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Tom Coburn on Social Security

Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (OK-2)


Give Americans real control over their retirement accounts

Commonsense reforms like adjusting benefits to income and raising the retirement age will help save Social Security and our safety net, not undermine them. While these measures will avert a debt crisis, the best solution for our nation's long-term health is to give individual Americans the real control and ownership of their retirement accounts. The government has done a miserable job managing Social Security. If any private fund manager raided an employee pension fund in order to fund company operations, they would be thrown in jail. This is a useful point to remember when careerists on the left harp about "privatizing" entitlement programs. If the choice is between you owning your retirement and the government owning your retirement, I would trust the individual every time.
Source: The Debt Bomb, by Sen. Tom Coburn, p.208 , Apr 17, 2012

Black men are being penalized by the Social Security system

Coburn said black males are being penalized by the Social Security system “because they had a genetic predisposition to have less of a life expectancy.”
Source: OK Senate Debate, Associated Press , Oct 28, 2004

Voted YES on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security.

Voting YES would:
  1. require that the Federal Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund be used only to finance retirement income of future beneficiaries;
  2. ensure that there is no change to benefits for individuals born before January 1, 1951
  3. provide participants with the benefits of savings and investment while permitting the pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits; and
  4. ensure that the funds made available to finance such legislation do not exceed the amounts estimated to be actuarially available.

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."

Make no mistake about it, this is a stalking-horse for Social Security. It looks good on the surface, but this is an amendment to privatize Social Security.
Reference: Bill S.Amdt.489 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-089 on Mar 22, 2007

Voted YES 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 NO 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 personal retirement accounts within Social Security.

Coburn co-sponsored creating personal retirement accounts within Social Security

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT: One of the things I have consistently heard from folks back home is the very simple idea that the first part of saving Social Security is making sure that Social Security taxes stay with Social Security. That is what this bill does because it takes the Social Security surplus, whatever that happens to be, and simply rebates it back to the people paying Social Security taxes, not to go out and fix up the car or buy a refrigerator with it, but instead to go into their own personal Social Security savings account that would be held by a fiduciary like the local bank.

The individual could not get their hands on the money until they turn 65, but they would get a monthly statement and for the first time, because of the private property rights that come with an account like that, for the first time have a firewall created between political forces in D.C. and their Social Security surplus.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means; never called for a House vote.

Source: Personal Lockbox Act (H.R.4839) 00-HR4839 on Jul 12, 2000

Supports private retirement accounts.

Coburn supports the CC survey question on private retirement accounts

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Allowing individuals to invest a portion of their Social Security tax in private retirement accounts"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q6 on Aug 11, 2010

Other candidates on Social Security: Tom Coburn on other issues:
OK Gubernatorial:
Brad Henry
Joe Dorman
Mary Fallin
OK Senatorial:
Connie Johnson
James Inhofe
James Lankford
Matt Silverstein
T.W. Shannon

OK politicians
OK Archives

Retiring in 2014 election:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
AZ:Kyl(R)
CT:Lieberman(D)
HI:Akaka(D)
ME:Snowe(R)
ND:Conrad(D)
NE:Nelson(D)
NM:Bingaman(D)
TX:Hutchison(R)
VA:Webb(D)
WI:Kohl(D)
Senate Retirements 2014:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
MT:Walsh(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
OK:Coburn(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Senate races Nov. 2014:
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AL: Sessions(R,unopposed)
AR: Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R)
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Contact info:
Fax Number:
202-224-6008
Mailing Address:
Senate Office SR-172, Washington, DC 20510
Phone number:
(202) 224-5754

Page last updated: Aug 13, 2014