More headlines: Al Gore on Social Security

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Switches view to no government investment in stocks

Gore backed away from his early support for allowing the government itself to invest in stocks on Social Security’s behalf. He said that his shift was driven by a recognition that allowing the government to become a big shareholder would create problems and that the stock market had not generated as consistently strong returns as he had once assumed.

Last year, Gore backed a plan under which the government would begin channeling hundreds of billions of dollars in additional money into Social Security out of general tax revenues starting in 2011. Under the plan, half of the new money going to Social Security would be invested by the government in stocks, up to a maximum of 15% of Social Security’s total reserves.

Gore said he had been swayed in part by criticism of the idea from Alan Greenspan, who opposed the plan on the grounds that politicians would not be able to resist using the government’s role as a shareholder to favor or punish certain industries or to meddle in corporate decisions.

Source: Richard W. Stevenson and James Dao, Associated Press May 24, 2000

Keep “rock-solid” guarantee; solvent through at least 2050

“We face a basic choice,” Gore said. “Will we use our prosperity to lift up our working families? Will we meet our great responsibility to our parents and our children and make sure no one is left behind? We have a great responsibility to keep our prosperity going so that our economy can keep creating jobs.”

Gore has detailed a plan to keep Social Security solvent through at least 2050. As President, Gore would use today’s budget surpluses to pay down the national debt and use the interest saved from debt reduction to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund.

“Private investment is important, but Social Security is something different,” Gore said. “It’s a rock-solid guarantee of retirement security, built on a guaranteed minimum benefit. You shouldn’t have to roll the dice with some or all of your retirement savings. Under the Bush approach, even if you do well, you could be forced to pay higher taxes to bail out those who don’t.”

Source: Press Release May 22, 2000

Use balanced budget to save Social Security, not Wall Street

Gore pledged to make Social Security a top priority, maintain its guaranteed benefit, and make the program more fair for women. Gore’s plan is aimed at keeping Social Security solvent through at least 2050 by continuing to balance the budget, paying down the national debt and using the interest saved from debt reduction to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund. Gore also argued that privatization plans would divert Social Security funds to the stock market and risk taxpayer dollars. He warned that a downturn on Wall Street could bankrupt Social Security, force benefit cuts, or lead lawmakers to increase the retirement age.
Source: May 12, 2000

Gore: Bush’s Social Security plan is risky privatization

Gore accused Bush today of devising a “secret plan” that could bankrupt the Social Security system. Gore asserted that Bush was quietly developing a “risky” plan to allow individual investment accounts in Social Security that would jeopardize millions of taxpayers’ savings. “How does the Bush plan propose to deal with the bankruptcy of Social Security that his privatization scheme would cause? He doesn’t even bother to provide an answer.”

Under Bush’s proposal, taxpayers would be allowed to invest a small part of their Social Security payroll taxes in the stock or bond markets. Bush’s aides argue that such a plan would help taxpayers take advantage of the stock market’s historic growth.

But Gore asserted today that the plan would make the system vulnerable to huge market fluctuations that could hurt millions of retirees. And as he has repeatedly done in recent days, he suggested that Mr. Bush was charting a course that was “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

Source: James Dao & Frank Bruni, Associated Press May 4, 2000

Social Security is a “solemn compact”; keep it solvent

“To me, Social Security is more than a government program. It is a solemn compact between the generations,” Gore said. “It is responsible to make the strength and solvency of Social Security a major national priority. And it is responsible to tell the American people exactly how you propose to do it.” Gore’s balanced budget plan uses the entire Social Security surplus, $2.2 trillion over ten years, to improve Social Security and pay down the debt -- and use the billions of dollars in interest saved from debt reduction to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund until at least 2050. Bush supports partial privatization of Social Security that would divert money from the Social Security trust fund and into the Stock Market. He has also suggested he would raise the retirement age as “part of a trade off” for saving Social Security. The centerpiece of Bush’s agenda is an enormous tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthy.
Source: Press Release May 3, 2000

More benefits to 8 million mothers and 3 million widows

I will make the modest but crucial adjustments in our Social Security system that make it fair for American women,“ Gore said. Gore called for eliminating what he called the ”motherhood penalty“ by offering an earnings credit for women who leave the work force for a time to raise their children. The provision would affect about 8 million women, and the average increase in benefits would be about $600 per year.
Gore said his other proposal would help women who lose Social Security benefits when their husbands die. On average, widows receive about 62% of what the combined benefits were when their husbands were alive. Gore proposed changes that would raise that to 75%, a change that would affect about 3 million widows and widowers.
Source: Dan Balz, Washington Post, p. A8 Apr 5, 2000

Make Social Security more fair for women

Al Gore announced today that he would make Social Security more fair for women. “Social Security is a lifeline for millions of American women, but there are ways in which Social Security treats women unfairly,” Gore said. “If you entrust me with the Presidency, I make you this promise: I will make the crucial adjustments in our Social Security system that make it fairer for American women.” Specifically, Gore said that he would eliminate the “motherhood penalty” and strengthen benefits for widows.
Source: Press Release from Apr 3, 2000

No privatization; no increase in retirement age

Gore [expressed his opinion against] a Senate vote that would have increased the age limit for Social Security recipients. Gore said he favored shoring up Social Security and Medicare. He pledged to fight against any proposal to privatize Social Security or raise the retirement age.
Source: Ann Scales, Boston Globe, p. A16 Sep 26, 1999

Other candidates on Social Security: Al Gore on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010