Joe Biden on Social Security

Former Vice President; previously Democratic Senator (DE)


Increase benefits for widows/widowers instead of cutting

BIDEN: I will strengthen it. What I would do is increase the benefits going to widows and widowers from the steep cuts in benefits that occur; when the one who is getting the biggest payment passes. I would not change payroll taxes for anyone earning less than $400,000, but everybody making more than that will pay the same payroll tax on wages over $400,000 as they pay on their first $137,000.
Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Sep 28, 2020

Protect Social Security & Medicare: "You have my word"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren [introduced the topic with] "Joe Biden has some really good plans--Plans to increase Social Security benefits, cancel billions in student loan debt, and make our bankruptcy laws work for families instead of the creditors who cheat them."

Biden pointed his finger at the camera when he called Social Security a sacred promise. "If I'm your president, we're going to protect Social Security and Medicare, you have my word," he said.

Source: B.Jansen in USA Today: 2020 Democratic National Convention , Aug 21, 2020

Social Security is a sacred obligation

For our seniors, Social Security is a sacred obligation, a sacred promise made. The current president is threatening to break that promise. He's proposing to eliminate the tax that pays for almost half of Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue. I will not let it happen. If I'm your president, we're going to protect Social Security and Medicare. You have my word.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention , Aug 20, 2020

Increase Social Security benefits without cuts

Bernie Sanders: You were in the Senate for a few years. Time and time again talking about the necessity, with pride, about cutting Social Security, cutting Medicare, cutting veterans programs.

Joe Biden: No.

Sanders: You never said that?

Biden: No.

Sanders: All right. America, go to YouTube right now. You were not a fan of the balanced budget amendment, which called for cuts in Social Security? Why don't you just tell the truth here? We all make mistakes.

Biden: I am telling the truth. Why am I rated 96% by the Social Security organizations? I have laid out how I will increase Social Security benefits. I have laid out how I'm going to make sure that it is in fact, paid for. Look at my exchange with Paul Ryan on his desire to try to privatize and/or cut Social Security, and understand how he manipulated it. Are you saying PolitiFact is wrong? In terms of the negotiations on how to deal with the deficit, everything was on the table. I did not support any of those cuts on Social Security.

Source: 11th Democratic primary debate (Biden-Sanders one-on-one) , Mar 15, 2020

6.2% FICA tax on all earnings over $400,000

Q: How exactly will you protect Social Security?

BIDEN: There's two pieces to the protection. #1, I'm going to make sure that we are able to have Social Security for the students here when their time comes. #2, I'm going to make sure that those folks who lost a spouse, or Social Security payment was reduced, or they're outliving way beyond their coverage, that they can have it raised.

Q: How are you going to do that?

BIDEN: Right now, we pay about 6.2 percent out of our salary, up to roughly $130,000. I have been proposing for some time that we do the same thing for everybody making over $400,000. So, for example, you, in fact, make 60 grand, you get 6.2% taken out of your salary. If you make $130,000, you get 6.2%. If you're making a million, you pay the exact same amount as someone making $130,000. By moving to keep the tax at 6.2% for people making every dollar over $400,000, we can pay for everything I'm talking about. And we can make it solvent, for all of these kids here.

Source: CNN N. H. Town Hall on eve of 2020 N. H. primary , Feb 5, 2020

Restructure tax code while protecting Social Security

Sen. Bernie Sanders argues that Biden sided with a Republican effort to cut Social Security. "In 2018, Biden lauded Paul Ryan for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare," wrote the Sanders campaign in a Jan. 7 newsletter. [Sanders repeated this attack in the March 15 debates]. We found that Sanders distorts what Biden said about Ryan's plan.

Sanders pointed to a speech Biden gave to the Brookings Institution in April 2018. Biden's overall message was that the tax code "is widely skewed toward taking care of those at the very top." Sanders plucked out what Biden said about Ryan, but ignored the complete passage which showed that Biden wanted Social Security and Medicare protected, and to accomplish that goal would require making changes to the tax code.

The Sanders campaign omits what Biden said next: "We need a pro-growth, progressive tax code that raises enough revenue to make sure that the Social Security and Medicare can stay. It still needs adjustments, but can stay."

Source: PolitiFact FactCheck on 11th Democratic 2020 primary debate , Jan 9, 2020

Freeze entitlements; don't favor special interests

Biden toured the country in 1985 chiding groups like unions and farmers for being too narrowly focused and complained that Democrats too often "think in terms of special interests first and the greater interest second." In the latter case, Biden was specifically complaining about their opposition to his calls for a spending freeze on entitlements and an increase in the retirement age.
Source: Jacobin Magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Aug 7, 2018

Where would elderly be now if funds were in stock market?

RYAN: Social Security is going bankrupt. If we don't shore up Social Security, when we run out of the IOUs, a 25% across-the-board benefit cut kicks in on current seniors in the middle of their retirement. We're going to stop that from happening.

BIDEN: We will not privatize it. If we had listened to Romney and the congressman during the Bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market. Their ideas are old, and their ideas are bad.

Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate , Oct 11, 2012

Raise the $97,500 cap, but donít raise retirement age

Q: Would you raise the cap for Social Security tax above the current level of the first $97,500 worth of income?

A: The answer is yes. The truth is, youíre either going to cut benefits or youíre going to go ahead and raise taxes above the first $97,000

Q: Would you also, considering now life expectancy is 78, consider gradually raising the retirement age?

A: Well, we did that once, I supported that. Thatís what got it solvent to 2041. By simply raising the cap, you can solve the problem.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College , Sep 6, 2007

Prevent senior fraud by educating seniors about caution

Too often, senior citizens are targeted for everything from telemarketing fraud & home-repair scams, to investment & securities fraud. Predators take advantage of seniors because they are more wealthy than the average citizen, more trusting than younger adults, and more susceptible to being coerced. They are less mobile, and more susceptible to scams that promise to deliver goods or services seniors find difficult to obtain on their own.

The best way to fight senior fraud is to prevent it from happening. Seniors should be cautious when making an investment. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. They should be careful not to give their credit card or checking account number to someone they donít know. They should never give their social security number to anyone.

Letís not let heartless criminals victimize a generation of Americans who have already given so much to preserve and protect this nation. Rather, letís put our justice system to work to keep every senior safe & secure.

Source: Press release, ďFraud Protection Important for SeniorsĒ , Nov 6, 2002

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 YES 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 YES 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 89% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record.

Biden scores 89% 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

Other candidates on Social Security: Joe Biden on other issues:
2020 Presidential Candidates:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)

2020 GOP and Independent primary candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (Libertarian-RI)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Zoltan Istvan (Libertarian-CA)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
CEO Howard Schultz (Independent-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

2020 Democratic Veepstakes Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA)
Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Gov.Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM)
Sen.Catherine Masto (D-NV)
Gov.Gina Raimondo (D-RI)
Amb.Susan Rice (D-ME)
Sen.Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
A.G.Sally Yates (D-GA)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

External Links about Joe Biden:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Mar 05, 2022