Charles Rangel on Social Security
Social Security isn't bankrupt; no need to privatize
The Republicans don't want the federal government subsidizing the poor and the sick because they really don't think the Constitution gives it the authority. It's not even principle--a basic truth or moral standard--it's ideology. Unlike standing up for a
principle, when you're fighting for an ideology you don't have to let the facts or the truth stand in your way. When Pres. Bush attempted to persuade America and the Congress on his plan to "save" Social Security, everyone knew he was trying to convert a
public responsibility to a private "everyone get a job and provide for their own savings" initiative. The president insisted that Social Security was bankrupt. It wasn't true. He was using that to frighten people into ending federal responsibility for
Social Security and into taking the money out of the Trust Fund and putting it into private accounts.
Fortunately, Social Security is anchored in political bedrock. But the Great Society renovations are vulnerable, after a 25 year Reaganite siege.
Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p.257-258
, Aug 5, 2008
Changing Social Security disproportionately affects women.
Rangel co-sponsored changing Social Security disproportionately affect women
RESOLUTION: Recognizing the unique effects that proposals to reform Social Security may have on women.
Source: H.RES.128 01-H128 on May 1, 2001
- Whereas the Social Security benefit structure is of particular importance to low-earning wives and widows, with 63% of women beneficiaries aged 62 or older receiving wife's or widow's benefits;
- Whereas 3/4 of unmarried and widowed elderly women rely on Social Security for over half of their income;
- Whereas without Social Security benefits, the elderly poverty rate among women would have been 52.2% and among widows would have been 60.6%;
- Whereas women tend to live longer and tend to have lower lifetime earnings than men do;
- Whereas women spend an average of 11.5 years out of their careers to care for their families, and are more likely to work part-time than full-time; and
Whereas during these years in the workforce, women earn an average of 70 cents for every dollar men earn:
- Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives recognizes the unique obstacles that women face in ensuring retirement security and survivor and disability stability and the essential role that Social Security plays in guaranteeing inflation-protected financial stability for women throughout their entire old age, and it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the Congress and the President should take these factors into account when considering proposals to reform the Social Security system.
Reject proposals for private saving accounts.
Rangel co-sponsored rejecting proposals for private saving accounts
To reject proposals to partially or completely substitute private saving accounts for the lifelong, guaranteed, inflation-protected insurance benefits provided through Social Security. The Congress finds the following:
- President Bush promised to partially privatize Social Security, and appointed a commission to develop a plan on his behalf.
- The commission developed three alternative plans that would partially privatize Social Security.
- The plans divert substantial monies from the Social Security Trust Funds to pay for the private accounts, which threatens benefits for current beneficiaries by significantly weakening the financial condition of the Trust Funds.
- The plans' cuts in disability and survivor benefits directly contradict the President's promise that disability and survivor benefits would be preserved under privatization.
- Furthermore, these reductions in guaranteed benefits apply to all workers,
regardless of whether they chose to have an individual account or not.
- Substituting private accounts for guaranteed Social Security benefits increases financial risk for retirees, disabled workers and their families.
- Moreover, other proposals to privatize Social Security, such as the 'Social Security Guarantee Plus' plan or the 'Social Security Ownership and Guarantee' plan, establish private accounts that directly or indirectly reduce Social Security benefits.
Source: H.R.4780 02-H4780 on May 21, 2002
- The Congress hereby commits to preserve the guaranteed, lifelong, inflation-protected benefits provided under the Social Security Act to retirees, disabled workers and their families, and the survivors of deceased workers; and
- Congress therefore rejects the President's plans to partially privatize Social Security, and other proposals to privatize Social Security by establishing private accounts that would undermine traditional Social Security benefits.
Rated 100% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record.
Rangel scores 100% 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.
Rangel 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
Exclude Medicare and Social Security from deficit reduction.
Rangel signed Sense of Congress on Deficit Reduction
Expresses the sense of Congress that:
Source: H.CON.RES.72 11-HCR72 on Aug 1, 2011
- any deficit reduction plan put forward by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not balance the budget by eroding America's hard-earned retirement plan and social safety net;
- Medicare's ability to deliver high quality health care in a cost-efficient manner should be strengthened and its benefits should be preserved for current and future retirees;
- appropriate reform to strengthen Social Security's long-term outlook should ensure that it remains a critical source of protection for the people of the
United States and their families without further increasing the retirement age or otherwise decreasing benefits; and
- federal funding for the Medicaid program should be maintained so that senior citizens, poor and disabled children, and others with disabilities are able to gain and retain access to affordable health care.
Sponsored keeping CPI for benefits instead of lower "Chained CPI".
Rangel 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.
- WHEREAS the Social Security program continues to provide modest benefits--averaging approximately $14,000 per year--to more than 53,000,000 individuals
- WHEREAS the Trust Fund can pay full benefits through 2032;
- WHEREAS the Social Security program is designed to ensure that benefits keep pace with inflation through cost-of-living adjustments based on the CPI which measures prices of goods and services;
- WHEREAS the Chained CPI adjusts for projected changes in consumer behavior resulting from price fluctuations known as the 'substitution effect', which occurs when consumers buy alternative goods and services whose prices are rising more slowly than average;
- Now, therefore, be it RESOLVED that the Chained CPI should not be used to calculate cost of living adjustments for
Social Security benefits.
Opponent's argument against bill:(Congressional Testimony by Jeffrey Kling, Congressional Budget Office Associate Director for Economic Analysis, April 18, 2013):
The chained CPI grows more slowly than the trad
Source: H.CON.RES.34 & S.Con.Res.15 13-HCR34 on Apr 18, 2013
Page last updated: Jan 22, 2017