Ted Cruz on Social Security

Republican Texas Senator


Personal accounts for young; no changes for elderly

Q: You've argued for raising the retirement age and reducing benefits for future retirees, but reducing any sort of benefits for the elderly has always been notoriously hard to do politically. When Speaker Paul Ryan proposed replacing traditional Medicare with federally funded private plans a few years ago, a liberal group responded with a commercial that featured a granny being pushed off a cliff.

CRUZ: Well, my Mom is here, so I don't think we should be pushing any grannies off cliffs. And, you mis-stated what I've said on entitlement reform. What I've said is for seniors we should make no changes whatsoever, for younger workers we should gradually raise the retirement age, we should have benefits grow more slowly, and we should allow them to keep a portion of their taxes in a personal account that they control, and can pass on to their kids.

Q: I did say "for future retirees" was your statement...

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Eliminate payroll tax entirely. and IRS entirely

Q: What about the payroll tax for Social Security?

Sen. Rand PAUL: My tax plan is it gets rid of the payroll tax. Ours is 14.5 percent for corporations, 14.5 percent for individuals. No payroll tax for the employee. The business tax pays for social security, and there would be two remaining deductions--home mortgage and charity.

Sen. CRUZ: My plan eliminates the payroll tax, eliminates the death tax, eliminates the corporate income tax, and it abolishes the IRS. It costs less than every other plan people have put up here, and yet it produces more growth.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

No changes for seniors; personal accounts for young

HUCKABEE [to Cruz]: This is a matter not of math; this is a matter of morality. If this country does not keep its promise to seniors, then what promise can this country hope to be trusted to keep?

CRUZ: Governor Huckabee is exactly right, we need to honor the promises made to our seniors. But for younger workers--look, I'm 44 years old--it is hard to find someone in my generation that thinks Social Security will be there for us. We can save and preserve and strengthen Social Security by making no changes for seniors; but for younger workers, gradually increasing the retirement age, changing the rate of growth so that it matches inflation and critically allowing younger workers to keep a portion of our tax payments in a personal account that we own, we control, and we can pass on to our kids. We can do both.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Implement commonsense reforms for younger workers

I'm 44. It's hard to find someone in my generation who believes Social Security will be there for them. That gives us an opportunity for commonsense reforms. We ought to gradually increase the retirement age. We ought to change the rate of increase in benefits so that it matches inflation, rather than exceeding inflation. Both those reforms would apply to people my age.
Source: CNS News 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 5, 2015

Raise retirement age; cap increases to inflation rate

Q: How would you protect Social Security for today's seniors and strengthen it for future generations?

A: On Social Security, I am campaigning on a series of very specific reforms. For seniors receiving Social Security or near Social Security, there should be no changes in benefits whatsoever. For younger workers, we need to do three fundamental reforms.

  1. Gradually increase the retirement age.
  2. Social Security benefits right now grow about 1% greater than inflation; we should have those benefits grow at the rate of inflation, not 1% more.
  3. Third change that I think is absolutely critical is to allow taxpayers to have a portion of the Social Security funds go to a personal account that they own and control.
    Source: Texas Tribune Interview in 2012 AARP Senate Voter Guide , Aug 24, 2012

    Transition younger workers into personal savings system

    The Senate Conservatives Fund has developed a questionnaire that we require candidates to complete before we consider an endorsement. A candidate's answers to these questions will reveal whether they consistently apply conservative principles to their positions on important issues.