Snap Fact #320 - Comparing Platforms; Social Security and Medicare

Post date: Sep 30, 2012 10:32:41 PM

Snap Fact #320

Comparing Platforms; Social Security and Medicare

President Obama’s Democratic Platform Aims to Protect SS & Medicare;

Romney’s Republicans Pledge to Gut Both!

Platform Issue #6:  Protecting Social Security and Medicare

Republican: Ensuring Retirement Security - While no changes should adversely affect any current or near-retiree, comprehensive reform should address our society’s remarkable medical advances in longevity and allow younger workers the option of creating their own personal investment accounts as supplements to the system.  Younger Americans have lost all faith in the Social Security system, which is understandable when they read the non-partisan actuary’s reports about its future funding status. Born in an old industrial era beyond the memory of most Americans, it is long overdue for major change, not just another legislative stopgap that postpones a day of reckoning. To restore public trust in the system, Republicans are committed to setting it on a sound fiscal basis that will give workers control over, and a sound return on, their investments.  The sooner we act, the sooner those close to retirement can be reassured of their benefits and younger workers can take responsibility for planning their own retirement decades from now.

Unlike Social Security, the problems facing private pension plans are both demographic and ethical.  While pension law may be complicated, the current bottom line is that many plans are increasingly under funded by over estimating their rates of return on investments. This in turn endangers the integrity of the Pension Guaranty Benefit Corporation, which is it self seriously under funded.  In both cases, the taxpayers will be expected to pay for bailout. As the first step toward possible corrective action, we call for a presidential panel to review the private pension system in this country of only those private pensions that are backed by the Pension Guaranty Benefit Corporation and to make public its findings.

The situation of public pension systems demands immediate remedial action. The irresponsible promises of politicians at every level of government have come back to haunt today’s taxpayers with enormous unfunded pension liabilities. Many cities face bankruptcy because of excessive outlays for early retirement, extravagant health plans, and overly generous pension benefits. We salute the Republican Governors and State legislators who have, in the face of abuse and threats of violence, reformed their State pension systems for the benefit of both taxpayers and retirees alike.

This Snap Fact is part of a major multi-part series that will compare the Democratic and Republican Platforms. These documents are the philosophical foundations that tell us how the winning candidate will govern.A lot of work went into this series researched by Allen Robbins.Outside of The Rational Majority’s SNAP-CAP heading, every word in the body of each SNAP-CAP is taken verbatim from 100s of pages comprising the two party platforms. Read and compare these CAPS so you will know which candidate is on YOUR side.

Democrat: Social Security and Medicare. We believe every American deserves a secure, healthy, and dignified retirement. America’s seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security through a lifetime of hard work and personal responsibility. President Obama is committed to preserving that promise for this and future generations.

During their working years, Americans contribute to Social Security in exchange for a promise that they will receive an income in retirement. Unlike those in the other party, we will find a solution to protect Social Security for future generations. We will block Republican efforts to subject Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market through privatization. We reject approaches that insist that cutting benefits is the only answer. President Obama will also make it easier for Americans to save on their own for retirement and prepare for unforeseen expenses by participating in retirement accounts at work.

In short, Democrats believe that Social Security and Medicare must be kept strong for seniors, people with disabilities, and future generations. Our opponents have shown a shocking willingness to gut these programs to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest, and we fundamentally reject that approach.


Democratic Platform (complete)

Republican Platform (complete)