Rob Portman on Social Security
Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (OH-2)
Payroll taxes don't pay for the benefits going out
Q: What about the budget?
PORTMAN: We have to educate folks as to what the problem is. For instance, Social Security this year is in trouble. There's about an $80 billion deficit. The payroll taxes don't pay for the benefits going out. And that's not
understood right now.
Q: So why did the budget deal fall apart?
PORTMAN: Well, we came very close. And it was a balanced approach, and Republicans supported it. Spending is the problem, there is no question about it. The CBO just told us again that
if we don't do something on the spending side, there's no way that taxes at any level can catch it, because spending goes up so rapidly. These important programs--Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid--will double in size in the next 10 years, which
is, of course, the main reason, along with interest on the debt, that you add another $10 trillion to the budget deficit. But the problem right now is we don't see from the president any structural changes in this unsustainable course on entitlements.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls
, Mar 10, 2013
Bush's proposal was sound, but I'm not for privatization
Fisher and Portman sparred over jobs, Social Security and trade in their first of three Senate debates, drawing a stark contrast for voters as the state struggles to recover from the recession. Fisher sought to tie his opponent to the Bush administration
reminding viewers of Portman's service as budget director and US trade representative.
Fisher rejected cutting Social Security benefits and raising the retirement age, although he does want a bipartisan commission to address the entitlement program's
long-term fiscal problems.
Although the Bush administration had sought to create private Social Security accounts, Portman said it was "not true" that he supported privatizing the program. Fisher often quotes from a 2007 interview in which
Portman called the Bush proposal "very sound."
Portman admonished Fisher to "stop scaring seniors" about Social Security. But he added, "We do need to look at reforming the system" to ensure that the entitlement program survives for future generations
Source: Washington Post coverage of 2010 Ohio Senate debate
, Oct 5, 2010
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 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 NO 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 0% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record.
Portman scores 0% 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
Rated 3% by ARA, indicating a pro-privatization stance.
Portman scores 3% Alliance for Retired Americans
Scoring system for 2014: Ranges from 0% (supports privatization and other market-based reforms) to 100% (supports keeping federal control over Trust Fund and Social Security system).
About ARA (from their website, www.RetiredAmericans.org):
The Alliance for Retired Americans is a nationwide organization, founded in May 2001, with now over 4.2 million members working together to make their voices heard in the laws, policies, politics, and institutions that shape our lives. 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.
Source: ARA lifetime rating on incumbents of 113th Congress 14_ARA on Jan 1, 2013
- Alliance members visit the polls in record numbers. We use the power of our membership and our Congressional Voting Record to educate and mobilize seniors to elect leaders committed to improving the lives of retirees and older Americans.
We are effectively warding off cuts to our most important social programs like Social Security and Medicare. Our Human Chain Against the Chained CPI events in the summer of 2013 took place in more than 50 cities and mobilized support for stopping this cut to earned Social Security benefits.
- We blocked the privatization of Social Security with our Social Security "Truth Truck" delivering 2.1 million petitions to Members of Congress and other tactics.
- The Alliance makes its voice heard on the issues that matter not just to current retirees, but to all Americans who hope to retire one day. We were a leading voice in recent debates considering changes to Medicare, like replacing guaranteed benefits with a voucher system, and remain so in 2014.
Reduce taxes on Social Security earnings.
Portman signed the Contract with America:
[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:
The Senior Citizens Fairness Act:
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA9 on Sep 27, 1994
Raise the Social Security earnings limit, which currently forces seniors out of the workforce; repeal the 1993 tax hikes on Social Security; and provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let older Americans keep more of what they have earned over the years.
Supported pension reform and tax credits for long-term care.
Portman co-sponsored the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 7: RETIREMENT:
- HR1102—Comprehensive Retirement Security and Pension Reform Act—provide for pension reform (Portman/Cardin)
- HR2102—Long-Term Care and Retirement Security Act of 1999—allow deducting long-term care insurance premiums and a credit for individuals with long term care needs. (N. Johnson/Thurman)
- HR2261—Health Insurance Affordability and Equity Act of 1999—provide incentives for health coverage by providing credits and deductions for unemployed and self-employed to cover health care costs. (N. Johnson)
- HR1021—Small Business Pension Start-Up Credit Act of 1999—allow small employers a credit against income tax for costs incurred in establishing a qualified employer plan (Stabenow/Camp)
- HR957—Farm and Ranch Risk Management Act—allow farmers to put money into the equivalent of IRAs to cover expenses during
downturns in the market. (Hulshof/Thurman)
The Caucus supports efforts to ensure that the unique needs of women are recognized and addressed in efforts to shore up Social Security. The Caucus supports efforts to educate women about pension plans and encourage women to save for retirement. The Caucus recognizes that:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC10 on Jul 15, 1999
- 63% of women beneficiaries aged 62 or older receive wife’s or widow’s benefits.
- Three-quarters of unmarried and widowed elderly women rely on Social Security for over half of their income.
- Without Social Security benefits, the elderly poverty rate among women would have been 52.2% and among widows would have been 60.6%.
- Women tend to live longer and have lower lifetime earnings than men.
- Women spend an average of 11.5 years out of their careers to care for their families, and are more likely to work part-time than full-time
- Women earn an average of 70 cents for every dollar men earn.
Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016