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Harold Ford on Social Security

Former Democratic Representative (TN-9, 1997-2007)


Privatization will not enhance solvency

Using Social Security taxes for private accounts
AARPOpposes
Bob CorkerNo response
Harold Ford, Jr.Opposes
Q: Will you support or oppose using Social Security taxes to fund private accounts?

A: Social Security is a contract with the American people. Protecting the solvency of Social Security should, therefore, be one of our highest priorities to assure a balanced Social Security plan for guaranteed benefits. I oppose the privatization of Social Security accounts, as the President proposed, because they will not enhance the solvency of the Social Security trust fund. We must first protect the rights of current beneficiaries, as well as those who have relied on the promise of Social Security and will soon collect benefits. Then we must take steps to protect Social Security for future generations of needy seniors, who are working and living longer.

Source: AARP Senate candidate questionnaire Sep 29, 2006

Voted YES on raising 401(k) limits & making pension plans more portable.

Comprehensive Retirement Security and Pension Reform Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would raise the amount individuals may contribute to traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts and to 401[k] plans and make pensions plans more portable
Reference: Bill sponsored by Portman, R-OH; Bill HR 10 ; vote number 2001-96 on May 2, 2001

Voted NO on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits.

Vote to pass a bill that would reduce the percentage of Social Security benefits that is taxable from 85 to 50 percent for single taxpayers with incomes over $25,000 and married couples with incomes over $32,000. The revenues that would be lost for the Medicare trust fund would be replaced by money from the general fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865 ; vote number 2000-450 on Jul 27, 2000

Voted YES on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox.

Amending the Social Security Lockbox bill to require that any budget surplus cannot be spent until the solvency of Social Security and Medicare is guaranteed.
Reference: Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259 ; vote number 1999-163 on May 26, 1999

Create Retirement Savings Accounts.

Ford adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Balance America’s Commitments to the Young and the Old
An ever-growing share of the federal budget today consists of automatic transfers from working Americans to retirees. Moreover, the costs of the big entitlements for the elderly -- Social Security and Medicare -- are growing at rates that will eventually bankrupt them and that could leave little to pay for everything else government does. We can’t just spend our way out of the problem; we must find a way to contain future costs. The federal government already spends seven times as much on the elderly as it does on children. To allow that ratio to grow even more imbalanced would be grossly unfair to today’s workers and future generations. In addition, Social Security and Medicare need to be modernized to reflect conditions not envisioned when they were created in the 1930s and the 1960s. Social Security, for example, needs a stronger basic benefit to bolster its critical role in reducing poverty in old age. Medicare needs to offer retirees more choices and a modern benefit package that includes prescription drugs. Such changes, however, will only add to the cost of the programs unless they are accompanied by structural reforms that restrain their growth and limit their claim on the working families whose taxes support the programs.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC7 on Aug 1, 2000

Strengthen Trust Funds and take them off-budget.

Ford signed the Blue Dog Coalition letter:

Source: Blue Dog Coalition letter to the Senate 01-BDC5 on May 9, 2001

Changing Social Security disproportionately affects women.

Ford co-sponsored changing Social Security disproportionately affect women

RESOLUTION: Recognizing the unique effects that proposals to reform Social Security may have on women.

Source: H.RES.128 01-H128 on May 1, 2001

Rated 88% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record.

Ford scores 88% by the ARA on senior issues

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.

Source: ARA website 03n-ARA on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Social Security: Harold Ford on other issues:
TN Gubernatorial:
Bill Haslam
TN Senatorial:
Bob Corker
Lamar Alexander

Retiring as of Jan. 2011:
CT:Dodd(D)
DE:Kaufman(D)
FL:Martinez(R)
FL:LeMieux(R)
IL:Burris(D)
IN:Bayh(D)
KS:Brownback(R)
KY:Bunning(R)
MO:Bond(R)
ND:Dorgan(D)
NH:Gregg(R)
OH:Voinovich(R)
PA:Specter(R)
UT:Bennett(R)
WV:Goodwin(D)

Unseated as of Jan. 2011:
AR:Lincoln(D)
UT:Bennett(R)
WI:Feingold(D)


Newly elected, Nov. 2010:
AR:Boozman(R)
CT:Blumenthal(D)
CO:Bennet(D)
DE:Coons(D)
FL:Rubio(R)
IL:Kirk(R)
IN:Coats(R)
KS:Moran(R)
KY:Paul(R)
MO:Blunt(R)
ND:Hoeven(R)
NH:Ayotte(R)
NY2:Gillibrand(D)
OH:Portman(R)
PA:Toomey(R)
UT:Lee(R)
WI:Johnson(R)
WV:Manchin(D)


Re-elected, Nov. 2010:
AK:Murkowski(I)
AL:Shelby(R)
AZ:McCain(R)
CA:Boxer(D)
GA:Isakson(R)
HI:Inouye(D)
IA:Grassley(R)
ID:Crapo(R)
LA:Vitter(R)
MD:Mikulski(D)
NC:Burr(R)
NV:Reid(D)
NY6:Schumer(D)
OK:Coburn(R)
OR:Wyden(D)
SC:DeMint(R)
SD:Thune(R)
VT:Leahy(D)
WA:Murray(D)
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Page last updated: Nov 26, 2010