issues2000

Topics in the News: Privatization


Pete Buttigieg on Privatization: (Tax Reform Dec 26, 2020)
Move from fuel taxes to mileage fees to fund roads

The federal government paid for its share of the road network using proceeds from a federal gas tax. That money was put in a special "trust fund." Congress hasn't raised the per-gallon rates since 1993. Meanwhile, vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, meaning people have to buy less gas per mile that their cars travel. The trust fund went broke. When Buttigieg ran for president, he said USDOT should come up with a way to move from fuel taxes to mileage fees.
Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Biden Cabinet

Donald Trump on Privatization: (Social Security Sep 28, 2020)
Never cut Social Security; payroll tax cut won't affect it

Q: Would you allow cutting Social Security?

TRUMP: We'll never cut Social Security, and you can rely on that. We will guard it with everything we have.

Q: You have said you would like to "terminate the payroll tax" if you win reelection. Payroll taxes fund Social Security and Medicare. How would you finance these programs without payroll taxes?

TRUMP: Providing a payroll tax deferral poses no risk to the Social Security trust fund and puts more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Howie Hawkins on Privatization: (Social Security Jul 12, 2020)
Apply FICA tax to all levels of income including investments

Apply the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (Social Security and Medicare) taxes to investment income and to all levels of income, not merely the first $106,800 earned. Oppose the privatization of Social Security. Enact a wealth tax of 0.5% per year on an individual's assets over $5 million.
Click for Howie Hawkins on other issues.   Source: Green Party Platform adopted by 2020 presidential hopeful

Julian Castro on Privatization: (Welfare & Poverty Jul 17, 2019)
Construction funding & rent subsidies for affordable housing

Castro on Affordable Housing: Combination of construction funding and rent subsidies.

ONE CANDIDATE HAS SIMILAR VIEWS: Cory Booker.

A few candidates have called for a two-pronged approach, combining rent relief with efforts to increase construction. Sen. Cory Booker's plan would give renters a refundable tax credit to cover the shortfall between 30 percent of their income and rent while directing $40 billion a year to the Housing Trust Fund to build and operate rental housing for low-income people.

Julian Castro, a former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration, would expand the Housing Voucher Program and create a tax credit for renters. To increase the supply of affordable housing, he would expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and boost funding for two trust funds to develop and improve public housing by $45 billion.

Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Beto O`Rourke on Privatization: (Tax Reform Jun 24, 2019)
War tax on non-military households to support vet healthcare

Non-military households would pay a "war tax" to help cover the health care of veterans under a plan O`Rourke's campaign unveiled. Money collected would go into a new trust fund for veterans. Households making less than $30,000 per year would pay $25; less than $40,000 would pay $57; less than $50,000 would pay $98; less than $75,000 would pay $164; less than $100,000 would pay $270; less than $200,000 would pay $485; and those making more than $200,000 would pay $1,000.
Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: CNN.com coverage of 2020 Democratic primary

Mike Gravel on Privatization: (Civil Rights Apr 9, 2019)
$30 billion per year for National Reparations Trust Fund

Over its history, the American government has participated in systematic disenfranchisement of and discrimination against significant groups of people, whose descendants still suffer today. The examples are endless: from slavery to Jim Crow to Native American treaty violations.

The US should create a National Commission on Reparations, to assess claims from descendants of those affected by discriminatory government policies. [Then], establish a National Reparations Trust Fund (NRTF), funded by an infusion of $30 billion per year from government coffers. Each year, 20 percent of the fund would be paid out; 25 percent of this money would go toward programs to benefit historically black colleges and universities, Native American communities, and education in low-income communities hurt by policies like redlining. The other 75 percent would be paid out directly to those on the list of disadvantaged groups.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeGravel.com

Marianne Williamson on Privatization: (Social Security Apr 8, 2019)
Raise cap on income & we can avoid privatization

Social Security was created to insure that our seniors can live in dignity without fear of poverty. Workers pay into a fund during their prime years, then get regular payments back when they stop working.

Social Security has worked well for generations to reduce poverty among seniors and the disabled. It is under attack today by Wall Street banks and related financial "service" entities who want to privatize it for no other reason than to tap into another new and huge source of income and bonuses.

To that end, opponents of Social Security have claimed over the last few years that it is running out of money soon. It is true that there could be problems with Social Security funding down the line, but they are quite easily solved by making modest changes, such as raising the cap on income subject to Social Security payroll tax. That simple modification can keep the system solvent indefinitely, without reducing benefits.

Click for Marianne Williamson on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Marianne2020.com

John Delaney on Privatization: (Energy & Oil May 29, 2018)
Gas tax has fallen since 1993, due to inflation

For years the U.S. government has imposed a small gas tax at the pump. These revenues go into a big pot called the Highway Trust Fund, which then doles out the money to states for surface transportation projects. Ninety percent of our country's roads, bridges, and transit projects are funded in this way--and for a long time, the fund was self-sufficient, meaning the gas tax covered the cost of maintaining and improving our transportation infrastructure.

The gas tax isn't indexed to inflation, however, so the value of the revenue it brings in goes down over time. And because we haven't raised the tax since 1993, a quarter century ago, the Highway Trust Fund now runs at a shortfall, which means that every five years, Congress has to scrape together some additional money to subsidize it.

Click for John Delaney on other issues.   Source: The Right Answer, by Rep. John Delaney, p.132

Bernie Sanders on Privatization: (Government Reform Nov 15, 2016)
End private prisons; end profit of incarceration

Private corporations should not be making profits off the incarceration of human beings. But that is exactly what is happening today in our country, big-time. According to the ACLU, as part of the movement toward privatization that we are seeking in sector after sector, the number of adult prisoners housed in private prisons has jumped almost 1,600 percent since 1990. Last year, there were about 130,000 federal and state prisoners in private facilities.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 382

Bernie Sanders on Privatization: (Education Nov 1, 2016)
No privatization; no vouchers; charters only with standards

Q: What are your views on private school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and charter schools?

BS: I am strongly opposed to any voucher system that would re-direct public education dollars to private schools, including through the use of tax credits. In addition, I believe charter schools should be held to the same standards of transparency as public schools, and that these standards should also apply to the non-profit and for-profit entities that organize charter schools.

Q: What are your views on the privatization and contracting out of public services, including school services?

BS: I am strongly opposed to the outsourcing and privatization of public services. The reality is that many private contractors provide jobs with low pay and no benefits with little or no training. In the long-term, in most instances, privatization leads to poor service, high turnover, and an overall increase in taxpayer dollars.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: American Federation of Teachers candidate questionnaire

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Social Security Oct 19, 2016)
Replenish the Trust Fund by raising the cap

CLINTON: I am on record as saying that we need to put more money into the Social Security Trust Fund. That's part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. We want to replenish the Social Security Trust Fund by making sure that we have sufficient resources, and that will come from either raising the cap and/or finding other ways to get more money into it. I will not cut benefits. I want to enhance benefits for low-income workers and for women who have been disadvantaged by the current system.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Environment Oct 9, 2016)
Establish an American Parks Trust Fund

The 100th anniversary of our national park system is also an opportunity to re-energize America's proud land and wildlife conservation traditions. I will establish an American Parks Trust Fund to scale up and modernize how we protect and enhance our natural treasures, and to better protect wildlife habitat across the country.

Internationally, we need greater cooperation to address declining biodiversity. My Administration will work collaboratively with other nations to advance biodiversity science, further our understanding of the causes of biodiversity loss, and take action to diminish them. We will share information about our conservation successes, including our national parks, fish and wildlife refuge systems, and marine reserves to aid other nations working to protect their natural resources and conserve biodiversity. And we will work collaboratively to end trafficking in wildlife and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing that threatens our oceans.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: ScienceDebate.org: 20 questions for 2016 presidential race

Donald Trump on Privatization: (Social Security Oct 4, 2016)
FactCheck: Yes, "privatization would be good for all of us"

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine said in the V.P.debate, "Donald Trump wrote a book & said Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and privatization would be good for all of us." Is that true? Yes, it's true; we found the relevant book passage that Kaine referred to:

"The solution to the Great Social Security crisis couldn't be more obvious: Allow every American to dedicate some portion of their payroll taxes to a personal Social Security account that they could own and invest in stocks and bonds. Federal guidelines would make sure that your money is diversified, that it is invested in sound mutual funds or bond funds, and not in emu ranches....Privatization would be good for all of us. Directing Social Security funds into personal accounts invested in real assets would swell national savings, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into jobs and the economy." (Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.198-199 & 203 , July 2000)

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University

Mike Pence on Privatization: (Social Security Oct 4, 2016)
We're going to meet our obligations to our seniors

KAINE: Donald Trump wrote a book and said Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and privatization would be good for all of us.

PENCE: Well, there they go again.

KAINE: Go read the book And when Congressman Pence was in Congress, he was the chief cheerleader for the privatization of Social Security. Even after President Bush stopped pushing for it, Congressman Pence kept pushing for it. We're going to stand up against efforts to privatize Social Security. And we'll look for ways to keep it solvent going forward, focusing primarily on the payroll tax cap.

PENCE: All Donald Trump and I have said about Social Security is we're going to meet our obligations to our seniors. That's it.

KAINE: Go read the book.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University

Donald Trump on Privatization: (Health Care Sep 7, 2016)
Let vets see private doctors or VA: that's not privatization

CLINTON: I will not let the V.A. be privatized. And I do think there is an agenda out there, supported by my opponent, to do just that.

TRUMP: I never said take the Veterans Administration private. I wouldn't do that. But I do believe, when you're waiting in line for six, seven days, you should never be in a position like that. You go out, you see the doctor, you get yourself taken care of. The V.A. is really almost a corrupt enterprise. So we are going to make it efficient and good. And if it's not good, you're going out to private hospitals, public hospitals, and doctors.

FACT-CHECK: Trump's campaign published a "Veterans Plan" last October. It doesn't call for the VA to be completely privatized, but allows veterans to get care at any non-VA medical center that accepts Medicare. Trump stuck to the idea when he released his "Ten Point Plan To Reform The VA" in July, giving "every veteran the choice to seek care at the VA or at a private service provider of their own choice."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: USA Today Fact-check on 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum

Bernie Sanders on Privatization: (Social Security Feb 11, 2016)
Lift cap on wealthy: at $250,000 program lasts 58 years

We should lift the cap on taxable income coming into the Social Security Trust Fund, starting at $250,000. We expand Social Security by $1,300 a year for people under $16,000, and we extend the life of Social Security for 58 years. The wealthiest people will pay more in taxes. I will do everything I can to expand Social Security benefits, not just for seniors, but for disabled veterans, as well.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Principles & Values Jan 30, 2016)
Agrees with Bernie on vouchers, EPA, taxes, amnesty & voting

Where do Bernie and Hillary agree on the issues? Our VoteMatch theory says that a moderate liberal and a hard-core liberal should agree on most issues but differ in fervency; we point out exactly that difference in many places in our analysis in each chapter. They entirely agree on:
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Bernie vs. Hillary On The Issues, by Jesse Gordon

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Health Care Nov 10, 2015)
The VA has failed our veterans & needs to be revamped

Supporting our military veterans is a sacred responsibility, yet the Veterans Administration has systematically failed to uphold its core mission. We need a new initiative similar to the post-WWII Bradley Plan. We need to synchronize the VA with Medicare & ACA, and also expand services such as childcare, reproductive services, mental health care, and substance abuse treatment. Privatization of our medical system will only undermine veterans' ability to get the unique care that only the VA can provide.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Bloomberg.com News, "Oppose Veteran System Privatization"

Bernie Sanders on Privatization: (Social Security Sep 5, 2015)
No cuts; no privatization; even to deal with deficit

Today, Social Security is facing an unprecedented attack from those who either want to privatize it completely or who want to make substantial cuts. A super-committee in Congress will be making decisions to cut the national debt by some $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Social Security is on the table.

The argument being used to cut Social Security is that because we have a significant deficit problem and a $14 trillion national debt, we just can't afford to maintain Social Security benefits. This argument is false. Social Security, because it is funded by the payroll tax, not the US Treasury, has not contributed one nickel to our deficit.

Unfortunately, Congress has been discussing harmful cuts to Social Security as part of an overall scheme to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and working families. That is wrong, it is unconscionable, and it must not happen

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Rand Paul on Privatization: (Social Security Apr 7, 2015)
Raise retirement age to save program for younger generation

Combined with years of wasteful spending by decades of career politicians in Washington, the Social Security trust fund has been left in a fragile condition. Millions of Americans depend on Social Security and if we are to keep our promises to them. Continuing to push Social Security reforms into the future will only make solving the problem harder and will require more painful changes for seniors.

During my time in the Senate, I have worked on proposals that would fix the shortfalls in the Social Security program through a gradual increase in the age of full retirement and by means testing yearly earnings, while preserving those benefits for near and current retirees. These changes would only apply to younger Americans who have time to plan for the future.

As President, I will remain committed to fixing the Social Security program, while preserving the system for seniors who have planned their lives around the program & implementing reforms to save the program for younger generations

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues"

Elizabeth Warren on Privatization: (Health Care Nov 18, 2014)
No Medicare vouchers and no privatization

Too many have been using scare tactics when it comes to Social Security. Social Security can pay 100% of benefits for at least the next twenty years. Instead of taking on special interests, too many politicians have proposed privatizing Medicare, turning it into a voucher program, or cutting it altogether. I will not support privatizing Medicare, turning it into a voucher program, or cutting benefits.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: Quotable Elizabeth Warren, by Frank Marshall, p.148

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Social Security Aug 24, 2014)
Privatization off the table; but maybe payroll cap increase

During her 2008 presidential bid, Clinton was relatively non-committal about reforms to the Social Security program. She said in 2007 that certain reforms such as cutting benefits, privatizing the program or raising the retirement age were "off the table." There were some articles at the time that gave mixed signals on whether she would be willing to increase payroll taxes.

One account from the Associated Press featured a conversation between a campaigning Clinton and an Iowa voter in which the candidate said she might consider committing more of workers' income to Social Security. "She told him she didn't want to put an additional tax burden on the middle class but would consider a 'gap,' with no Social Security taxes on income from $97,500 to around $200,000. Anything above that could be taxed," according to the article.

Ultimately, Clinton officially shied away from the increase in taxes, and stuck with official comments that revolved around improving the economy overall.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Megan R. Wilson in TheHill.com weblog, "Clinton vs. Warren"

Barack Obama on Privatization: (Technology Jan 29, 2014)
FactCheck: Money stops infrastructure projects, not red tape

OBAMA: "We'll need Congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible."

THE FACTS: Cutting rules and regulations doesn't address what's holding up most transportation projects, which is lack of money. The federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of money in August without action. To finance infrastructure projects, Obama wants Congress to raise taxes on businesses that keep profits or jobs overseas, but that idea has been a political non-starter.

The number of projects affected by the administration's efforts to cut red tape is relatively small. [One pundit says], "It's great that you are expediting the review process, but the review process isn't the problem. The problem is we don't have enough money to invest in our infrastructure in the first place."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: AP/Fox News FactCheck on 2014 State of the Union

Elizabeth Warren on Privatization: (Social Security Jul 11, 2012)
No unnecessary cuts or risky privatization schemes

Most independent deficit analysts say entitlement projected spending will need to be reduced to solve the budget deficit. We should start there before we even consider breaking the promises we made to our seniors. It would be a breach of trust--and just plain poor economic policy--to jeopardize these programs with unnecessary cuts or risky privatization schemes, especially when the wealthy and well-connected continue to enjoy special tax deals.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on 2012 Mass. Senate debate

Elizabeth Warren on Privatization: (Social Security Apr 28, 2012)
Modest changes will save Social Security, not privatization

Social Security is safe for at least the next 25 years and, if we act quickly, we can make modest changes that will keep the system solvent without cutting back on benefits. We need honesty and political will to move forward. Social Security is a promise made to our seniors and it would be a breach of trust--and just plain poor economic policy--to jeopardize this program with unnecessary cuts or risky privatization schemes.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, elizabethwarren.com. "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on Privatization: (Social Security Dec 10, 2010)
Most successful Federal program in history of our country

[This Obama-Republican tax plan] would cut $120 billion in Social Security payroll tax for workers. On the surface, this sounds like a very good idea because the worker, instead of paying 6.2% into Social Security, pays 4.2%. If you think about it for 2 seconds, you really understand that it is not a good idea because this is money being diverted from the Social Security trust fund.

Social Security, in my view, has been the most successful Federal program in perhaps the history of our country. In the last 75 years, whether in good or bad times, Social Security has paid out every nickel owed to every eligible American. Today, Social Security has a $2.6 trillion surplus. Today, Social Security can pay out benefits for the next 29 years. What we must do is make sure we extend it beyond 29 years, for the next 75 years. Well, if we divert $120 billion from the Social Security trust fund and give it to workers today, what you are doing is cutting back the long-term viability of Social Security.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders

Joe Sestak on Privatization: (Social Security Oct 12, 2010)
Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement security

Democratic candidate Rep. Joe Sestak staked out social security as a battleground, lambasting Republican opponent Rep. Pat Toomey for supporting privatization and dropping two new attack ads to drive home the message. "Social Security is the cornerstone of our retirement security," said Sestak in a statewide conference call with seniors Tuesday. "It's outrageous that Congressman Toomey wants to gamble our social security on Wall Street."
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post on 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race

Joe Sestak on Privatization: (Social Security Aug 12, 2010)
Oppose privatization; would have lost income in recession

Looking forward, we see that the programs seniors rely on today are in jeopardy. The Medicare Trust fund is scheduled to run out by 2017 and the Social Security trust fund will run out in 2037. I believe we should preserve long term fiscal solvency not by cutting benefits but by reexamining the way we find revenues for social security benefits.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, joesestak.com, "Issues"

Michael Bennet on Privatization: (Social Security Jul 29, 2010)
Optional personal retirement accounts ARE privatization

Andrew Romanoff characterized the latest campaign mailer sent out by primary opponent Sen. Michael Bennet as an exercise in selective reporting. The Bennet flier accused Romanoff of pushing for the privatization of Social Security. The flier called Romanoff out on a 2004 vote in which he supported what the Bennet campaign called a "risky privatization plan."

Romanoff responded that the 2004 Senate Joint Resolution "does not say that it will divert money out of Social Security. I wouldn't have voted for it if it did."

The Bennet camp followed the flier with a new press release: "Romanoff surrounds himself with seniors in a shameful attempt to show his support. What he isn't telling them is that Speaker Romanoff voted to privatize Social Security. A move that would have stripped many seniors from their only source of income."

SJR 28 in 2004 resolved to "support optional personal retirement accounts and not support increases in payroll taxes and cuts to Social Security benefits."

Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: Denver Post on 2020 Colorado Senate race

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Social Security Apr 16, 2008)
Bipartisan commission, like in 1983, to address crisis

OBAMA: [to Clinton]: I think we should be honest in presenting our ideas in terms of how we’re going to stabilize the Social Security system and not just say that we’re going to form a commission and try to solve the problem some other way.

CLINTON: I am totally committed to making sure Social Security is solvent. You’ve got to begin to reign in the budget, pay as you go, to try to replenish our Social Security Trust Fund. And with all due respect, the last time we had a crisis in Social Security wa 1983. Pres. Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill came up with a commission. That was the best and smartest way, because you’ve got to get Republicans and Democrats together. That’s what I will do. And I will say, #1, don’t cut benefits on current beneficiaries they’re already having a hard enough time. And #2, do not impose additional tax burdens on middle-class families.

OBAMA: That commission raised the retirement age, and also raised the payroll tax. So Sen. Clinton can’t have it both ways.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Social Security Oct 23, 2007)
1997: Hillary warned against privatizing Social Security

Following two and a half years of study, members of Bill’s Advisory Co until on Social Security offered proposals for investing a portion of Social Security retirement funds in the stock market. Hillary reacted emphatically to the report, telling her husband, “We mustn’t let Social Security be privatized.”
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p.269

Barack Obama on Privatization: (Social Security Sep 6, 2007)
Privatization puts retirement at whim of stock market

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

A: I think that lifting the cap is probably going to be the best option. Now we’ve got to have a process [like the one] back in 1983. We need another one. And I think I’ve said before everything should be on the table. My personal view is that lifting the cap is much preferable to the other options that are available. But what’s critical is to recognize that there is a potential problem: young people who don’t think Social Security is going to be there for them. We should be willing to do anything that will strengthen the system, to make sure that that we are being true to those who are already retired, as well as young people in the future. And we should reject things that will weaken the system, including privatization, which essentially is going to put people’s retirement at the whim of the stock market.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College

Barack Obama on Privatization: (Social Security Jul 23, 2007)
No privatization; but consider earning cap over $97,500

Q: We all know that Social Security is running out of money, but people who earn over $97,500 stop paying into Social Security. The Congressional Research Service says that if all earnings were subject to payroll tax, the Social Security trust fund would remain solvent for the next 75 years.

A: I think that it is an important option on the table, but the key, in addition to making sure that we don’t privatize, because Social Security is that floor beneath none of us can sink. And we’ve got to make sure that we preserve Social Security is to do the same thing that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill were able to do back in 1983, which is come up with a bipartisan solution that puts Social Security on a firm footing for a long time.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC

Mike Bloomberg on Privatization: (Health Care Jun 18, 2007)
$2.5B trust fund for NYC future retirees’ health care

Consider this: the federal government requires cities and states to set aside funding for future retirees’ pensions--but not for future retirees’ health care, even though we have just as much of an obligation to pay their health care costs as we do their pensions. This makes no sense! So we’ve done something fairly unusual: we’ve set up a trust fund for future retiree health care costs, and we’ve dedicated $2.5 billion from our surplus to it. That’s just basic fiscal responsibility.
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Speech at “Ceasefire! Bridging The Political Divide” meeting

Hillary Clinton on Privatization: (Government Reform Feb 21, 2007)
Cut gov’t contractors and end privatization of government

I stood with AFSCME against the privatization of Social Security and now I want to stand with you against the privatization of our government. The Bush administration has been privatizing government services. In fact, now we have more government contractors and grantees by three times the number than the entire military and Civil Service personnel. We have to stop that. And I have proposed cutting government contractors by 500,000 as soon as I’m sworn in and saving $8 billion to $10 billion.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada

Mike Gravel on Privatization: (Social Security Dec 25, 2006)
Put real money in the Trust Fund & invest it properly

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website, gravel2008.us, “Issues”

Kirsten Gillibrand on Privatization: (Social Security Nov 7, 2006)
Against privatization

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, gillibrand2006.com, “Issues”

Mike Gravel on Privatization: (Social Security Apr 17, 2006)
Let beneficiaries leave surplus funds to heirs

The senator proposed to place before the people his plan to put real money in the Social Security Trust Fund, investing it properly and identifying the interests of individual beneficiaries so they can leave their surplus funds to their heirs.
Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: Press release “Announces Run for President”

Amy Klobuchar on Privatization: (Social Security Jan 26, 2006)
President’s privatization scheme puts us at risk

The Social Security system will be below the even point by 2042. We should raise the cap [on payment] from $90,000. The president’s privatization scheme would have cost more. The privatization scheme puts us at risk. People saw it for what it was -- it gives money to special interests, and it doesn’t solve the problem.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: MN 2006 Senate debates - MPR interview

Amy Klobuchar on Privatization: (Social Security Jan 18, 2006)
Privatization is a risky scheme

I will fight and oppose the current administration’s risky scheme to privatize Social Security because it would turn the guarantee of a secure retirement into a gamble. The president’s irresponsible proposal would divert billions of dollars out of Social Security and put it at risk in the stock market. And it would require trillions of dollars of borrowing for transition costs. That’s no way to fix a system.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues”

Bill Weld on Privatization: (Civil Rights Aug 25, 2005)
Delivered homily at two same-sex weddings

Bill Weld truly mixes fiscal conservatism with social liberalism. As governor of Massachusetts he cut taxes 16 times, balanced the budget annually, pursued privatization, vetoed minimum wage increases, and even rejected higher levies on cigarettes to pay for health care for children.

Yet Weld does live up his socially liberal reputation in spades. Weld created the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth and was generally in the vanguard of gay-rights causes. As recently as 2004, he delivered the homily at two former staffers' same-sex wedding and endorsed the Goodridge v. Department of Health decision before a Log Cabin Club conclave during the Republican National Convention. He has since told the New York Post that he opposes same-sex marriage beyond Massachusetts.

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: W. James Antle III in Spectator Magazine

Bill Weld on Privatization: (Health Care Aug 25, 2005)
Vetoed cigarette-tax hike that paid for kids' health care

As governor of Massachusetts he cut taxes sixteen times, balanced the budget annually, pursued privatization, vetoed minimum wage increases, and even rejected higher levies on cigarettes to pay for health care for children. (Let's repeat that last one: He vetoed a cigarette-tax hike that would have paid for children's health care--in Massachusetts.)
Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: American Spectator, "Understanding Bill Weld"

Bill Weld on Privatization: (Jobs Aug 25, 2005)
Vetoed minimum wage increase

As governor of Massachusetts he cut taxes sixteen times, balanced the budget annually, pursued privatization, and vetoed minimum wage increases. Although he grew progressively slacker on spending as his tenure wore on, Weld's first budget actually reduced expenditures below the previous year's level. Hardly a Rockefeller Republican, he instituted work requirements for welfare recipients before the 1996 federal reform legislation and boasted that on taxes he was "a filthy supply-sider."
Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: American Spectator, "Understanding Bill Weld"

Bill Weld on Privatization: (Welfare & Poverty Aug 25, 2005)
Instituted work requirements for welfare recipients

As governor of Massachusetts he cut taxes sixteen times, balanced the budget annually, pursued privatization, and vetoed minimum wage increases. Although he grew progressively slacker on spending as his tenure wore on, Weld's first budget actually reduced expenditures below the previous year's level. Hardly a Rockefeller Republican, he instituted work requirements for welfare recipients before the 1996 federal reform legislation and boasted that on taxes he was "a filthy supply-sider."
Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: American Spectator, "Understanding Bill Weld"

Ken Salazar on Privatization: (Social Security Aug 11, 2004)
Opposes privatization and individual investment accounts

Ensuring the stability of Social Security pensions is more important now than ever. Just as many Americans have lost all or part of their retirement savings because of corporate fraud & precipitous drops in the stock market, privatization proposals would subject Social Security-the only retirement safety net-to stock market volatility. For too many Americans, privatization will change Social Security from a safety net into a roulette wheel. I will fight against proposals to privatize Social Security. As Colorado Attorney General, I am familiar with the many kinds of investment fraud schemes that particularly target our elderly. I would, therefore, be very wary of “individual investment accounts.”

More than half of Americans over 65 years old would live in poverty if Social Security disappeared. I will push for a return to fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets to maintain a foundation for economic growth, and I will press to make the preservation of Social Security a national priority.

Click for Ken Salazar on other issues.   Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, SalazarForColorado.com

Marty Walsh on Privatization: (Welfare & Poverty Jul 8, 2004)
Voted NO on rejecting $25M earmarked for Housing Trust Fund

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting NO in Part VII: Housing: Urban Investment. [State Rep. Walsh voted NO].

Gov. Romney vetoed a budget line item ("Section 239") which would earmark $25 million for the Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund. The $25 million came from a one-time sale of surplus properties. Romney recommended placing the money into the General Fund instead. A no vote would maintain the earmark of the $25 million while a yes vote would agree with Romney's amendment.

Relevant platform section: Urban Investment: We back the establishment of community development banks and recognize the vital role of community-based development organizations in providing affordable housing.

Source citation: Bill Amendment Override, Sec. 239 ; vote number H700

Click for Marty Walsh on other issues.   Source: Massachusetts House voting record via MassScorecard.org

Marty Walsh on Privatization: (Welfare & Poverty May 10, 2004)
Voted NO on removing funds for Affordable Housing Trust

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting NO in Part VII: Housing. [State Rep. Walsh voted NO].

Vote on an amendment which would reject two sections of MGL Chapter 40B. The first section to be rejected would require affordable dwelling units in 10% of every residential development (limited to residents below 80 of the area median income). The second section to be rejected would earmark state aid for a municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Relevant platform section: Part VII: Housing: "We believe the public sector has a vital role to play in the provision of safe, affordable, and fair housing. We recognize a crisis in housing costs across the Commonwealth, and we advocate a heightened priority for affordability initiatives."

Source citation: Bill H.4240 ; vote number H626

Click for Marty Walsh on other issues.   Source: Massachusetts House voting record via MassScorecard.org

Mark Sanford on Privatization: (Social Security Nov 4, 2000)
Off-budget accounting undermines trust in government

One house colleague talked about how we should move Social Security and its so-called Trust Funds off-budget and how John Kasich, the incoming head of the House Budget Committee, had said no. The reason? If we removed Social Security, and the mountain of money pouring onto it, from the budget, we wouldn’t have been able to formally balance the budget by the target year of 2002. We needed the excess tax revenue Social Security was generating to mask the true size of the yearly budget deficit.

This creative accounting was the type of behavior that consistently undermined people’s trust in government Even before we could get started on the hard work of cutting government down to a manageable size, the old bulls who publicly said they wanted to balance the budget and cut wasteful programs were already hard at work cooking the books. And they were doing it with Social Security, the one program almost everyone privately admitted was headed for trouble.

Click for Mark Sanford on other issues.   Source: The Trust Committed to Me, by Mark Sanford, p. 7-8

Donald Trump on Privatization: (Social Security Jul 2, 2000)
Pay off debt; put $3T interest savings into Trust Fund

I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. We would save $200 billion in interest payments, which would allow us to cut taxes on middle-class working families by $100 billion a year or $1 trillion over ten years. We could use the rest of the savings--$100 billion-to bolster the Social Security Trust Fund. By 2030, we [will have] put $3 trillion into the trust Fund, which would make it solvent into the next century.

[In addition to shoring up Social Security for the long term], I say it’s high time to separate Social Security from the general treasury. It is time to lock-box it and throw away the key.

The rich will scream. Only the top 1% of people-those with a net worth of $10 million or more-would be affected by my plan. The other 99% would get deep reductions in heir federal income taxes.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.169-171 & 201

Donald Trump on Privatization: (Social Security Jul 2, 2000)
No government investment of retirement funds

I would never support what has to be the craziest ideas in the history of U.S. politics: allowing the government to invest Social Security retirement funds in the stock market. Not only would a market downturn spell disaster for millions of retirees, but the process by which government would choose stocks would also be entirely political, making lobbyists and other political hacks the new masters of the universe.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.273-74

Donald Trump on Privatization: (Tax Reform Jul 2, 2000)
Repeal the inheritance tax to offset one-time wealth tax

I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt [and shore up the Social Security Trust Fund].

My proposal would also allow us to entirely repeal the 55% federal inheritance tax. The inheritance tax is a particularly lousy tax because it can often be a double tax. If you put the money into trust for your children, you pay the inheritance tax upon your death. When the trust matures and your children go to use it, they’re taxed again. It’s the worst.

Some will say that my plan is unfair to the extremely wealthy. I say it is only reasonable to shift the burden to those most able to pay. The wealthy actually would not suffer severe repercussions. The 14.25% net-worth tax would be offset by repeal of the 55% inheritance-tax liability.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.170-74

Jesse Ventura on Privatization: (Environment Oct 15, 1998)
Teach environment in grade schools

Q: What is the best strategies to increase environmental understanding?

A: [I am] a longtime environmentalist and member of the Isaac Walton League. Education starting in grade school is the best way to teach anyone about the environment. Regardless of their location, schools can give students hands-on type of education about the environment and how it affects their lives.

Q: Do you support the ballot initiative for 40% of lottery proceeds to be dedicated to the Environmental Trust Fund?

A: Yes.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Questionnaire from Environmental Education Advisory Board

Bill Weld on Privatization: (Tax Reform Jan 1, 1996)
Roll back more than $2 billion in recent tax increases

To emphasize his determination to reduce spending drastically, Weld endorsed Question 3, a ballot initiative (ultimately unsuccessful) to roll back more than $2 billion in recent tax increases. Budgets, he declared in May 1990, ought to start each year "from scratch: You assume no program is necessary; no bureaucrat's job is necessary; no line item in the budget is necessary." He cheerfully told editorial boards he would "blow up" unneeded state agencies and cited robust privatization as the key to shrinking "the beast"--his term for state government. "If the private sector can run something better and cheaper, and it isn't a core function of government, I say: More power to them."

He was scathing in his indictment of the Democrats who ran the State Senate and House of Representatives. "The Legislature," he said, "has proven itself incapable of restructuring state government."

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Jeff Jacoby in City Journal

  • Additional quotations related to Privatization issues can be found under Social Security.
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