Blanche Lincoln on Social Security

Last Updated : Jul 02, 2010

Summary

Senator Lincoln has stated that Social Security is solvent until 2037.  In debates and campaign ads, Senator Lincoln has recently stated her opposition to the privatization of social security.  However, she has in past years stated that she supports IRA type accounts for some of social security, and has listed allowing people to control part of their funds as a possible solution when discussing solvency. 

 

Debate Question on Solutions for solvency

When asked what the best measure was to solve the insolvency of social security in terms of cutting benefits, raising the retirement age, or raising the amount taken in, Senator Lincoln responded that fixing the economy was the best solution.  She also stated that she has consistently opposed attempts to privatize social security.

 

Support for possible individual accounts

In 1999, Senator Lincoln spoke in the Senate aging committee and mentioned that among all options under consideration, allowing people to put a portion of their own money into their own accounts was a possibility.

 

Support for an IRA type system

In a speech at American University, Senator Lincoln stated that she supported an IRA account type system for social security.  The speech can be found here.

 

Official Website Statements

 

2010 Re-Election Campaign Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Amendment - Social Security Reserve Fund

In 2007, congress attempted to pass an amendment to create a reserve fund for social security. This action was prompted by the increasing awareness that the Social Security program may not be financially solvent in the near future. Opponents claimed that the move was an end-around method to privatize social security. The amendment was largely supported by Republicans and largely opposed by Democrats. The amendment failed in a 45-52 vote. Blanche Lincoln voted against the amendment to create a reserve fund for social security.

Blanche Lincoln voted against the amendment to create a reserve fund for social security.

Amendment - Balanced Budget without Social Security

In April of 1999, the Senate voted on an amendment to prevent the government from using the social security surplus from balancing the federal budget. It created a "locbox" for the social security surplus and established limits on the federal debt. The amendment established four findings and two resolutions with multiple points of order to enforce those resolutions. These findings and resolutions were:

Congress finds that--

(1) the $69,246,000,000 unified budget surplus achieved in fiscal year 1998 was entirely due to surpluses generated by the social security trust funds and the cumulative unified budget surpluses projected for subsequent fiscal years are primarily due to surpluses generated by the social security trust funds;

(2) Congress and the President should balance the budget excluding the surpluses generated by the social security trust funds;

(3) according to the Congressional Budget Office, balancing the budget excluding the surpluses generated by the social security trust funds will reduce the debt held by the public by a total of $1,723,000,000,000 by the end of fiscal year 2009; and

(4) social security surpluses should be used for social security reform or to reduce the debt held by the public and should not be spent on other programs.

SEC. 203. PROTECTION OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUNDS.

(a) PROTECTION BY CONGRESS.--

(1) REAFFIRMATION OF SUPPORT.--Congress reaffirms its support for the provisions of section 13301 of the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 that provides that the receipts and disbursements of the social security trust funds shall not be counted for the purposes of the budget submitted by the President, the congressional budget, or the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

(2) PROTECTION OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS.--If there are sufficient balances in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Secretary of Treasury shall give priority to the payment of social security benefits required to be paid by law.

The vote failed to overcome a cloture motion. However, it did get the majority of a 54-45 vote. Blanche Lincoln voted against the amendment to create a lock box for social security surpluses and limit the federal debt.

Blanche Lincoln voted against the amendment to create a lock box for social security surpluses and limit the federal debt.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 484; 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-111; Bill Number-S 484; A bill to amend title II of the Social Security Act to repeal the Government pension offset and windfall elimination provisions - 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-S 206; Social Security Fairness Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

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

Session-109; Bill Number-S Res 551; Social Security and Illegal Immigrants - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of the Senate that illegal immigrants should not receive Social Security benefits and that this prohibition should be strictly enforced.

References

[1] Website: Daily KOS Article: AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln considered Social Security privatization Author: kos Accessed on: 07/02/2010

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