Ben Chandler on Social Security
Democratic Representative (KY-6)
Create Retirement Savings Accounts.
Chandler adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Balance America’s Commitments to the Young and the Old
An ever-growing share of the federal budget today consists of automatic transfers from working Americans to retirees. Moreover, the costs of the big entitlements for the elderly -- Social Security and Medicare -- are growing at rates that will eventually bankrupt them and that could leave little to pay for everything else government does. We can’t just spend our way out of the problem; we must find a way to contain future costs. The federal government already spends seven times as much on the elderly as it does on children. To allow that ratio to grow even more imbalanced would be grossly unfair to today’s workers and future generations. In addition, Social Security and Medicare need to be modernized to reflect conditions not envisioned when they were created in the 1930s and the 1960s. Social Security,
for example, needs a stronger basic benefit to bolster its critical role in reducing poverty in old age. Medicare needs to offer retirees more choices and a modern benefit package that includes prescription drugs. Such changes, however, will only add to the cost of the programs unless they are accompanied by structural reforms that restrain their growth and limit their claim on the working families whose taxes support the programs.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC7 on Aug 1, 2000
- Honor our commitment to seniors by ensuring the future solvency of Social Security and Medicare.
- Make structural reforms in Social Security and Medicare that slow their future cost growth, modernize benefits (including a prescription drug benefit for Medicare), and give beneficiaries more choice and control over their retirement and health security.
- Create Retirement Savings Accounts to enable low-income Americans to save for their own retirement.
Strengthen Trust Funds and take them off-budget.
Chandler adopted the Blue Dog Coalition letter:
Blue Dog budget framework
Source: Blue Dog Coalition letter to the Senate 01-BDC5 on May 9, 2001
- Take the Social Security and Medicare trust fund surpluses off-budget and require that the trust fund surpluses be saved for Social Security and Medicare
- Reserve half of the on-budget surplus over the next five years -- $370 billion -- for debt reduction and strengthening Social Security and Medicare
- Allocate one-quarter of the on-budget surplus over the next five years for investments in priorities identified by the President and supported by both parties in Congress, including defense, Medicare prescription drugs, education, agriculture, low-income programs and veterans.
- Devote one-quarter of the on-budget surplus to tax cuts retroactive to 2001, for a net tax cut of $180 billion from 2001-2006.
Page last updated: Apr 15, 2020