Ron Paul on Social Security

Last Updated : Sep 16, 2011

Summary

Congressman Paul's position on Social Security is that the program is not constitutional nor solvent and the younger generation should be given the opportunity to opt out of the program. In the mid to late 1980's, Congressman Paul advocated for doing this prior to the baby-boomer generation becoming dependent on the system. While running for President in 2008, Congressman Paul again advocated for allowing young people to opt out of the system.

In 2005, Congressman Paul sponsored legislation to end taxation of social security benefits. He stated that Congress never intended the benefits to be taxed, and they were not considered taxable income until the 1980s. He stated that the main problem with social security is that the money that people pay into the system is not set aside for future use, but rather spent on other items. He has noted that until this deficit spending problem is addressed, social security will never be solvent. He co-sponsored the Social Security Preservation Act to force surplus social security funds to be saved and not spent on other things.

Congressman Paul has noted that social security was presented to the American people as a social insurance program, with individuals paying a monthly “premium” in exchange for retirement benefits later. It was supposed to be a forced savings program, based on the assumption that some people would be unable or unwilling to save for their older years. He notes that there is no Social Security trust fund, and you don’t have an “account.” He has referred to social security as a lottery which is won or lost as a function of when you happened to be born and how long you live to collect benefits. He states that young people today have every reason to believe they will never collect the benefits they have paid for throughout their lives.

In addition to continually warning of an entitlement meltdown on the US economic horizon, Congressman Paul has also moved to address numerous perceived problems within the system. He proposed the Social Security for Americans Only Act to ensure that only US citizens who paid into the sytem would receive social security benefits. He has strongly opposed "Totalization" agreements with countries such as Mexico which would grant social security benefits to Mexican citizens.

As social security is not a designated function of the federal government, Congressman Paul has advocated for allowing younger people to opt out of the system in a form of privatization similar to private accounts. He opposes placing the money into stocks, bonds, or any wall street accessible format. He has not put forth a plan to accomplish this as part of the 2012 presidential campaign.

 

Taxation of Social Security Benefits

In January of 2005, Congressman Paul issued a press statement noting his support for legislation to end income taxes on social security benefits.

 

Stop Spending

In January of 2005, Congressman Paul used a "Texas Talk" to discuss social security. He stated that the best possible solution was to stop spending.

 

Teachers and Social Security

In October of 2006, Congressman Paul released a press statement noting his support for ending measures that overtaxed teachers on their retirement system.

 

Deficit Spending and Social Security

In October of 2006, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the coming retirement of the baby boomers and how deficit spending has robbed the social security trust fund.

 

Demographic Realities and Entitlements

In November of 2006, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the need for entitlement reform for both Medicare and social security.

 

Totalization

In January of 2007, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the concept of totalization for social security and illegal immigrants.

 

Entitlement Problems

In March of 2007, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to discuss the need for entitlement reform in both social security and medicare.

 

Ponzi Scheme

In December of 2008, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the social security system and note that it functions in a manner identical to a ponzi scheme.

 

Privatization

Congressman Paul supports returning the control of people's money back to the people. He does not support giving the money to "Wall Street" to invest.

 

Social Security Preservation Act

In October of 2009, Congressman Paul issued a press statement noting his support for the Social Security Preservation Act.

Congressman Paul also used his "Texas Talk" that week to address the legislation and discuss how the government calculates social security payments to lessen them for seniors.

 

Questions on Previous Position

 

Social Security is Not Insurance

In December of 2010, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the fallacy that social security is a pension or forced savings program.

 

TEA Party Debate

In September of 2011, Congressman Paul participated in the TEA Party debate in Tampa Bay, Florida. He was asked about social security and stated that he would like to allow workers to opt out of the program.

 

Campaign Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Comprehensive Retirement Security and Pension Reform Act of 2001

In 2001, the House voted on a bill that would raise the amount individuals may contribute to traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts and to 401[k] plans and make pensions plans more portable. The bill passed the house in a 407-24 vote but was altered in the Senate. Ron Paul voted in favor of the Comprehensive Retirement Security and Pension Reform Act of 2001.

Ron Paul voted in favor of the Comprehensive Retirement Security and Pension Reform Act of 2001.

Social Security and Medicare Safe Deposit Box Act of 1999

In 2000, the House voted on a bill that would make it out of order to consider a budget that set forth an on-budget deficit for any fiscal year for either the overall budget or social security. In other words, the government could not go into a year with a budget that it knew spent more money than the government took in. The bill failed in a 205-222 vote. Ron Paul voted against the Social Security and Medicare Safe Deposit Box Act of 1999.

Ron Paul voted against the Social Security and Medicare Safe Deposit Box Act of 1999.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 219; Social Security Preservation Act of 2011 - Prime Sponsor

Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act to require the Managing Trustee of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (Social Security Trust Funds) to ensure that the annual surplus of the Social Security Trust Funds is invested in: (1) marketable interest-bearing obligations of the United States or obligations guaranteed by the United States; or (2) certificates of deposit in insured depository institutions. Outlines requirements for determining the annual surplus of the Trust Funds. Prohibits disinvestment of Social Security Trust Fund amounts from public debt obligations, any refraining from making such investments, or any delay in making normal deposits in such Trust Funds for public debt limit-related purposes. Authorizes, with certain conditions, the sale of Social Security Trust Fund public debt obligations for the payment of cash benefits and administrative expenses.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 235; Social Security Fairness Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act to repeal: (1) government pension offset requirements applicable to husband's and wife's insurance benefits, widow's and widower's insurance benefits, and mother's and father's insurance benefits with respect to OASDI payments; and (2) windfall elimination requirements with respect to computation of an individual's primary insurance amount.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 82; Social Security Fairness Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

To amend title II of the Social Security Act to repeal the Government pension offset and windfall elimination provisions.

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