Jim DeMint on Social Security
Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (SC-4)
Contrary to what many progressives love to say, there is no money in the Trust Fund to pay future benefits. Furthermore, the fundamentally flawed program faces a severe demographic crisis as members of the baby boom generation begin to retire. The mess we face with Social Security, a program so many are now dependent on, is yet another example of a failed progressive policy, where the potential for unintended consequences was ignored at the program's inception.
If only a small percent of seniors took this option, it would save the country billions of dollars. This arrangement would also encourage younger workers to save more so they could cash out of Social Security when they retire.
Another freedom option would be to allow workers over 50 to opt out of future Social Security benefits. These workers would keep their portion of Social Security taxes (6.2%) for the remainder of their working lives if they purchased an annuity that guaranteed a base income when they retired. This could save individuals $1000s a year and spare the government billions of future Social Security payments.
Those who see individuals as incapable of making good decisions want a universal, government-owned, national pension plan (Social Security) with all retired Americans dependent (at least in part) on the government for their income. Those who understand how freedom works will fight for the right of every American to have a personal Social Security account they own and the government can't spend.
My campaign platform was bold and naive. People should own their Social Security accounts, and the money they pay in Social Security taxes should be saved in a personal account the government can't spend. People should have the freedom to own a health insurance policy they can afford and keep from job to job. Parents should have many more choices of schools, and the money we spend on public education should follow the student and not be reserved solely for government-run schools. And finally, we should eliminate the personal income tax and the IRS.
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."
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT: One of the things I have consistently heard from folks back home is the very simple idea that the first part of saving Social Security is making sure that Social Security taxes stay with Social Security. That is what this bill does because it takes the Social Security surplus, whatever that happens to be, and simply rebates it back to the people paying Social Security taxes, not to go out and fix up the car or buy a refrigerator with it, but instead to go into their own personal Social Security savings account that would be held by a fiduciary like the local bank.
The individual could not get their hands on the money until they turn 65, but they would get a monthly statement and for the first time, because of the private property rights that come with an account like that, for the first time have a firewall created between political forces in D.C. and their Social Security surplus.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means; never called for a House vote.
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.
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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"
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