Election 2016 – Presidential Candidates’ Positions on Social Security

Presidential Candidates Positions on Social Security

Social Security is one of the most pressing issues for older Americans. Experts speculate that as things now stand – unless major changes are made to the Social Security system – benefits may have to be cut by up to 21% in 2034, due to insolvency issues. Raising taxes, cutting benefits, and/or raising the retirement age are all solutions that have been discussed. So where do the 2016 Presidential Candidates stand on the issue of Social Security?

While our experienced Social Security attorneys know which presidential candidate we prefer – our mothers taught us never to discuss politics or religion! So we won’t say who we are actually voting for. But we will give you a run-down on each of the 2016 presidential candidates’ positions on Social Security, so you can make an informed decision!

Libertarian Gary Johnson’s Position on Social Security

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson would abolish Social Security entirely.

“Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government,” according to the Libertarian party’s official platform. Gary Johnson supports phasing out the current Social Security System which is government sponsored, and transitioning into a private and voluntary system.

Republican Donald Trump’s Position on Social Security

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would leave Social Security the way it is.

While campaigning, Trump said: “I will do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is.” At a rally in Phoenix, AZ Trump also said: “We’re going to save your Social Security without killing it like so many people want to do.”

Trumps plan for saving Social Security, however, are very general. He states he will generate more Social Security payroll taxes by increasing employment and by getting rid of “deficits, waste, fraud and abuse.”

However, experts have noted that since the unemployment rate is only 4.9% – simply adding jobs will not be enough to “fix” Social Security’s huge deficit. Similarly, experts agree that eliminating the extremely small percentage of fraud and abuse that exists is also not going to be enough to increase the huge deficit.

Additionally, while Trump supports maintaining the status quo with Social Security, the Republican Party officially does not. Raising the retirement age, increasing taxes and decreasing benefits are all solutions that are on the table for the Republican Party platform. So it is unclear how republican Trump will “maintain” Social Security when the rest of his party wants to substantially change it.

So, while Trump says: “People signed up for Social Security; it’s kind of like a pledge. The people who have their Social Security, with me, are going to keep their Social Security,” it remains unclear just how he will do this – especially without the support of fellow Republicans.

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s Position on Social Security

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would expand Social Security.

On February 5, 2016 Hillary Clinton stated: “I won’t cut Social Security. … I’ll defend it, and I’ll expand it.”

Clinton has expressed a belief that Social Security must remain a guaranteed benefit that seniors can always count on—and should not be able to be destroyed by Congress.

She is opposed to reducing annual cost-of-living adjustments, opposed to benefit cuts and opposed to raising the retirement age.

Her plan for accomplishing this goal is to tax the highest-income Americans more – without raising taxes on the middle class. This includes the options to tax the income of the country’s wealthiest individuals above the current Social Security cap, as well as taxing the portions of wealthy people’s income that is not currently taken into account by the Social Security system.

The choice is yours:

  • Abolish Social Security (Libertarian Johnson);
  • Try and Maintain It (Republican Trump);
  • or Expand Social Security (Democrat Clinton).

Whatever your party or your politics, we encourage you to vote on Tuesday November 8th! Your voices are what makes America great!

VOTE on Tuesday November 8th!