Sarah Palin on Social Security
Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President
PALIN: Entitlement programs have to be reformed. You know, they're going to eat our lunch. They will certainly consume our entire federal budget by the year 2035 unless we reform. First of all, we have to assure those who are of retirement age--a pension is a promise and we can't take away what is essentially confiscated from their paychecks by the government in every paycheck. And with trust, they allowed the government to invest their money. And now it is time for them to be able to collect. But for new enrollees, everything changes. Everything must change.
Q: What's the cutoff age?
PALIN: When we talk about increasing that retirement age, I would say that Paul Ryan's roadmap can nail it quite accurately when he talks about age 55 being a cutoff age.
Q: So what you're saying is instead of 52, you can't draw on it until 55.
PALIN: Everything is going to have to change, but we do not change the pension benefit.
PALIN: What we need to do is allow some personal accounts with part of that Social Security tax for new enrollees. Allow them to keep more of what they're earning and invest it according to their priorities and not assume that government can plan our economy, our retirement, our security for us.
O'REILLY: I'm for that private thing, but, in your state, a lot of people up there are dependent on these government checks. Poor people are going to get hurt, are they not?
PALIN: Everything is going to have to change. Look, how can Michael Moore, as you had said in your introduction, tell Americans that we're not going broke? We take in $2.2 trillion a year and yet we're paying out $3.5 trillion a year. Reality is we are going bankrupt and the only way that we're going to get out of the problem that we face is to cut budgets, is to reform entitlements, and then to start a pro-growth agenda.
A: We are going to have to make some tough decisions today. Thomas Paine, one of our Founders, had said, 'If there is to be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my child may have peace.' What he meant way back then was that there should be an expectation that some sacrifices will have to be made, in our generation, so that future generations can have the opportunities that we've had to grow and thrive and prosper, so that our private sector can do what a private sector does best in creating jobs. So, yeah, with some practical things that have to be made, some decisions here, with perhaps changing, in future years, not adversely affecting those who are reliant on retirement benefits today, for instance, Social Security benefits, but changing, perhaps, the eligibility in future years. That has to be something that we're brave enough, courageous enough, to start talking about."
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