State of Iowa Archives: on Social Security


Patty Judge: Adjust benefits for caregivers who take time off work

Q: What changes would you propose in Social Security and Medicare?

Patty Judge: I strongly believe we must protect Social Security and Medicare for future generations. In addition to protecting Social Security from dangerous privatization schemes or cuts to the program, I support increasing the cap on Social Security wages. I also believe we must make adjustments to Social Security benefits for caregivers who take time out of the workforce-- the individuals should receive a credit that ensures adequate Social Security benefits in retirement.

Source: Vote411.org League of Women Voters on 2016 Iowa Senate Race Sep 19, 2016

Patty Judge: Vital to protect program; increase cap but don't privatize

Patty believes that it's vital that we protect Social Security for future generations who have paid into the program and have been promised benefits. To ensure the long-term stability and benefits of the program, Patty supports increasing the current cap on Social Security wages to provide more funding for the program. Patty will also fight any attempts to privatize Social Security and Medicare--these programs are far too important to gamble on the open market.
Source: 2016 Iowa Senate campaign website PattyJudgeForIowa.com Aug 8, 2016

Tom Fiegen: Expand it rather than cut it

On Social Security: We are going to expand it, not cut it. There are powerful special interests who want to severely cut this bedrock program that is a part of America. We are going to stop them from doing that and expand it, not cut it.
Source: 2016 Iowa Senate campaign website, FiegenForUSSenate.com Oct 9, 2015

Rod Blum: Compromise on all options, to ensure future of program

For me, ensuring Social Security's long term stability isn't just good policy, it's personal. It's about my mom, and it's about the promises we've made to millions of Americans just like her. Now, this is the point where career politicians start the political scare tactics, using words like "privatize" to frighten voters into supporting their campaign.

Both Republicans and Democrats have proposed ideas to save the program. Whether it's slightly increasing the income cap on the Social Security tax, allowing young Americans to opt in to private retirement savings accounts, means-testing benefits for wealthier Americans, or gradually raising the retirement age for people younger than 55, our politicians must come to the table in good faith and work out a bipartisan compromise.

If we acknowledge reality, and implement reform, we can ensure that Social Security will be around for our children. I'm not pretending it will be easy, but we need the courage to do the right thing.

Source: 2014 Iowa House campaign website, RodBlum.com Nov 4, 2014

Pat Murphy: Senior Living Trust Fund: expand in-home care

Preserving Social Security & Medicare: In the Iowa House, Pat led the effort to create the Senior Living Trust Fund, which expanded access to in-home care to Iowa seniors, allowing them to stay in their own homes longer. In Congress, Pat will continue his commitment to maintaining the dignity of Iowa seniors by opposing any effort to privatize or cut Social Security--including chained CPI that would slow the growth of benefits overtime.
Source: 2014 Iowa House campaign website, PatMurphyForIowa.com Oct 10, 2014

Joni Ernst: Something like personal savings accounts for younger workers

Democratic TV ads in Iowa have repeatedly misrepresented Joni Ernst's position on Social Security, claiming she "would privatize Social Security" or that she has "proposed privatizing Social Security." But Ernst hasn't proposed or endorsed any plan to change Social Security. At most, Ernst has said that she would consider allowing "younger workers," or those "just entering the workforce," to put some portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into interest-bearing or stock market-based "personal savings accounts" for their retirement.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired a TV ad in August called "Team," saying that Ernst "would privatize Social Security." But that goes too far. Ernst hasn't advocated for a completely privatized program, and she certainly hasn't talked about making changes for seniors currently collecting benefits or those nearing retirement, such as the white-haired man featured in the DSCC's ad.

Source: FactCheck.org PacWatch on 2014 Iowa Senate debate Oct 7, 2014

Bruce Braley: Privatizing Social Security turns it over to Wall Street

At a senior center, Braley escorted around his mother, Marcia Braley, showing off the peach pie that she made and noting proudly that she is still working as a substitute teacher.

During brief remarks, Braley again referred to his mother as he took a subtle swipe at his opponent: "When it comes to protecting Social Security and Medicare, the most important person I have to worry about is sitting right there at that table. That's why, as your next senator, I will never vote to privatize Social Security and turn your hard-earned money over to Wall Street investment bankers."

In a statement, an Ernst spokeswoman said that "Joni will protect Social Security for seniors like her parents, and save it for her kids' generation by finding a bipartisan solution that won't raise the retirement age."

Source: Washington Post AdWatch on 2014 Iowa Senate race Oct 2, 2014

Joni Ernst: Open to privatizing Social Security, but honor promises

Ernst was prodded to explain several positions she staked out on her way to winning the Republican primary in June, such as being open to privatizing Social Security, opposing a federal minimum wage, hoping to eventually phase out ethanol subsidies, and wanting to eliminate the Department of Education.

Ernst defended keeping privatization on the table as one option to save Social Security. many options out there. I haven't endorsed one option over another." Braley said privatizing should not be on the table and neither should raising the retirement age.

Source: Politico.com e-zine on 2014 Iowa Senate debate Sep 28, 2014

Doug Butzier: Privatize the Ponzi scheme in gradual and voluntary manner

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Privatize Social Security"?

A: In a gradual and voluntary manner. It's a Ponzi scheme and future taxpayers should not be forced to pay for someone's retirement. That is what individual responsibility is all about.

Source: E-mail interview: 2014 Iowa Senate race with OnTheIssues.org Sep 17, 2014

Matthew Whitaker: No hope that Social Security will be there for future

Matt Whitaker, a Des Moines lawyer who played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, got kudos from the audience for his statements about cutting spending.

"Let's be clear about this," Whitaker said, "my generation, my children that are here tonight, Social Security is a tax. Medicare is a tax. There is no hope that Social Security as it currently exists will be there be for me . or for anyone of our generation."

Source: Indianapolis Star on 2014 Iowa Senate race Oct 24, 2013

Joni Ernst: Preserve and protect Social Security & Medicare

Protecting Social Security and Medicare: Joni believes strongly that Social Security and Medicare must be preserved and protected for our seniors of today and tomorrow. She opposes any efforts to change the promised benefits for today's seniors. At the same time she supports reforms that will strengthen both Social Security and Medicare to ensure the long-term health of both programs for generations to come.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, JoniForIowa.com, "Issues" Sep 9, 2013

Roxanne Conlin: Defend Social Security instead of privatizing it

Seniors need and deserve a senator who will protect and defend Social Security, not try to privatize it. Senator Grassley has long supported privatizing Social Security. He wants to make seniors dependent on the private financial sector for those benefits. If he had been successful in pushing through his radical plans to risk Social Security on the stock market, imagine the devastating impact on millions of seniors when the economy came crashing down.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Chet Culver: More employee & employer contributions to public retirement

Bill HF 2518 will increase contribution rates for employees and employers for the Peace Officers Retirement System (PORS) and the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS).

For PORS, the current contribution rates are 27% for the employer and 9.35% for the employee. This act will increase the employee contribution by 0.5% a year for to 11.35% in FY 2013 and will increase the employer's rate by 2% a year to 37%. The act also calls for an annual general fund contribution (in addition to the employers' contributions) of $5,000,000 until the fund reaches a funding ratio of at least 85%.

For regular members of IPERS, contributions will increase from a total of 11.95% (with members paying 4.7% of salary and employers paying 7.25%) to a total contribution to 13.45%. Employees will continue to pay about 40% of the total; employers, 60%.

Legislative record:Bill Passed House, 53-43-6; Passed Senate, 31-16-3, March 18, 2010; signed by Governor April 23.

Source: NCSL Pension Report: 2010 Iowa voting records for HF 2518 Apr 23, 2010

Rob Hogg: More employee & employer contributions to public retirement

Bill HF 2518 will increase contribution rates for employees and employers for the Peace Officers Retirement System (PORS) and the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS).

For PORS, the current contribution rates are 27% for the employer and 9.35% for the employee. This act will increase the employee contribution by 0.5% a year for to 11.35% in FY 2013 and will increase the employer's rate by 2% a year to 37%. The act also calls for an annual general fund contribution (in addition to the employers' contributions) of $5,000,000 until the fund reaches a funding ratio of at least 85%.

For regular members of IPERS, contributions will increase from a total of 11.95% (with members paying 4.7% of salary and employers paying 7.25%) to a total contribution to 13.45%. Employees will continue to pay about 40% of the total; employers, 60%.

Legislative record:Bill Passed House, 53-43-6; Passed Senate, 31-16-3, March 18, 2010; signed by Governor April 23. Sen. Hogg voted YEA.

Source: NCSL Pension Report: 2010 Iowa voting records for HF 2518 Mar 18, 2010

Christopher Reed: Let younger workers opt out

Reed argued younger workers ought to be able to opt out and be responsible for their own retirement while those who paid into the program would still get what they contributed. “Americans are smart enough, they don’t need a nanny state taking care of the all the time,” Reed said.

Reed was confronted by crowd member Robert D. Williams, a 79-year-old Democrat from Indianola, who said poor people were left with nothing before Social Security was created. “The Social Security system, the only way it’s going to be solvent, is that we have none of this talk about or action about people opting out and taking their money and doing something else,“ Williams said.

Harkin also expressed opposition to the idea. ”If privatization is so good, why didn’t it work for all those years before we had Social Security?“ Harkin said. ”The reason we have Social Security was because the private sector wouldn’t do this, couldn’t do it.“

Source: 2008 Iowa Senate debate reported in Des Moines Globe Gazette Aug 13, 2008

Tom Harkin: Privatization failed before we had Social Security

Reed argued younger workers ought to be able to opt out and be responsible for their own retirement while those who paid into the program would still get what they contributed. “Americans are smart enough, they don’t need a nanny state taking care of the all the time,” Reed said.

Reed was confronted by crowd member Robert D. Williams, a 79-year-old Democrat from Indianola, who said poor people were left with nothing before Social Security was created. “The Social Security system, the only way it’s going to be solvent, is that we have none of this talk about or action about people opting out and taking their money and doing something else,“ Williams said.

Harkin also expressed opposition to the idea. ”If privatization is so good, why didn’t it work for all those years before we had Social Security?“ Harkin said. ”The reason we have Social Security was because the private sector wouldn’t do this, couldn’t do it.“

Source: 2008 Iowa Senate debate reported in Des Moines Globe Gazette Aug 13, 2008

Christopher Reed: Honor promises, but chance to opt out of Social Security

Q: What about increasing revenues for Social Security, or reducing benefits? How do you feel about raising the retirement age?

A: Well, I think that is a broken promise to Americans. They were sold a bill of goods when the Social Security came out, that’s a promise this country made people, we have to honor it.

Q: How do you feel about something like means testing, where wealthier Americans don’t get the same Social Security benefit that lower income Americans get?

A:

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

Christopher Reed: Establishing Social Security was possibly a mistake

I think if they paid into Social Security they should get what they paid into it but I think Americans need a chance to opt out of Social Security if they choose to.

Q: So you favor some kind of a private account?

A: I would favor the option. You should be given the option in this country. You shouldn’t have to be given to a socialized system. If you want to opt out of and be in control of your own retirement you should be allowed to in this country. Q: Let’s look to history. Social Security was a Depression era program when the nation didn’t have a retirement system, a lot of people were in poverty. Was it a mistake?

A: I think it was a benevolent idea but when you take the power out of the people’s hands and put it into the government hands that’s not going to solve anything.

Q: So, it was a mistake?

A: Possibly yes.

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

Mitt Romney: Reform entitlements by negotiating behind closed doors

Romney says it’s time to reform the two major entitlement programs: Social Security and Medicare. “It’s really not possible for us to remain a superpower without restructuring our entitlements programs,” Romney says. Romney says leaders from both political parties will have to come up with a solution in private. “Sitting down, quietly, behind closed doors and having a full and complete discussion of various ways to bring the costs down and to keep it from getting out of control,” Romney says.
Source: Radio Iowa, “Romney: reform”, by O.Kay Henderson Aug 25, 2006

Mitt Romney: Honor expectations of recipients, but take action for future

Romney says “statesmen” from both political parties should sit down and “say honestly: ‘What can we do?’” to fix Social Security. Romney says the solution should “make sure that we honor the expectations” of those who are already getting Social Security and those who are about to get regular Social Security checks from the government, while at the same time ensuring the system will be solvent when the 30- and 40-year-olds of today reach retirement age.
Source: Radio Iowa, “Romney: reform”, by O.Kay Henderson Aug 25, 2006

John Kerry: I will never privatize, extend retirement age, nor cut SS

Q: What have you done to protect and improve Social Security, and what more should be done?

KERRY: Well, we did protect Social Security in the US Senate, and Social Security is safe and sound well into the next two decades or more. With very minor changes, with a strong economy, the next generation will have Social Security. I will never privatize Social Security. I will never try to extend the retirement age for Social Security. And I will not cut any benefits for Social Security.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Dennis Kucinich: Stop privatization and return retirement age to 65

I’ll lead the way to protecting Social Security and stop the privatization of Social Security and bring the retirement age back to 65. People are working their whole lives. They should be able to retire at 65 years old, not keep moving that retirement age back. I’ll stop the privatization of Medicare. It is time for a fully funded universal health care system. Medicare for all. Take the profit out of health care. Get the insurance companies out of health care. Return health care to the people.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

  • The above quotations are from State of Iowa Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Social Security:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018