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Chuck Hagel on Social Security

Republican Sr Senator (NE)


Do not alter government workersí pension plans

I donít need to remind you of issues like entitlements, like Social Security and healthcare issues. Our actuaries are quite clear on that -- we canít sustain the entitlement programs that we now have on the books -- for no other reason than we have a baby-boom generation, 78 million strong, Iím in the front end of that -- that will overload the services, that will crush the system.

We have time to fix some of these things. We need leaders who will face up to that. We need leaders who will bring bipartisan consensus on working on the issues.

Obviously [that includes] Social Security. I have a comprehensive Social Security bill that does not alter or change the current status of local and state government pension plans.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC , Mar 14, 2007

We need $35T to fix system before it collapses

Hagel himself is at the front end of the baby boom's 76 million people, all of whom will become eligible for programs like Medicare and Social Security in the next decades. "We'll need $35 trillion over 30 years to pay for the baby boomers," Hagel said. "I don't know where we'll get it."

The nation was facing 2 choices, Hagel said. The 1st option was to let the system crash and then increase taxes on the younger generations still in the workforce when that happens--or make the hugely unpopular decision to cut benefits to the retirees. The 2nd choice was to get busy and fix the system before it collapsed. American could not continue to run up huge budget deficits, he said, without losing the confidence of world markets. "It will catch up with us."

Source: Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward, by Charlyne Berens, p.111 , Sep 1, 2006

Voted YES on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security.

Voting YES would:
  1. require that the Federal Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund be used only to finance retirement income of future beneficiaries;
  2. ensure that there is no change to benefits for individuals born before January 1, 1951
  3. provide participants with the benefits of savings and investment while permitting the pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits; and
  4. ensure that the funds made available to finance such legislation do not exceed the amounts estimated to be actuarially available.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Perhaps the worst example of wasteful spending is when we take the taxes people pay for Social Security and, instead of saving them, we spend them on other things. Even worse than spending Social Security on other things is we do not count it as debt when we talk about the deficit every year. So using the Social Security money is actually a way to hide even more wasteful spending without counting it as debt. This Amendment would change that.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This amendment has a fatal flaw. It leaves the door open for private Social Security accounts by providing participants with the option of "pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits."

Make no mistake about it, this is a stalking-horse for Social Security. It looks good on the surface, but this is an amendment to privatize Social Security.
Reference: Bill S.Amdt.489 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-089 on Mar 22, 2007

Voted YES on Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt.

This vote limited debate on the amendment offered by Sen. Abraham (R-MI) that would have created a Social Security "lockbox" and establish limits on the public debt. [A YES vote was for a lockbox]. This vote failed because 3/5 of the Senate did not vote.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)54; N)45; NV)1
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on Amdt #254 to S. 557; Bill S. 557 ; vote number 1999-90 on Apr 22, 1999

Voted YES on allowing Roth IRAs for retirees.

Senator Roth (R-DE) offered this amendment to the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act to allow people older than 70.5 with incomes over $100,000 to move funds from an Individual Retirement Account into a Roth IRA.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)56; N)42; NV)2
Reference: Roth Amdt #2339; Bill H.R. 2676 ; vote number 1998-120 on May 6, 1998

Voted YES on allowing personal retirement accounts.

Vote on an amendment expressing the sense of the Senate that the Finance Committee should consider legislation to use the federal budget surplus to establish personal retirement accounts as a supplement to Social Security.
Reference: Bill S.Con.Res.86 ; vote number 1998-56 on Apr 1, 1998

Rated 22% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record.

Hagel scores 22% 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

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Social Security.
  • Click here for policy papers on Social Security.
  • Click here for a profile of Chuck Hagel.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Chuck Hagel.
Other candidates on Social Security: Chuck Hagel on other issues:
Obama Administration:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:John Kerry
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoD:Chuck Hagel
A.G.:Eric Holder
HHS:Kathleen Sebelius
USDA:Tom Vilsack

First Obama Administration:
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
DOT:Ray LaHood
DOI:Ken Salazar
DOL:Hilda Solis

Former Bush Administration:
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
V.P.Al Gore
Labor:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
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Page last updated: Feb 19, 2014