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Debbie Stabenow on Social Security

Democratic Jr Senator; previously Representative (MI-8)


Led the fight to stop privatization

Q: Would you support taxing amounts above $94K to shore up Social Security?

BOUCHARD: She voted to give Social Security to illegal immigrants. We need to fix that situation. There are men and women at home who are worried about having their benefits. Committing identity theft is fundamentally wrong. I will stop that. That’s what Michigan needs. Less partisan wrangling, less filibusters. We need results.

STABENOW: Social Security is NOT given to illegals, and I didn’t vote for it. I believe Social Security is a great Amer. success story. He supports privatization of Social Security. I was proud to lead [the fight to] stop privatization. We need to put more funds into that system. I want to keep the security in Social Security. My opponent sent me a thank you note for funding that he received as a result of my votes.

Source: 2006 Michigan Senate Debate in Grand Rapids, x-ref Bouchard , Oct 15, 2006

Voted NO 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 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

Create Retirement Savings Accounts.

Stabenow adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Balance America’s Commitments to the Young and the Old
An ever-growing share of the federal budget today consists of automatic transfers from working Americans to retirees. Moreover, the costs of the big entitlements for the elderly -- Social Security and Medicare -- are growing at rates that will eventually bankrupt them and that could leave little to pay for everything else government does. We can’t just spend our way out of the problem; we must find a way to contain future costs. The federal government already spends seven times as much on the elderly as it does on children. To allow that ratio to grow even more imbalanced would be grossly unfair to today’s workers and future generations. In addition, Social Security and Medicare need to be modernized to reflect conditions not envisioned when they were created in the 1930s and the 1960s. Social Security, for example, needs a stronger basic benefit to bolster its critical role in reducing poverty in old age. Medicare needs to offer retirees more choices and a modern benefit package that includes prescription drugs. Such changes, however, will only add to the cost of the programs unless they are accompanied by structural reforms that restrain their growth and limit their claim on the working families whose taxes support the programs.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC7 on Aug 1, 2000

Rated 90% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record.

Stabenow scores 90% 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

Reject privatization; don't raise the retirement age.

Stabenow signed the Social Security Protectors Pledge

Some 200 Democratic House and Senate candidates have signed on to a pledge rejecting any effort to privatize or scale back Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee sponsored this pledge among Congressional candidates.

Source: PCCC Survey 10-PCCC on Aug 11, 2010

Sponsored keeping CPI for benefits instead of lower "Chained CPI".

Stabenow co-sponsored Resolution on CPI

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION expressing the sense of the Congress that the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) should not be used to adjust Social Security benefits.