16 September 2008

The Issues - Obama vs. McCain (Social Security)

Over the next few days and weeks, we’ll take a close look at what Barack Obama and John McCain have put on the record regarding the key issues confronting working families and seniors.

Today: Social Security


“...it is probably the most important and most successful program that our country has ever created. I remain committed to making sure Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and into the future.

“...long-term cash flow of the program needs to be addressed. This is a real manageable problem. But the longer we wait to solve the problem, the bigger it grows.”

“...I will come to the table with an open mind and listen to all options. But I believe that benefits should not be cut, the retirement age should not be raised, but instead the wealthiest should pay a little bit more through a raise in the payroll tax ceiling to ensure that the most successful social program in history stays strong. I also believe that privatization of Social Security, which I have long opposed, is not a valid option for us to consider because it tears the fabric of Social Security—the idea of mutual responsibility—by subjecting a secure retirement to the whims of the market, and that is not an acceptable way to strengthen this program.”


“Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed.”

“We’ve got a ticking time-bomb out there. And it’s called the Social Security Trust Fund.”

“ more young Americans believe Elvis is alive than believe that they’ll ever see a Social Security check.”

“Without privatization, I don't see how you can possibly, over time, make sure that young Americans are able to receive Social Security benefits."

"I want young workers to be able to, if they choose, to take part of their own money, which is their taxes, and put it in an account which has their name on it."

“As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it — along the lines that President Bush proposed.”

And, just for the record. Here are 10 very good reasons why privatizing even a portion of Social Security is a bad notion:

1. Does nothing to strengthen Social Security’s solvency.
2. Cuts guaranteed benefits, regardless of whether or not you choose a private account.
3. Gambles Social Security benefits in the stock market and leaves them open to corporate misconduct.
4. Costs more than the current system of guaranteed, life-long benefits of Social Security.
5. Explodes the national debt and creates new debt future generations will have to pay.
6. Undermines Social Security’s family protections, causing more disabled workers and retirees to live in poverty.
7. Forces workers to pay higher costs for the same insurance benefit Social Security offers.
8. Diverts funds for Social Security beneficiaries into management fees and administrative costs for Wall Street firms.
9. Creates an immediate financial crisis for Social Security by draining money from the Trust Fund.
10.Destroys the guaranteed, inflation-proof benefits of Social Security, and replaces with private accounts that reduce benefits and put workers’ money at risk.

No comments: