State of Pennsylvania Archives: on Social Security


Bob Casey: Stop these crazy proposals to put benefits in stock market

The candidates for US Senate in Pennsylvania are vowing to protect Social Security and Medicare but they have very different plans on how they'll go about it. "The first thing we should do is grow the economy," said Sen. Casey. "The second thing we should do is stop these crazy proposals to take Social Security benefits and put them in the stock market... invest them in a very high risk venture that makes no sense for Social Security."

Casey's opponent, Republican Tom Smith, has said he'd let a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax expire in January. He wants taxpayers to be able to divert Social Security taxes into private investment accounts. Smith also says future Medicare beneficiaries should have the option of getting a government check to help buy private coverage.

Source: WMZ-TV 69-News on 2012 PA Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Tom Smith: Let Social Security payroll tax reduction expire in January

Social Security payroll into privately managed investment accounts. Meanwhile, Casey's attack that Smith supports tax breaks for the wealthy is based on Smith's support for a revenue-neutral flat tax--instead of a system of graduated tax rates on higher income--and the elimination of taxes on capital gains. Casey's Medicare claim refers to a plan unveiled last year in the House of Representatives by Rep. Paul Ryan. Republican Tom Smith, has said he'd let a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax expire in January. He wants taxpayers to be able to divert Social Security taxes into private investment accounts. Smith also says future Medicare beneficiaries should have the option of getting a government check to help buy private coverage.
Source: WMZ-TV 69-News on 2012 PA Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Tom Smith: AdWatch: divert payroll tax into privately managed accounts

The candidates for US Senate in Pennsylvania are vowing to protect Social Security and Medicare but they have very different plans on how they'll go about it. "The first thing we should do is grow the economy," said Sen. Casey. "The second thing we should do is stop these crazy proposals to take Social Security benefits and put them in the stock market... invest them in a very high risk venture that makes no sense for Social Security."

Casey's opponent, Social Security payroll into privately managed investment accounts. Meanwhile, Casey's attack that Smith supports tax breaks for the wealthy is based on Smith's support for a revenue-neutral flat tax--instead of a system of graduated tax rates on higher income--and the elimination of taxes on capital gains. Casey's Medicare claim refers to a plan unveiled last year in the House of Representatives by Rep. Paul Ryan.

Source: Cumberlink Sentinel on 2012 PA Senate debate ad review Sep 19, 2012

Barack Obama: Raise $97K cap on payroll tax exempting earnings under $250K

CLINTON: Iím certainly against one of Senator Obamaís ideas, which is to lift the cap on the payroll tax, because that would impose additional taxes on people who are educators, police officers, firefighters and the like.

OBAMA: What I have proposed is that we raise the cap on the payroll tax, because right now millionaires and billionaires donít have to pay beyond $97,000 a year. Now most firefighters & teachers, theyíre not making over $100,000 a year. In fact, only 6% of the population does. And Iíve also said that Iíd be willing to look at exempting people who are making slightly above that.

Q: But thatís a tax on people under $250,000.

OBAMA: Thatís why I would look at potentially exempting those who are in between. This is an option that I would strongly consider, because the alternatives, like raising the retirement age, or cutting benefits, or raising the payroll tax on everybody, including people making less than $97,000 a year--those are not good policy options

Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008

Barack Obama: Must capture new revenue; no new Social Security Commission

OBAMA: Weíre going to have to capture some revenue in order to stabilize the Social Security system. You canít get something for nothing. And if we care about Social Security, which I do, and if we are firm in our commitment to make sure that itís going to be there for the next generation, and not just for our generation, then we have an obligation to figure out how to stabilize the system. I think we should be honest in presenting our ideas in terms of how weíre going to do that and not just say that weíre going to form a commission and try to solve the problem some other way.

CLINTON: With all due respect, the last time we had a crisis in Social Security was 1983. President Reagan and Speaker Tip OíNeill came up with a commission. That was the best and smartest way, because youíve got to get Republicans and Democrats together. Thatís what I will do.

OBAMA: That commission raised the retirement age, and also raised the payroll tax. So Sen. Clinton canít have it both ways.

Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008

Hillary Clinton: No lifting cap on payroll tax; that taxes middle class

Q: Would you take a pledge of no tax increases on people under $250,000?

OBAMA: I not only have pledged not to raise their taxes, I would cut their taxes. We are going to offset the payroll tax, the most regressive of our taxes.

CLINTON: I donít want to raise taxes on anybody. Iím certainly against one of Senator Obamaís ideas, which is to lift the cap on the payroll tax, because that would impose additional taxes on people who are educators, police officers, firefighters and the like.

OBAMA: What I have proposed is that we raise the cap on the payroll tax, because right now millionaires and billionaires donít have to pay beyond $97,000 a year. Now most firefighters & teachers, theyíre not making over $100,000 a year. In fact, only 6% of the population does. And Iíve also said that Iíd be willing to look at exempting people who are making slightly above that.

Q: But thatís a tax on people under $250,000.

OBAMA: Thatís why I would look at potentially exempting those who are in between.

Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Bipartisan commission, like in 1983, to address crisis

OBAMA: [to Clinton]: I think we should be honest in presenting our ideas in terms of how weíre going to stabilize the Social Security system and not just say that weíre going to form a commission and try to solve the problem some other way.

CLINTON: I am totally committed to making sure Social Security is solvent. Youíve got to begin to reign in the budget, pay as you go, to try to replenish our Social Security Trust Fund. And with all due respect, the last time we had a crisis in Social Security wa 1983. Pres. Reagan and Speaker Tip OíNeill came up with a commission. That was the best and smartest way, because youíve got to get Republicans and Democrats together. Thatís what I will do. And I will say, #1, donít cut benefits on current beneficiaries theyíre already having a hard enough time. And #2, do not impose additional tax burdens on middle-class families.

OBAMA: That commission raised the retirement age, and also raised the payroll tax. So Sen. Clinton canít have it both ways.

Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008

Arlen Specter: Considered Social Security privatization but saw it unwise

At one time I had considered a small portion of Social Security in private accounts, I think it is unwise. I believe the seniors ought to be reassured that their Social Security benefits are solid.
Source: 2004 PA Senate debate, in AP News Oct 3, 2004

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 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 29, 2014