S4's Jo pushed through the crowd in the spin room after the Democratic debates held at Howard University on June 28th, 2007, and had a conversation with Senator Dodd about the problems facing Social Security:
S4: I'm from Students for Saving Social Security, and I want to know, as our next president, what would be your plan to reform Social Security for future generations?
Dodd: Well, that's not very hard. I mean, frankly, putting the Social Security trust fund on a sound footing is fairly easy to do. You can just make some minor changes to put that fund on a solid footing. So I'm very confident that would happen. You could start earlier rather than wait until later to do it, in my view, and I think that would help you get that on track again.
And then we ought to be doing something encouraging more savings. We have a negative savings rate in the country and we have huge consumer debt. The average household has $9,000 of revolving debt and a negative savings rate. Individual retirement accounts, urging people to take advantage of these, to build up their own long-term financial security, is something we're not doing enough of and people do it. Even very poor people will invest in an individual retirement account. Not a lot, but they will, because of the incentive to do so.
During the Youtube/CNN Debates on July 23, 2007, Nancy from Delaware asked a question regarding the Social Security cap. Below Senator Dood answers first, then Senator Obama:
Question: This is Nancy McDonald from Wilmington, Delaware.We all know that Social Security is running out of money, but people who earn over $97,500 stop paying into Social Security. What is up with that?
Anderson Cooper: Senator Dodd, what about that? 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.
Senator Dodd: I don't disagree with that. I think frankly this is an issue that comes to a head, as we all know, by the year 2040. Obviously, I think it would be important to start to address the 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.
But one of the ideas is to raise that level above $97,000.
Cooper: Do you support that?
Dodd: I would support that. That is one of the solutions that would make a lot of sense to me to make the trust fund whole.
- CNN/YouTube debate transcript
Statements on Reform
"The Dodd Plan to Strengthen Retirement Security: Protect Social Security from Privatization."
- Dodd for President
"Dodd Strongly Opposed President Bush's Plan to Privatize Social Security. Chris Dodd has long opposed the idea of diverting payroll taxes - the tax used to fund Social Security - into private investment accounts that fluctuate with the stock market and could lower or decimate the amount of money seniors receive when they retire."
- Dodd for President