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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: Campaign website, www.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: Campaign website, www.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: Campaign website, www.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: Campaign website, www.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

Other candidates on Social Security: Dennis Kucinich on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010