We now have another piece of the puzzle. Hillary would not cut benefits for current retirees and would not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Social Security.
Jo: I heard some people say that Obama won the youth vote in Iowa because you donít talk about issues that we care about, but I know that you do, so I wanted to give you this t-shirt and ask you: whatís your plan for social security for my generation?
Hillary: Absolutely, thank you. [applause] So, you know, social security has long-term challenges we have to address. When George Bush became president, there was a plan in place that was rejected to keep social security solid until 2055 paying benefits. And now, after going back into deficit, itís down to 2041 because, you know, money is taken from the social security trust fund to keep the government going, and that needs to stop. We need to get back to where fiscal responsibility will enable us to replenish the trust fund, to have social security safe & available for young people and generations to come. So my first approach is fiscal responsibility, because we know thatís essential. Secondly, weíve got to look at all the tough choices that we might have to face, but Iím not going to approve of any decisions that will add to the tax burdens of middle class families, and Iím not going to cut any of the benefits for those already getting it, so I think we can work out a bipartisan agreement under those guidelines. Ė thatís what we did the last time social security was in trouble; thatís what weíre going to have to do this time. And I feel very, you know, confident, because weíve got the time. Itís not something we can do next year Ė we have to take care of Medicare next year, we have to take care of our economy next year, weíve got a couple of years to take care of social security, but Iím going to start immediately. Iíll get to work on that because I care deeply about making sure we have safe, solid, secure social security.
S4 Catches up with Senator Clinton in New Hampshire where we uncover another small part of her position on Social Security reform: She is against raiding the trust fund.
Statements on Reform
"When I'm president, privatization is off the table ... cutting benefits isn't the answer and raising the retirement age isn't the answer."
- Associated Press, September 4, 2007
"Today's report from the Social Security Trustees shows once again that the program relied upon by tens of millions of Americans is not in crisis, that the financial challenges facing the system are manageable, and even shows improvement in the long-range health of the system. While the Administration has used previous Trustees reports to portray Social Security as unsustainable and to push for privatization of the system, today's report reiterates evidence from recent years' Trustees reports that Social Security is affordable and sustainable. Taking money out of the Social Security system for private accounts would only exacerbate the system's financial challenges."
- Senator Clinton press release, April 23, 2007
"Social Security is one of the greatest inventions in American democracy, and I will do everything possible to protect and defend it, starting with getting back to fiscal responsibility, instead of borrowing from the Social Security trust fund...The risky scheme to privatize would cost between $1 and $2 trillion. That would undermine the promise of Social Security."
- NY 2006 Senate Debate, October 21, 2006
Credit: On The Issues
Flip Flop Alert When Senator Jim DeMint introduced to the 2007 Senate Budget Resolution an amendment that would have prevented further borrowing from the trust fund, Clinton voted against it. DeMint's amendment would not have steered the money into personal accounts; it simply would have prevented surplus Social Security funds from being spent on other government programs. So while Clinton talks about protecting the surplus, she voted to continue the raid on the Social Security trust fund.
- U.S. Senate Legislation and Records, March 22, 2007