Ross Perot on Social Security
1992 & 1996 Reform Party Nominee for President
Who should do the paying as we go? All forms of revenue and expenditures should be on the table-entitlements, taxes, defense, and all the social programs. Everything. That includes something called “indexing,” whereby the spending in certain federal programs is increased to compensate for the inflation rate. More accurate indexing would save big money and help the economy.
Inflation is probably overestimated between 0.7% and 2%, probably closer to 2%. For example, the Consumer Price Index deals with a fixed market basket each month, but does not permit flexibility. If the price of beef goes up, many people switch to chicken, but that is not taken into account.
If the CPI were reduced by 0.5%, in the year 2005, the savings would be $73 billion. Some politicians view indexing as a sacred cow [because it effects Social Security payments], but they shouldn’t.
BUSH: The Social Security system was fixed, about 5 years, and it's projected out to be sound beyond that. So at least we have time to work with it.
PEROT: Everybody's ducking it so I'm going to say it: we are not letting that surplus stay in the bank. We are not investing that surplus like a pension fund. We are spending that surplus to make the deficit look smaller to you than it really is. That puts you in jail in corporate America if you kept books that way, but in Government it's just the way things are. That's because it comes at you, not from you. Now then, that money needs to be--they don't even pay interest on it, they just write a note for the interest.
CLINTON: A lot of you may not know this: Social Security produces a $70 billion surplus a year. Six increases in the payroll tax--that means people with incomes of $51,000 a year or less pay a disproportionately high share of the Federal tax burden.
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)