Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"Social Security is a form of individual welfare not authorized in the Constitution. We support the right of individuals to choose between private retirement and pension programs, either at their place of employment or independently."
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in an article titled "Bob Barr on: Entitlement Programs" on his official candidate website (accessed Aug. 6, 2008):
"Even though the traditional, bloated federal welfare system had been reformed in the late 1990s, other programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security are unsustainable at their current spending rates... As for Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, government must emphasize private choice in health care and private retirement accounts." Aug. 6, 2008 Bob Barr
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), issued the following statement through her campaign in a chicagotribune.com resource titled "The Voter Guide" (accessed Oct. 2, 2008):
"Opposes efforts to privatize Social Security. Claims about the insolvency of the system have been deliberately concocted and the facts distorted in order to push privatization schemes. Social Security was a gain of the progressive movements of the past that must be guarded from encroachment. If there are any future solvency issues, they should be dealt with by improving the funding stream as needed, not sacrificing the integrity of the program. She supported the Social Security Lockbox bill [S.302 "Social Security Lock-Box Act of 2007] to require that any budget surplus cannot be spent until the solvency of Social Security and Medicare is guaranteed." Oct. 2, 2008 Cynthia McKinney
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, stated in a Jan. 21, 1999 speech at the "Saving Social Security From the Privatization Threat" Conference held in the Rayburn House Office Building of the U.S. House of Representatives:
"The various Social Security privatization schemes, full and partial, would cost both the 'social' -- that is the public, cooperative, societal -- element of the program and 'security' -- the rock-solid income guarantee afforded by the system. It should be rejected." Jan. 21, 1999 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in the Sep. 26, 2007 Dartmouth Democratic Debate in Hanover, NH, stated:
"...[W]e should be willing to do anything that will strengthen the system to make sure that we are being true to the sake of trust of 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." Sep. 26, 2007 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear
below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Joe Biden, US Senator (D-DE), stated in an article titled "A Secure Retirement: A Promise to Keep" on his official candidate website (accessed Nov. 16, 2007):
"Protect Social Security, Not Privatize It: Social Security is the foundation of retirement security for millions of Americans. For a typical worker retiring at age 65, Social Security replaces 40 percent of pre-retirement income. Joe Biden opposes privatization of Social Security."
Chris Dodd, US Senator (D-CT), stated at the July 23, 2007 CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate in Charleston, SC:
"Obviously, I think it would be important to start to address the [Social Security] issue. Certainly, we have no ideas, and I would be totally opposed to the privatization of Social Security. That is a very bad idea and I am glad we rejected it." July 23, 2007 Chris Dodd
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), stated in a Feb. 24, 2004 Washington Post (Associated Press), article titled "Candidates on the Issues: Social Security":
"Privatizing a portion of Social Security would cost the Social Security Trust Fund more than $1 trillion, making it even harder for us to meet our responsibilities to our seniors. This kind of step would also erode the most basic guarantee of Social Security, exposing millions of Americans to an impoverished retirement. But I do support efforts to increase retirement savings outside of Social Security." Feb. 24, 2004 John Edwards
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, stated at the Oct. 21, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate in Orlando, FL:
"The president had the right idea, but he used the wrong word. When he used the word privatization, it scared the daylights out of a lot of people...
The right word is personalization. Empower individuals to have a greater say over their money. And that's what it is. Keep the government from robbing the trust funds, which is something that, if it was done in the private sector, would get a guy in jail. One thing, when people reach retirement age, if they really have enough retirement benefits, they don't need Social Security for the long term, give them the option of one-time buyout, or the opportunity to purchase an annuity, with their funds, tax-free, that frees up the long-term obligation of the government." Oct. 21, 2007 Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter, US Representative (R-CA), on Sep. 17, 2007, responded Yes to the following Republican Values Voter Presidential Debate question:
"Would you revive President Bush's attempt to introduce personal retirement accounts as a way to reform Social Security, thus allowing all Americans, particularly low-wage workers & the self-employed, an investment in their future & ownership in the inheritance they pass on?" Sep. 17, 2007 Duncan Hunter
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in an article titled "Social Security Reform" on his official candidate website (accessed Apr. 4, 2008):
"I strongly support a fundamentally new approach for younger workers, placing them in control of the investments made with their savings dollars. The elimination of the income tax will make tax-privileged 'retirement' accounts irrelevant ? all savings will be tax free. So while I favor the transitional policy of replacing Social Security with individually-controlled tax-free investment accounts, the ultimate solution to the problem of long-term and retirement savings is to return responsibility for this crucial function to the citizens of the country, along with the freedom necessary to accomplish it." Apr. 4, 2008 Alan Keyes
Steve Kubby, a Libertarian candidate and founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in a Nov. 9, 2007 email to ProCon.org:
"Yes. Unfortunately, we are running out of time. Our politicians have been avoiding the 'third rail' of Social Security reform for so long that it is fast approaching a point of catastrophic collapse. I cannot claim to have all the answers, but my commitment is to get America's younger workers off this runaway train, allow them to make their own retirement investment decisions, and try to phase out Social Security in the manner that least injures those who have been trapped in a failed system for their whole working lives." Nov. 9, 2007 Steve Kubby
Dennis Kucinich, US Representative (D-OH), stated in a Feb. 8, 2006 press release titled "Kucinich: Bush Proposes Stealth Social Security Privatization Plan in Budget":
"Despite a bipartisan rejection to the President's plan to privatize Social Security and shift the nation's retirement system from Main Street to Wall Street last year, the President is trying to bury his ill-advised and misguided plan in his new massive budget request sent to Congress Monday.
The President's stealth Social Security privatization plan would take more than $700 billion, over seven years, in guaranteed retirement security from millions of Americans and gamble it in the stock market...
Last year when the public learned about the issue they rejected the President's approach. Despite his attempt to sneak it past the public, I am confident once attention is brought to his stealth privatization plan the American public will reject it again." Feb. 8, 2006 Dennis Kucinich
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in a Nov. 13, 2007 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"Not completely, but I am for partial Social Security savings accounts for individuals.
Social Security was established as a safety net for people at a time when people were not expected to live much past the age when Social Security became effective. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the program, people are living much longer these days and are also able to work much longer. I believe that for Social Security to continue to be a viable program for future generations that the retirement age at which one may start to collect social security must continue to increase."
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), in a Jan. 24, 2005 article titled "Want to Reform Social Security? Stop Spending" on his US Congressional website, stated:
"The administration speaks of private accounts, but government-managed investment of Social Security funds is not privatization at all. True capitalism by definition operates without government interference, and we should oppose further government involvement in the financial markets. After all, which government officials will decide what stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investment vehicles are approved? Which politicians will you trust to decide what your portfolio may contain? Imagine the lobbyists fighting over which special interests will have their favored investments approved for Social Security accounts. Political favoritism, rather than market performance, will determine what investments are allowed, and Social Security in essence will become a huge source of taxpayer-provided investment capital.
If the administration truly wants to give people more control over their retirement dollars, why not simply reduce payroll taxes and let them keep their own money to invest privately as they see fit? This is the true private solution." Jan. 24, 2005 Ron Paul
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated in the Oct. 21, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate in Orlando, FL:
"Currently, we're taking more money into Social Security that we actually send out. So our current seniors, their benefits are not going to change. For people 20 and 30 and 40 years old, we have four major options, for instance, for Social Security. One is the one Democrats want: raise taxes. It's the wrong way to go.
Number two, the president said let's have private accounts and take that surplus money that's being gathered now in Social Security and put that into private accounts. That works." Oct. 21, 2007 Mitt Romney
Tom Tancredo, US Representative (R-CO), stated in an article titled "On the Issues" on his official campaign website (accessed Dec. 3, 2007):
"There is no question that the system is broken. Projections show that by 2016, the only way to avert its collapse will be deep cuts in benefits, heavy borrowing, or substantial tax hikes. The best suggestion I have heard is to switch from a defined benefits approach to a defined contribution approach with payroll tax funded private investment accounts. These accounts would be made available to young workers and function similarly to 401Ks."
Dec. 3, 2007 Tom Tancredo
Fred Thompson, former US Senator (R-TN), stated in a Nov. 29, 2007 article titled "Saving and Protecting Social Security: A Plan to Ensure Retirement Security for All Americans" on his official candidate website:
"Fred Thompson believes that workers should have the option of making contributions to voluntary Personal Retirement Accounts, which will work like a 401(k) plan, and thereby permit all American workers to participate in the expansion of wealth in America. Specifically, he proposes that Social Security establish voluntary Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs) for which:
Each worker would automatically contribute 2% of his/her wages into a voluntary Personal Retirement Account.
This employee contribution would be matched by 2.5 for 1 ($2.50 for every $1 dollar contributed) on the contributions from the first $1000 of wages earned each month. The match would be made from existing contributions.
All additional contributions would be matched fifty cents on the dollar.
If a worker does not want to participate in the voluntary PRA, he/she could 'opt out' of the program at the beginning of each year."
Nov. 29, 2007 Fred Thompson