younger workers ought to be allowed to take some of their own money and put it in a personal savings account, because I understand that they need to get better rates of return than the rates of return being given in the current Social Security trust.

KERRY: You just heard the president say that young people ought to be able to take money out of Social Security and put it in their own accounts. Now, my fellow Americans, that’s an invitation to disaster. The CBO said very clearly that if you were to adopt the president’s plan, there would be a $2 trillion hole in Social Security, because today’s workers pay in to the system for today’s retirees. We’re going to protect Social Security. I will not privatize it. I will not cut the benefits.

Source: Third Bush-Kerry Debate, in Tempe Arizona Oct 13, 2004

John Kerry: Personal retirement accounts are an invitation to disaster

Q: Where do you get the $1 trillion over the next 10 years to continue paying benefits?

BUSH: There is a problem for our youngsters. We’ll honor our commitment to our seniors. But for our children, we need to have a different strategy. I believe that younger workers ought to be allowed to take some of their own money and put it in a personal savings account, because I understand that they need to get better rates of return than the rates of return being given in the current Social Security trust.

KERRY: You just heard the president say that young people ought to be able to take money out of Social Security and put it in their own accounts. Now, my fellow Americans, that’s an invitation to disaster. The CBO said very clearly that if you were to adopt the president’s plan, there would be a $2 trillion hole in Social Security, because today’s workers pay in to the system for today’s retirees. We’re going to protect Social Security. I will not privatize it. I will not cut the benefits.

Source: [Xref Bush] Third Bush-Kerry Debate, in Tempe Arizona Oct 13, 2004

George W. Bush: Consider raising retirement age

Bush said he would consider raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits as a way to help extend the life of the ailing program.
Source: CNN.com, “GOP Arizona Debates” Nov 22, 1999

Orrin Hatch: Consider raising retirement age

Hatch said he would consider raising the Social Security retirement age, and that “everything is on the table because we have to keep this program viable,” he said.
Source: CNN.com, “GOP Arizona Debates” Nov 22, 1999

Alan Keyes: Keep our promises on Social Security benefits, guaranteed

For many years, my slogan on Social Security has been simple and clear. We’ve got to keep the promises we’ve made, because folks who have paid into the system in good faith ought to be able to expect that they will get the benefits that they have been promised. And we ought to guarantee that, even if we have to pay for it out of general revenue.
Source: Arizona Republican Primary Debate Nov 21, 1999

Alan Keyes: Let people who earn their money invest their own money

We’ve got to keep the promises we’ve made. But to make [Social Security] solvent, we have to stop making promises we can’t keep. We can’t keep the promise that the government is going to manage money that people earn over the course of their lifetimes better than the people who earn that money. We go out and work for it, we make the sacrifices, we have the sense to support ourselves, then we ought to be trusted to invest that money in ways that will produce the best return for us and our family.
Source: Arizona Republican Primary Debate Nov 21, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Arizona Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Social Security.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Social Security:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Mar 28, 2014