State of Washington Archives: on Social Security


Donald Trump: Cannot change Medicare or Soc.Sec. and still win elections

[At CPAC, Trump said}: "As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen," Mr. Trump said, adding that polls show that tea partyers are among those who don't want their entitlements changed. "What we have to do and the way we solve our problems it to build a great economy."
Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Washington Times Mar 15, 2013

Gary Johnson: Replace the payroll tax with FairTax

We need to get rid of payroll taxes. Look at it from the perspective of employers for a moment. When they want to hire someone, it costs more than just the wage they're paying. They have to pay payroll taxes, including for Social Security and Medicare. That cost is about 10% of the wages they pay an employee. Remove that burden, and employers will be able to hire 10% more people. With an unemployment rate of 10%, why wouldn't we jump at this chance? The Fair-tax replaces employment and payroll taxes.
Source: Gary Johnson, "America moving again" in The Washington Times Feb 2, 2012

Christine Gregoire: End automatic benefit increases in state retirement programs

I am proposing we repeal a 1995 law that gave automatic benefit increases to retirees in the old PERS 1 and TRS 1 pension plans. The pension law was well intended but it carries a staggering price tag and we simply cannot afford it. Pension reform will save $2 billion over the next four years and more than $11 billion during the next 25 years.

I have looked at every state program and asked if it can be provided by others, if users should pay for it or if there are better ways to deliver the service.

Source: 2011 Washington State of the State Address Jan 11, 2011

Chuck Hagel: Do not alter government workers’ pension plans

I don’t need to remind you of issues like entitlements, like Social Security and healthcare issues. Our actuaries are quite clear on that -- we can’t sustain the entitlement programs that we now have on the books -- for no other reason than we have a baby-boom generation, 78 million strong, I’m in the front end of that -- that will overload the services, that will crush the system.

We have time to fix some of these things. We need leaders who will face up to that. We need leaders who will bring bipartisan consensus on working on the issues.

Obviously [that includes] Social Security. I have a comprehensive Social Security bill that does not alter or change the current status of local and state government pension plans.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Walter Mondale: Chaired commission on privatization, but opposed privatizing

Newt Gingrich accused Mondale of supporting Social Security privatization and raising the retirement eligibility age, but it appears the allegations are false. “Mondale chaired a commission that was for the privatization of Social Security worldwide,” Gingrich said.

The commission, sponsored by the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies, recommended raising retirement ages and converting “social protection schemes from pay-as-you-go to market based financing” in major industrialized countries as a way to deal with the crisis of aging population. But Mondale dissented from the majority position that supported raising retirement ages and privatizing government retirement programs.

Mondale wrote: “We do not support the Commission’s recommendations that might result in the dismantling of social insurance programs and their replacement with funded schemes. Funded systems should remain an important supplement to existing guarantees, but they should not replace them.”

Source: Terry M. Neal, Washington Post Oct 28, 2002

Ezola Foster: Help people without dependency: transition to IRAs

Q: What is the Buchanan/Foster plan for seniors on Medicare?

A: We want to protect seniors who are already on Medicare as well as getting Social Security. We want to take a look at that entire system and we will decide the best means to helping the people in most need whether they are seniors or young families. There is a way to help people without causing dependency. We support portable and private affordable solutions. We would guarantee benefits already promised to seniors and we would stop the raid on the trust fund and we would encourage employees to devote part of their earnings to Social Security alone. We would work with Congress to secure the system while allowing workers to transition to individual retirement accounts.

Source: (X-ref Health) “Free Media”, Washington Post Aug 29, 2000

Al Gore: Protect Social Security from privacy & ID theft

Gore today proposed making it a federal crime to buy or sell Social Security numbers, the latest in a series of initiatives to address anxiety about invasions of privacy and identity theft. Gore said he would make stronger protections of confidential financial and medical records a “national priority.”

Gore said complaints about the theft of Social Security numbers through new technology are rising sharply across the country. “The information age should not mean your personal information is misused and abused.“

Both Gore and Bush have begun advocating stronger privacy rights. Gore called on Congress today to adopt an ”electronic Bill of Rights“ that would better protect citizens from the unauthorized use of their financial and medical records. Gore said lawmakers should begin with tough new penalties against buying or selling Social Security numbers because ”that’s the key fact that can be used to get all the other key facts.“

Source: Rene Sanchez, Washington Post, p. A6 Jun 9, 2000

Al Gore: More benefits to 8 million mothers and 3 million widows

I will make the modest but crucial adjustments in our Social Security system that make it fair for American women,“ Gore said. Gore called for eliminating what he called the ”motherhood penalty“ by offering an earnings credit for women who leave the work force for a time to raise their children. The provision would affect about 8 million women, and the average increase in benefits would be about $600 per year.
Gore said his other proposal would help women who lose Social Security benefits when their husbands die. On average, widows receive about 62% of what the combined benefits were when their husbands were alive. Gore proposed changes that would raise that to 75%, a change that would affect about 3 million widows and widowers.
Source: Dan Balz, Washington Post, p. A8 Apr 5, 2000

Al Gore: Privatization is “stock market roulette”

Gore charged that Bush’s proposal for deep tax cuts and allowing workers to invest in private savings accounts would undermine what he called “the greatest act of social policy” in the country’s history. Gore charged that Bush’s willingness to partially privatize the Social Security system would subject working families to a form of “stock market roulette” that could leave families worse off, not better. “I believe it’s wrong to ask our elderly to roll the dice with their retirement savings,” he said.
Source: Dan Balz, Washington Post, p. A8 Apr 5, 2000

George W. Bush: Use political capital to implement private savings accounts

Bush responded to Gore’s [plan for mothers and widows] by reasserting his support for private savings accounts and said he would use the political capital necessary to reform the system while Gore would not. “I can’t think of a better reform than allowing women to manage their own personal savings accounts, particularly younger workers in our society,” Bush said. “It is the status quo in the administration that does not try to reform Social Security versus ad administration that will put capital on the line to make sure that the Social Security system is available in the long run,“ he continued. Bush has yet to detail a Social Security reform plan but has said it will be based on the principle that workers should have the right to invest part of their payroll taxes in private savings accounts. He also ruled out further increases in the retirement age.
Source: Dan Balz, Washington Post, p. A8 Apr 5, 2000

George W. Bush: Supports subsidized Medicare menu with means testing

On Medicare, Bush said he was attracted to the plan drafted by Sen. John Breaux (D-La.). Bush said. “[I find attractive] the idea of having a basket of opportunity with premiums subsidized at the federal level, based on means testing.” Bush also said, “The Breaux plan didn’t cut benefits.” But then he acknowledged that the plan did recommend raising the age of eligibility for Medicare.
Source: (cross-ref to Health Care) Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

George W. Bush: Lock-box yes; tax increase no; bipartisanship yes.

Bush has a sense of the direction his Social Security reform plan would take, but nonetheless said repeatedly that the next president will have to forge a bipartisan consensus to be successful on that front. “I approve of the lock boxing the Social Security money,” he said, referring to plans to prohibit spending the anticipated Social Security surpluses on other programs. “I don’t believe we ought to have a tax increase to make the plan whole.”
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

George W. Bush: Tax-funded private IRA’s under federal guidelines

“I like the idea of individual retirement accounts, in essence private accounts.” Bush said he would fund those accounts with a portion of the payroll tax paid by all workers, which would be invested under government-drafted guidelines. “You can’t put it in one oil well,” he said. Bush added, however, that he has not decided how much of the tax to divert to these mandatory accounts. “Therein lies the rub,” he said.
Source: Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Washington Politicians: Archives.
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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