Social Security — Barack Obama

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“As the cornerstone of America’s social compact, Social Security has lifted millions of seniors and their families out of poverty. Without Social Security, nearly 50 percent of seniors would live below the poverty line. The full measure of Social Security’s value for its recipients — as well as for those who look after and love them — is incalculable.”
» Quad City Times, op-ed, Sept. 21, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., says that the underlying Social Security system is strong but that the projected long-term cash flow needs to be addressed, especially as the baby boomers retire.

Here are some of his proposals.

  • Obama says that the best way to strengthen Social Security is to increase the maximum amount of income that’s subjected to the Social Security payroll tax. The cap is $102,000 in 2008. He has talked about potentially exempting the middle class.
  • Opposes raising the retirement age.
  • Opposes privatization of Social Security.
  • Supports a bipartisan solution to the issue.
  • Proposes “Working Families Savings Accounts” to increase retirement security and give families greater incentive to save. The plan allows workers earning up to $50,000 annually to fund a retirement plan and receive a 50 percent tax credit for contributions up to $2,000 annually.
*Sen. Obama’s voting record on Social Security issues:
Voted Topic Date
NO Establishing reserve funds and prefunding for Social Security. March 2007
Source: On the Issues

*Members of Congress sometimes vote on different versions of a bill. Voting yes or no on one doesn’t mean they’ll vote the same way on succeeding versions.