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Harry Reid on Social Security

Democratic Sr Senator (NV)


Deal with 2036 bankruptcy in two decades, not now

The deny-and-delay approach to Social Security's looming bankruptcy was illustrated perfectly last year by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. First, Reid claimed that warnings of Social Security's bankruptcy represented "an outright lie." Then, when confronted with the trustees' report showing that Social Security's trust funds will be exhausted by 2036, Reid replied, "Two decades from now, I'm willing to take a look at it. But I'm not willing to take a look at it right now."

Similarly, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, refuses to acknowledge Social Security's most basic math. When asked when she would put forward a plan to fix Social Security, Pelosi responded: "Never. Is never good enough for you?"

This combination of policies--raid, ration, raise taxes, & deny the problem--will mean painful benefit cuts for current seniors and huge tax increases on younger working families, robbing them of the opportunity to save for their own retirements.

Source: The Path to Prosperity, by Paul Ryan, p. 51 , Apr 2, 2012

What would have happened if Trust Fund were in stock market?

During the primary, she said Social Security and Medicare should be phased out and privatized. Now she only says she wants to personalize Social Security.

But Reid wouldn't let her off the hook: "Now she talks about, and has for years talked about, getting rid of Social Security. For years. Look what would have happened had we put this money in the stock market as was suggested by President Bush. This is an extreme idea, and it will destroy Social Security."

Source: NPR Morning Edition coverage of 2010 Nevada Senate debate , Oct 15, 2010

Bushís plan guarantees a 40% benefit cut

We strongly disagree with the presidentís plan to privatize Social Security. Let me share with you why I believe the presidentís plan is so dangerous. Thereís a lot we can do to improve Americaís retirement security, but itís wrong to replace the guaranteed benefit that Americans have earned with a guaranteed benefit cut of up to 40 percent. Make no mistake, thatís exactly what President Bush is proposing.

The Bush plan would take our already record high $4.3 trillion debt and put us another $2 trillion in the red. Thatís an immoral burden to place on the backs of the next generation.

But maybe most of all, the Bush plan isnít really Social Security reform. Itís more like Social Security roulette. Democrats are all for giving Americans more of a say and more choices when it comes to their retirement savings. But that doesnít mean taking Social Securityís guarantee and gambling with it. And thatís coming from a senator who represents Las Vegas.

Source: Democratic Response to 2005 State of the Union Speech , Feb 2, 2005

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 NO 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 NO 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 NO 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

Voted NO on deducting Social Security payments on income taxes.

Vote on an amendment to establish an income tax deduction for Social Security taxes paid by employees and the self-employed.
Reference: Bill S Con Res 57 ; vote number 1996-140 on May 22, 1996

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

Reid 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

Opposes private retirement accounts.

Reid opposes the CC survey question on private retirement accounts

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Allowing individuals to invest a portion of their Social Security tax in private retirement accounts"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q6 on Aug 11, 2010

by NCPSSM indicating a pro-Social Security stance.

Reid signed by NCPSSM on Social Security protection

An endorsement by the NCPSSM indicates strong belief in preserving Social Security and Medicare (i.e., a strong stance against privatization, and for continued federal government involvement). Their mission statement:

"The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare is one of the most effective and trustworthy sources for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid advocacy. Since 1982, we have been working for generations of older Americans who want our nationís health and income security programs secured for the future. Join us and learn more about how you can be a part of our intergenerational crusade."

Source: NCPSSM website 12-NCPSSM on Oct 31, 2012

Other candidates on Social Security: Harry Reid on other issues:
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Brian Sandoval
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Dean Heller

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Page last updated: Aug 06, 2014