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Mike Leavitt on Social Security

Director of the E.P.A.; former Republican UT Governor


Maintain long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare.

Leavitt adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

With the first federal budget surplus in a generation and estimates of non-Social Security surpluses ranging from $750 billion to $1.9 trillion over the next decade, the issue is whether Congress and the President will agree to dedicate a portion of the projected surplus to tax cuts and, if so, what the impacts on states might be.

NGAís Position

NGA opposes reductions from current discretionary spending levels or changes that could risk the long-term solvency of the nationís Social Security and Medicare systems. NGA supports provisions to ensure reduced barriers to state and local capital finance through tax-exempt bonds and to ensure maximum flexibility in setting and maintaining state retirement plans and programs.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA16 on Aug 1, 2001

Maintain federal funding of Social Services Block Grants.

Leavitt adopted a letter to Senate leaders from 4 Governors:

We are writing in strong opposition to the cuts to the Title XX/Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program as included in the fiscal 2000 appropriations bill.

Over the past few years, SSBG has taken more than its share of cuts in federal funding. As part of the 1996 welfare reform deal, Congress made a commitment to Governors that SSBG would be level funded at $2.38 billion each year. In fact, Governors reluctantly accepted a 15% cut in SSBG funds at that time in exchange for the commitment for stable funding in the future. However, repeated cuts in SSBG have been enacted regardless of that commitment. For fiscal 2000, SSBG is funded at $1.05 billion, which is over a 50% cut from its mandatory authorized level. Such a drastic reduction in funding for SSBG will result in cuts to vital human services for our most vulnerable citizens.

SSBG provides services to needy populations, including low-income children and families, the elderly, and the disabled. While SSBG does have a strong connection with welfare reform efforts in states by providing valuable resources for child care and transportation, it also provides services to many individuals who are not considered welfare recipients. For example, in many states, SSBG funding is used to provide foster care assistance, meals on wheels for the elderly, and independent living services for the disabled -- programs which are not allowable uses of welfare funds such as TANF.

In addition, as Congress finalizes this bill, we reiterate our adamant opposition to cutting funding for other vital health and human services programs which would adversely affect millions of Americans -- with the greatest impact on children and the elderly in the greatest need. The Governors are not seeking increased federal funding; we are simply requesting that you fulfill your commitments and reject cuts in programs such as SSBG that would jeopardize our strong state-federal partnership.

Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 99-NGA23 on Sep 29, 1999

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Social Security.
  • Click here for policy papers on Social Security.
  • Click here for a profile of Mike Leavitt.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Mike Leavitt.
Other candidates on Social Security: Mike Leavitt on other issues:
Obama Administration:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
a href='../Cabinet/Tom_Daschle_Social_Security.htm'>HHS:Tom Daschle
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
DOC:Judd Gregg
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DOC:Bill Richardson
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
Treas.:Tim Geithner

Former Bush Administration:
Pres.George W. Bush
V.P.Dick Cheney
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
Pres.Bill Clinton
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
V.P.Al Gore
Labor:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
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Page last updated: Dec 15, 2011