Michele Bachmann on Social Security
Republican Representative (MN-6); 2011 GOP frontrunner
I learned about the illusion that each of us had his or her own Social Security account; we had no such thing. Instead, all the money went into a big general fund, allowing the politicians to do whatever they wanted with it.
I thought to myself, "I'm young; I'd rather take the money myself and put it in a savings account and watch it grow." I wanted to invest that money from every paycheck, not turn it over to the government. Instead, the government wasn't investing my retirement money for my best interest; it wasn't even investing it at all. The government was spending it on current recipients.
ROMNEY: I want to keep our taxes down. I don't want to raise any taxes anywhere. Let me tell you, I'm not looking to raise taxes. What I'm looking to do is to cut spending.
Q: Does any candidate on this stage oppose the extension of the payroll tax cut?
Q: You oppose it?
BACHMANN: I do. I opposed it when it was first proposed, because I knew that it would blow a hole of $111 billion in the Social Security trust fund. President Obama clearly did this for political reasons. I had made that warning then, because we actually have already run Social Security in the red. Now, consider the context. We have baby boomers in their peak earning years. This is when money should be flooding into the Social Security trust fund. Instead, we're already in the red.
BACHMANN: Well, one thing that we need to let senior citizens know is, for those who are currently on the Social Security system, the United States government made a promise to senior citizens, and we have to keep that promise to them. But we also need to know that for those who are not yet on the system, the system simply has to be reformed in order for it to work. The same goes with Medicare. We need to have someone who understands the solutions to these programs. I'm a person that's had feet in the private sector and a foot in the federal government. I've been there long enough to know the problems, but not long enough to become a part of the system. I know what to do, and I have the core of conviction to be able to make the changes that senior citizens can count on.
"So, what you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don't have any other options, we have to keep faith with them. But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off," said Bachmann. "And wean everybody off because we have to take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet, we can't do it. So we just have to be straight with people. So basically, whoever our nominee is, is going to have to have a Glenn Beck chalkboard and explain to everybody this is the way it is."
Scoring system for 2014: Ranges from 0% (supports privatization and other market-based reforms) to 100% (supports keeping federal control over Trust Fund and Social Security system).
About ARA (from their website, www.RetiredAmericans.org):
The Alliance for Retired Americans is a nationwide organization, founded in May 2001, with now over 4.2 million members working together to make their voices heard in the laws, policies, politics, and institutions that shape our lives. 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.
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