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Special section Where the candidates stand on money issues

Bankrate compiled the candidates' views on financial issues using their Web sites and public records. Here's what we learned.

Candidates' views on money issues
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Social Security -- Hillary Clinton

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has not proposed much in the way of revamping Social Security because she says other elements of the budget need to be addressed first.

Here are some of her proposals:

  • Return to fiscal responsibility and fair tax policies. Clinton says that when we get back to fiscal responsibility, we'll start paying back the Social Security Trust Fund. That will give us a strong foundation to go toward fixing all of the long-term challenges that Social Security faces.
  • Set up a bipartisan process to address Social Security's long-term challenges.
  • Consider a range of modest fixes to strengthen the program.
  • Clinton says she will never agree to privatization of Social Security. She says that in addition to protecting Social Security for future generations that more needs to be done to promote retirement savings. Clinton says that more than half of Americans don't have access to an employer-based retirement account. In light of that, she has proposed a 401(k) plan for all Americans.

Clinton's American Retirement Accounts plan is what she calls an "easy, automatic opportunity to save for the future."

  • For families making up to $60,000 a year, the government will match dollar for dollar the first $1,000 you save. For families making between $60,000 and $100,000, the plan will provide a 50 percent match on the first $1,000 of savings.
  • The new American retirement accounts will build upon the existing employer-based retirement savings systems. Employees who like their current retirement savings options keep them as they are. No change is necessary.
  • Employees who don't have a retirement savings plan or don't like the one they have will be able to open a new American retirement account that will provide no-hassle, portable savings opportunities throughout their career.
  • The universal accounts will allow employees to contribute up to $5,000 a year on a tax-deferred basis. They will get the government matches on the first $1,000.
  • Employers will be encouraged to let employees directly deposit a portion of their salaries into the account.
  • Savings will happen automatically unless a worker opts out.
  • Expanded tax credits will be provided to smaller businesses to help cover the start-up costs of establishing direct deposit options.
  • The accounts will be portable and can be taken from job to job.
  • Employees will also be able to use the savings in their American retirement account to make major life investments, like buying a home or paying for higher education.

Clinton says the cost of these middle-class retirement tax cuts will be covered with a portion of revenue from freezing the estate tax.

*Clinton's voting record on Social Security::
Voted Topic Date
Source: On the Issues
-- Posted: Jan. 29, 2008
Read Hillary Clinton's biography  

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