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Dennis Kucinich on Social Security

Democratic Representative (OH-10)

 


Raise the cap to protect Social Security

EDWARDS: I think we have to be very careful to protect the middle class, so, specifically, what I would do as president is create a protective zone between $97,000 up to around $200,000 because there are a lot of firefighter couples, for example, that make $100,000 to $115,000 a year. We don’t want to raise taxes on them. But I do believe that people who make $50 million or $100 million a year ought to be paying Social Security taxes on that income.

KUCINICH: Of course we ought to be raising the cap in order to protect Social Security. And in addition, we should be thinking about lowering the retirement age to 65. People’s bodies break down.

DODD: You could do this by basically readjusting that tax so it doesn’t have to affect everyone in society.

Q: But you’d raise the cap to $500,000?

DODD: You’ve got to raise it up, clearly, to do this.

Source: [Xref Edwards] 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth , Sep 6, 2007

Strengthen protections for private pensions

A champion of working families, Dennis Kucinich will lead America into expanding opportunities, universal health care, restore our schools and strengthen Social Security and protections for private pensions.
Source: 2008 House campaign website, dennis4president.com, “Issues” , Sep 1, 2007

Privatization is off the table-I’ll block it

First of all, the Social Security money belongs to Main Street, not to Wall Street. It needs to be said very clearly here that privatization is off the table. There will be no privatization when I’m elected president. I’ll block any effort. Social Security, as a matter of fact, is a better investment now than the stock market. There’s a higher return. There’s guaranteed cost-of-living increases. Privatization you have to worry about the value of your account.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan , Sep 25, 2003

Return retirement age to 65-we’re solid thru 2041

People are retiring earlier. They’re retiring at age 62. And so we ought to take the retirement age back to 65, take the retirement age back to 65. The money is there. Right now, the Bush administration is using the surplus to finance tax cuts for the wealthy. I’m saying that Social Security right now, the retirement age ought to go back to age 65. Look at the record, look at the trust fund, it’s solid through the year 2041, get that money back to workers who are retiring earlier.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan , Sep 25, 2003

Restore retirement age to 65

I see a new horizon for Social Security in America, through restoring the age of retirement to 65 years, instead of the current 67 years. We need to reclaim the benefits of quality life extension for our seniors by reclaiming Social Security benefits at age 65. America can afford it. Social Security’s finances are more secure than ever. The fund is solid through the year 2042, without any changes whatsoever.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” , Aug 1, 2003

Safe retirement is part of American Dream

The American dream is to work hard, get ahead, give your life to a company, save with a secure, decent retirement pension. That dream is being destroyed by corporate executives who are cheating people out of their hard-earned retirement benefits.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” , Aug 1, 2003

Double standard between employers & employees must end

One major theme [in Enron & Global Crossing scandals] - there are two sets of rules; executives get one set of rules and their employees have to play under a different set of rules. Employees have barriers to information, fewer options, more restrictions on investment, and no guaranteed returns. The most egregious disparity is that during a bankruptcy, executive pension plans are totally protected from creditors.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” , Aug 1, 2003

Stop privatization and return retirement age to 65

I’ll lead the way to protecting Social Security and stop the privatization of Social Security and bring the retirement age back to 65. People are working their whole lives. They should be able to retire at 65 years old, not keep moving that retirement age back. I’ll stop the privatization of Medicare. It is time for a fully funded universal health care system. Medicare for all. Take the profit out of health care. Get the insurance companies out of health care. Return health care to the people.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa , May 17, 2003

Voted NO 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 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 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

Changing Social Security disproportionately affects women.

Kucinich 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

Reject proposals for private saving accounts.

Kucinich co-sponsored rejecting proposals for private saving accounts

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:

  1. President Bush promised to partially privatize Social Security, and appointed a commission to develop a plan on his behalf.
  2. The commission developed three alternative plans that would partially privatize Social Security.
  3. The plans divert substantial monies from the Social Security Trust Funds to pay for the private accounts, which threatens benefits for current beneficiaries by significantly weakening the financial condition of the Trust Funds.
  4. The plans' cuts in disability and survivor benefits directly contradict the President's promise that disability and survivor benefits would be preserved under privatization.
  5. Furthermore, these reductions in guaranteed benefits apply to all workers, regardless of whether they chose to have an individual account or not.
  6. Substituting private accounts for guaranteed Social Security benefits increases financial risk for retirees, disabled workers and their families.
  7. Moreover, other proposals to privatize Social Security, such as the 'Social Security Guarantee Plus' plan or the 'Social Security Ownership and Guarantee' plan, establish private accounts that directly or indirectly reduce Social Security benefits.
Source: H.R.4780 02-H4780 on May 21, 2002

Rated 100% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record.

Kucinich scores 100% 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

Reject privatization; don't raise the retirement age.

Kucinich signed the Social Security Protectors Pledge

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.

Source: PCCC Survey 10-PCCC on Aug 11, 2010

Exclude Medicare and Social Security from deficit reduction.

Kucinich signed Sense of Congress on Deficit Reduction

    Expresses the sense of Congress that:
  1. any deficit reduction plan put forward by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not balance the budget by eroding America's hard-earned retirement plan and social safety net;
  2. Medicare's ability to deliver high quality health care in a cost-efficient manner should be strengthened and its benefits should be preserved for current and future retirees;
  3. appropriate reform to strengthen Social Security's long-term outlook should ensure that it remains a critical source of protection for the people of the United States and their families without further increasing the retirement age or otherwise decreasing benefits; and
  4. federal funding for the Medicaid program should be maintained so that senior citizens, poor and disabled children, and others with disabilities are able to gain and retain access to affordable health care.
Source: H.CON.RES.72 11-HCR72 on Aug 1, 2011

Other governors on Social Security: Dennis Kucinich on other issues:
OH Gubernatorial:
Betty Sutton
Connie Pillich
Jim Renacci
Joe Schiavoni
John Kasich
Jon Husted
Mary Taylor
Mike DeWine
Nan Whaley
Richard Cordray
OH Senatorial:
Jim Renacci
Mike Gibbons
P.G. Sittenfeld
Rob Portman
Sherrod Brown
Ted Strickland

Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.Chenault(R) vs.Huggins(R) vs.Begich(D) vs.Treadwell(D)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.Tommy Battle (R) vs.George(R) vs.Carrington(R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.Henderson(D) vs.West(L)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D) vs.Farley(D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I) vs.Allen(R) vs.La Riva(P)
CO: Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.Doug Robinson (R) vs.Barlock(R) vs.Lynne(R) vs.Polis(D) vs.Coffman(R) vs.George Brauchler(R,A.G.) vs.Stapleton(R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Lamont(D) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R) vs.Lumaj(R) vs.Visconti(R) vs.Lauretti(R) vs.Drew(D)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Putnam(R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Cagle(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Abrams(D) vs.Levine(D)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Carroll(R)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Boulton(D) vs.McGuire(D) vs.Glasson(D) vs.Hubbell(D)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R) vs.Labrador(R) vs.Ahlquist(R) vs.Minton(D) vs.Jordan(D)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.Pritzker(D) vs.Ives(R)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R) vs.Colyer(C) vs.Kobach(R) vs.Orman(O)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Cummings(D) vs.Madaleno(D) vs.Jealous(D)
ME: Mayhew(R) vs.Mills(D) vs.Boyle(D) vs.Thibodeau(R) vs.Moody(D)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D) vs.Schuette(R) vs.Calley(R)
MN: vs.Smith(D) vs.Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R) vs.Pawlenty(R) vs.Johnson(R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.Krist(D)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Schwartz(R) vs.Steve Marchand (D)
NM: Lujan-Grisham(D) vs.Pearce(R) vs.Cervantes(D) vs.Apodaca (D)
NV: Fisher (R) vs.Sisolak(D) vs.Laxalt(R) vs.Schwartz(R)
NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Nixon(D) vs.Sharpe(L) vs.DeFrancisco(R)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Husted(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Kucinich(D) vs.Sutton(D,Lt.Gov) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Whaley(D) vs.Cordray(D)
OK: Gary Richardson (R) vs.Johnson(D)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman(D) vs.Buehler(R)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Barletta(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.Fung(R) vs.Morgan(R)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R) vs.Templeton(R) vs.Smith(D)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R) vs.Sutton(D)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D) vs.Black(R)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.Glass(L) vs.White(D) vs.Valdez(D)
VT: Scott(R) vs.Stern(D)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D) vs.Vinehout(D) vs.Evers(D) vs.Roys(D)
WY: Throne(D) vs.Dahlin(R) vs.Gordon(R)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2017):
DE-D: Carney
IN-R: Holcomb
MO-R: Greitens
NH-R: Sununu
NC-D: Cooper
ND-R: Burgum
VT-R: Scott
WV-D: Justice

Retiring 2017-18:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
IA-R: Terry Branstad
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
KS-R: Sam Brownback
(term-limited 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SC-R: Nikki Haley
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Page last updated: Jun 16, 2018