Joseph Lieberman on Social Security
Democratic Jr Senator (CT, retiring 2012), ran for V.P. with Gore, ran for president 2004
LIEBERMAN: On Social Security privatization--I looked at it in the late 90s. I decided it was a bad idea. I opposed it in 2000. I voted for resolutions against it. On the day that Pres. Bush started his campaign to privatize Social Security in 2005, I was one of 41 Democratic senators to say explicitly that I think it’s a bad idea, it would hurt Social Security. So why don’t you stop spreading that kind of untruth?
Our legislation will create approximately $2 billion in tax credits for financial institution and private investors that create IDAs. We have tried for years to create a federal IDA tax credit as part of a broader initiative called the Charity Aid Recovery Empowerment (CARE) Act, which would help charitable organizations help the poor.
LIEBERMAN: I pledge to the people that no one will lose benefits under our plan for Social Security as far forward as 2054. Social Security has created a floor under which seniors cannot fall. It is critically important to protect it. Al and I have committed to putting that Social Security surplus in a lockbox. Our opponents have an idea for privatizing Social Security that will jeopardize payments. It requires taking as much as a trillion dollars out of the Social Security fund. Independent analysts have said that would put the fund out of money in 2023, or, benefits will have to be cut by over 50 percent. Al Gore and I are going to guarantee Social Security and add to it the retirement savings plan that I mentioned earlier, which will help middle class families looking forward have not only Social Security but a superb extra retirement account as well. Social Security-plus from us, Social Security-minus from the Bush-Cheney ticket.
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."
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.
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.
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Retiring as of Jan. 2013:
Senate elections Nov. 2012:
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Taitz(R)
CT:Bysiewicz(R) vs.Murphy(R) vs.Shays(R)
FL:Nelson(D) vs.LeMieux(R) vs.Connie Mack(R)
IN:Lugar(R) vs.Mourdock(R) vs.Donnelly(D)
MD:Cardin(D) vs.Wargotz(R) vs.Capps(R)
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hekman(R) vs.Konetchy(R) vs.Hoekstra(R)
MN:Klobuchar(D) vs.Arwood(R) vs.Hernandez(R) vs.Severson(R)
MO:McCaskill(D) vs.Akin(R) vs.Steelman(R)
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Diakos(R) vs.
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Noren(D) vs.Maragos(R)
OH:Brown(D) vs.Pryce(R) vs.Mandel(R) vs.
TX:Cruz(R) vs.Leppert(R) vs.
UT:Hatch(R) vs.Ashdown(D) vs.
VA:Kaine(D) vs.Allen(R) vs.Radtke(R) vs.
WI:Schiess(R) vs.Neumann(R) vs.Thompson(R) vs.Kagen(D) vs.Baldwin(D) vs.Schiess(R)
Senate Votes (analysis)
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