’08 Presidential Candidates’ on Social Security

With the presidential elections for 2008 already heating up across America many voters are tuning in to hear what the candidates’ positions are on hot button topics such as what to do with social security. Experts predict that the social security will be a more prevalent issue than it has in previous elections.

Here’s what each candidate has to say:

Hillary Clinton Barack Obama

Advocates a bipartisan commission to propose changes. Told an Iowa voter she would consider higher payroll taxes on higher wage-earners. “I don’t think I should be negotiating about what I would do as president. You know, I want to see what other people come to the table with.”

Supports bipartisan commission. Says higher payroll taxes on upper wage-earners are probably the best option. Opposes benefit cuts or raising the retirement age. “Everything should be on the table.”

Visit Clinton’s Website Visit Obama’s Website

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John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani

Opposes changes in benefits or raising the retirement age. Supports higher payroll taxes on upper wage-earners. “These millionaires on Wall Street ought to be paying their Social Security taxes.”

Supports private accounts. Opposes higher taxes. Favors bipartisan commission to propose changes. “I would rule out a tax increase.”

Visit Edward’s Website Visit Giuliani’s Website
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Mitt Romney John McCain

Supports private accounts. Opposes higher taxes. Open to a reduction in promised benefits to future retirees at higher income levels. “I’m prepared to be entirely bold, but I’m not prepared to cut benefits for low-income Americans.”

Supports private accounts. Says obligations can be met without raising taxes. “As president, I’ll submit a plan to save Social Security, and I’ll ask Congress to do the same.”

Visit Romney’s Website Visit McCain’s Website
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Fred Thompson Mike Huckabee

Supports reduction in promised benefits to future retirees. Supports voluntary private accounts, with the government matching funds contributed by individual. Opposes raising taxes. “The status quo is not having a Social Security system as we know it.”

Supports private accounts. Would allow retirees who don’t need their benefits the option of a tax-free lump sum payment that goes at their death to children or grandchildren. Would allow higher benefits for seniors who delay retirement beyond 70. “The president had the right idea, but he used the wrong word.”

Visit Thompson’s Website Visit Huckabee’s Website
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Ron Paul Dennis Kucinich

Supports eliminating all taxes on Social Security Benefits so seniors keep more of their money. Supports only allowing individuals who paid into the system receive any benefits.

Believes Social Security needs small changes but should remain. Would have top tax payers pay 1% more to eliminate any payout shortfalls.

Visit Paul’s Website Visit Kucinish’s Website

Additional News Coverage:

Candidates’ stances on Social Security
Social Security to Become Key Issue

Additional Resources from AGIS.com:

Checking Your Social Security Earnings and Benefits
Federal Benefits or Services

All photos courtesy of the candidates’ campaign websites.