Lamar Alexander on Social Security

Republican Sr Senator (TN); previously candidate for President

Never reduce guaranteed Social Security benefits

Q: Do you support Reform or Privatization?

A: I will not support any proposal that reduces the guaranteed Social Security benefits on which our nationís seniors depend. Long-term projections warning that Social Security expenses will eventually exceed the programís income have prompted Congress to discuss ways in which the system can be reformed so that it will continue to provide the benefits guaranteed to current beneficiaries while remaining strong enough to provide benefits for the future.

Source: Senior Citizens League Guide to the 2008 US Senate Campaigns Oct 10, 2008

Allow workers to manage their own retirement funds

By raising family incomes, I mean this: You keep more of what you earn and government get less of it. It means that Social Security will be there for those who depend on it and those who expect to. But it also means more options for younger workers to manage more of their own retirement savings. It does not mean letting [government officials] invest our retirement funds for us.
Source: www.LamarAlexander.org/issue May 25, 1999

Create Individual Security Accounts

Families deserve more control over their retirement. I favor the creation of generous Individual Security Accounts with deductible contributions for each worker in the family. Taxpayers could use the money they have contributed and its investment earnings for their own retirement or the care of older relatives. Funds could be withdrawn without penalty after five years, providing much needed relief for younger families struggling to care for older relatives.
Source: www.LamarAlexander.org/issue May 25, 1999

Fund IRAís that individuals control themselves

Clinton wants to use part of the budget surplus to save Social Security, but he thinks that politicians should make investment decisions about the taxpayersí money. We should have individual retirement accounts but individuals, not the government, should be allowed to make their own decisions when it comes to their retirement security. [I support several Senate proposals, one of which] refunds 2% of your payroll tax into a retirement account that you control.
Source: www.LamarAlexander.org/issue May 25, 1999

Voted YES on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security.

Voting YES would:
  1. require that the Federal Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund be used only to finance retirement income of future beneficiaries;
  2. ensure that there is no change to benefits for individuals born before January 1, 1951
  3. provide participants with the benefits of savings and investment while permitting the pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits; and
  4. ensure that the funds made available to finance such legislation do not exceed the amounts estimated to be actuarially available.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Perhaps the worst example of wasteful spending is when we take the taxes people pay for Social Security and, instead of saving them, we spend them on other things. Even worse than spending Social Security on other things is we do not count it as debt when we talk about the deficit every year. So using the Social Security money is actually a way to hide even more wasteful spending without counting it as debt. This Amendment would change that.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This amendment has a fatal flaw. It leaves the door open for private Social Security accounts by providing participants with the option of "pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits."

Make no mistake about it, this is a stalking-horse for Social Security. It looks good on the surface, but this is an amendment to privatize Social Security.
Reference: Bill S.Amdt.489 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-089 on Mar 22, 2007

Rated 0% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record.

Alexander scores 0% by the ARA on senior issues

The mission of the Alliance for Retired Americans is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens so that they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility to strive to create a society that incorporates these goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and their communities.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: ARA website 03n-ARA on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Social Security: Lamar Alexander on other issues:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
HHS:Tom Daschle
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
DOC:Judd Gregg
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DOC:Bill Richardson
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
Treas.:Tim Geithner

Former Bush Administration:
Pres.George W. Bush
V.P.Dick Cheney
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
Pres.Bill Clinton
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
V.P.Al Gore
Labor:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
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Page last updated: Feb 10, 2010