Bernie Sanders on Social Security
Socialist Jr Senator; previously Representative (VT-At-Large)
Prescription drug costs have gone up. Seniors are paying more. We need to change the formula and we've got legislation in to do that, to ascertain what real cost of living is for seniors.
And I am going to fight very hard. You've got millions of seniors trying to get by on $13,000, $14,000 a year making choices between medicine and food. That is criminal. And we've got to change the formula by which COLAs are depended--are created so that seniors get a fair shake.
CLINTON: I fully support Social Security, and will defend it against continuing Republican efforts to privatize it.
Q: Do you want to expand it?
CLINTON: I want to enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security.
SANDERS: When the Republicans in the Congress and some Democrats were talking about cutting Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans, for the so-called chained CPI, I q founded a caucus called the Defending Social Security Caucus. When you have millions of seniors in this country trying to get by--and I don't know how they do on $13,000 a year--you don't cut Social Security, you expand it. And the way you expand it is by lifting the cap on taxable incomes so that you do away with the absurdity of a millionaire paying the same amount into the system as somebody making $118,000. You do that, Social Security is solvent until 2061 and you can expand benefits.
The argument being used to cut Social Security is that because we have a significant deficit problem and a $14 trillion national debt, we just can't afford to maintain Social Security benefits. This argument is false. Social Security, because it is funded by the payroll tax, not the US Treasury, has not contributed one nickel to our deficit.
Unfortunately, Congress has been discussing harmful cuts to Social Security as part of an overall scheme to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and working families. That is wrong, it is unconscionable, and it must not happen
I believe that we have got to raise the minimum wage over a period of several years to $15 an hour--not Hillary Clinton's position. I voted against the war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for it.
Health Care as a Right for All:
The United States must join the rest of the industrialized world and recognize that health care is a right of all, and not a privilege. Despite the fact that more than 40 million Americans have no health insurance, we spend almost twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation. We need to establish a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.
|Using Social Security taxes for private accounts|
|Richard Tarrant||No response|
A: As Vermont’s Congressman I have vigorously opposed President Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security. Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program in history. We must strengthen it, not destroy it. Despite the President’s rhetoric, Social Security is NOT going bankrupt. By repealing Bush’s tax cuts for the very rich, and making some minor changes to the funding of the Social Security program, Social Security will be able to pay out every penny owed to every eligible beneficiary for the indefinite future. I oppose privatization plans that would drain money from Social Security and I oppose raising the retirement age or cuts to promised benefits.
Unfortunately, there WERE elements of regressive taxation in that proposal. Clinton increased the amount of taxable Social Security income. That hike affected the upper 13% of Social Security recipients, many of whom live on only $44,000/year. I opposed these aspects of the legislation when it was debated because I have always been a strong proponent of fair taxation.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
Perhaps the worst example of wasteful spending is when we take the taxes people pay for Social Security and, instead of saving them, we spend them on other things. Even worse than spending Social Security on other things is we do not count it as debt when we talk about the deficit every year. So using the Social Security money is actually a way to hide even more wasteful spending without counting it as debt. This Amendment would change that.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
This amendment has a fatal flaw. It leaves the door open for private Social Security accounts by providing participants with the option of "pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits."
RESOLUTION: Recognizing the unique effects that proposals to reform Social Security may have on women.
To reject proposals to partially or completely substitute private saving accounts for the lifelong, guaranteed, inflation-protected insurance benefits provided through Social Security. The Congress finds the following:
The mission of the Alliance for Retired Americans is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens so that they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility to strive to create a society that incorporates these goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and their communities.
The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Some 200 Democratic House and Senate candidates have signed on to a pledge rejecting any effort to privatize or scale back Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee sponsored this pledge among Congressional candidates.
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION expressing the sense of the Congress that the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) should not be used to adjust Social Security benefits.
Opponent's argument against bill:(Congressional Testimony by Jeffrey Kling, Congressional Budget Office Associate Director for Economic Analysis, April 18, 2013):
The chained CPI grows more slowly than the trad
Scoring system for 2014: Ranges from 0% (supports privatization and other market-based reforms) to 100% (supports keeping federal control over Trust Fund and Social Security system).
About ARA (from their website, www.RetiredAmericans.org):
The Alliance for Retired Americans is a nationwide organization, founded in May 2001, with now over 4.2 million members working together to make their voices heard in the laws, policies, politics, and institutions that shape our lives. The mission of the Alliance for Retired Americans is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens so that they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security.
|Other candidates on Social Security:||Bernie Sanders on other issues:|
Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate races Nov. 2016:
AK: Murkowski(R) vs.Begich(D)
AL: Shelby(R) vs.Crumpton(D)
AR: Boozman(R) vs.Eldridge(D) vs.
AZ: McCain(R) vs.Ward(R) vs.Kirkpatrick(D) vs.Mealer(I)
CA: Sanchez(D) vs.Harris(D) vs.Chavez(R) vs.Del Beccaro(R) vs.Sundheim(R)
CO: Bennet(D) vs.Glenn(R) vs.Neville(R)
CT: Blumenthal(D) vs.Wolf(R) vs.
FL: Jolly(R) vs.DeSantis(R) vs.Cantera(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Grayson(D) vs.Keith(D)
GA: Isakson(R) vs.
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Hanabusa(D)
IA: Grassley(R) vs.Fiegen(D) vs.Hogg(D) vs.Krause(D) vs.Culver(D)
ID: Crapo(R) vs.LaRocco(D) vs.Minnick(D)
IL: Kirk(R) vs.Harris(D) vs.Zopp(D) vs.Duckworth(D)
IN: Stutzman(R) vs.Hill(D) vs.Holcomb(R) vs.Bosma(R) vs.Young(R)
KY: Paul(R) vs.Conway(D) vs.Chandler(D)
LA: Fleming(R) vs.Boustany(R) vs.Maness(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Cao(D) vs.McAllister(R)
MD: Edwards(D) vs.Van Hollen(D) vs.Szeliga(R) vs.Douglas(R) vs.Steele(R)
MO: Blunt(R) vs.Kander(D)
NC: Burr(R) vs.Rey(D) vs.Ross(D) vs.Wright(R) vs.
NH: Ayotte(R) vs.Shea-Porter(D)
NV: Cortez-Masto(D) vs.Heck(R) vs.Angle(R) vs.
NY: Schumer(D) vs.King(R) vs.Gibson(R)
OH: Portman(R) vs.Strickland(D) vs.Sittenfeld(D)
OK: Lankford(R) vs.Johnson(D)
OR: Wyden(D) vs.Callahan(R)
PA: Toomey(R) vs.Stern(R) vs.Sestak(D) vs.McGinty(D) vs.Fetterman(D)
SC: Scott(R) vs.Dickerson(D)
SD: Thune(R) vs.Herseth-Sandlin(D)
UT: Lee(R) vs.Swinton(D)
WA: Murray(D) vs.Vance(R)
WI: Johnson(R) vs.Feingold(D) vs.Lorge(R)
Senate Votes (analysis)
Senate Office SD-332, Washington, DC 20510