Search for...
OnTheIssuesLogo

Dick Gephardt on Social Security

Democratic Representative (MO-3); Former Democratic Candidate for President


Don't raise retirement age over 67

Q: People now live longer and they work longer than they did when the retirement age was set at age 65. So why not raise it?

GEPHARDT: Well, I was a leader of the effort in 1983 to make sure Social Security was sound out into the future. And as part of that legislation, we raised the retirement age--and that's in the law today--to 67. I'm not for taking it higher than that. I think we really create problems for people if we do that.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Social Security stands between many retirees & poverty

Part of the answer [to retirement needs] lies in fixing the weaknesses of the private pension system, [like] improving portability & shortening vesting periods. The other half of the answer involves Social Security, one of the most successful peacetime initiatives in our nationís history.

Social Security was never designed to be a retireeís sole source of income. But 2/3 of retirees get a majority of their income from Social Security; for many people, it is all that stands between them and poverty.

Source: An Even Better Place, by Dick Gephardt, p. 78-79 Jul 2, 1999

Treat Social Security like insurance; no stock market

Lately weíve become accustomed to the stock market hitting new highs almost on a daily basis. Itís natural that millions have been turning to Wall Street as their vehicle of choice for retirement savings. In general, itís a sound strategy.

But we need to remember that stock values go down as well as up. In a prolonged bear market, the entire market may fall so far that it takes years to recover. Those who retire before the recovery may simply be out of luck. The stock market, in short, is no foolproof source of retirement security.

Thatís where a foundation program like Social Security comes in. A strong Social Security system actually gives us the opportunity to take risks elsewhere. Think of Social Security as it was always intended-as an insurance system; knowing that it will be there allows us to invest in stocks, bonds & other investment vehicles.

Individual accounts can be part of the answer. But they should be voluntary and a supplement to Social Security, not a replacement for it

Source: An Even Better Place, by Dick Gephardt, p. 79-80 Jul 2, 1999

Social Security is most successful peacetime program

Social security represents one of the most important and successful peacetime initiatives in our nationís history. Social Security was never designed to be a retireeís sole source of income. And in the current debate about how to strengthen the system, we should not impose that burden upon it. Yes we must not forget that two-thirds of retirees get a majority of their income from Social Security.

The stock market is no foolproof source of retirement security. Thatís where a foundation program like Social Security comes in. A strong Social Security system actually gives us the opportunity to take risks elsewhere. Think of Social Security as it was always intended-as an insurance system; knowing that it will be there allows us to invest in stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles with the hope that weíll do well and without having to fear utter destitution should we make a bad pick.

Source: An Even Better Place, by Dick Gephardt, p. 78-80 Jul 2, 1999

Voted YES 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 NO 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

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

Gephardt 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

Other candidates on Social Security: Dick Gephardt on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts