Amy Klobuchar on Social Security

DFL Sr Senator (MN); Democratic presidential contender


Raise cap above "donut hole": FICA over $250,000

Q: How would eliminating the income cap affect available Social Security funds?

KLOBUCHAR: It is not just about our seniors as we look at how we're going to keep Social Security solvent. It's going to start paying out less benefits. Maybe 10 to 15 percent by 2034 if we don't do something about it. So, then, what are the solutions? There's really a pretty straightforward elegant solution. Right now you pay into the Social Security fund up until $133,000 in income. And you can just lift that cap straight up, that's one way to do it. Or you can kind of do what we call a "donut hole," not have people paying for a little and have them start again at $250,000, which is a bill that actually Senator Sanders has led, that I have co-sponsored for a number of years. And to me, I think that that would make a lot of sense because it would keep Social Security solvent and strong.

Source: CNN N. H. Town Hall on eve of N. H. primary , Feb 6, 2020

Proposed new retirement accounts for those without

The Republican tax bill did so much to help the wealthy build up a trillion dollars in debt. All you have to do is make some changes to that that won't hurt everyday Americans and you have the money to literally ensure that 49 million Americans, who have no retirement right now except for Social Security, can start saving. We call it UP savings accounts. And it is a great idea. 50 cents for every hour someone works in an account that they can take with them, no matter where they work, if they don't have a 401(k), where they can take out the first $2,500 for emergency expenses, when we've got four out of ten Americans that don't even have $400 for an emergency room bill.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 28, 2019

Address national debt without cutting entitlements

I have long been focused on this debt. I don't think this is the time to make some kind of wholesale changes to Social Security or Medicare. I think on the Social Security front you could lift the cap and basically put a donut hole in there and that would help to pay for Social Security.

That Republican tax bill went so low that once it went under 25 percent, every point was $100 billion. Think what that could pay for, for rural broadband all over this country, which I pledge to do by 2022.

Close the carried interest loophole. Bring the capital gains rate to the rate that we see for personal tax rates. One thing I would add to the mix, comprehensive immigration reform. The bill we had back in 2013 brought the debt down $158 billion.

Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 18, 2019

No raising retirement age; no cost of living increase

Q: 60% of our federal revenues go to Medicare and pensions. Will you go after those?

KLOBUCHAR: I believe that if we can shore up this deficit and balance the budget, that we can then start shoring up Social Security. This Congress has raided $925 billion from Social Security. And you go back to the Clinton administration.

Q: Would you raise the retirement age?

KLOBUCHAR: I don’t believe that is the solution.

Q: Cost of living increase?

KLOBUCHAR: I don’t believe that’s the solution. If we can get that balanced budget in place, we’re going to be able to secure Social Security for the future [as we had under Clinton]

Q: With no changes in the system?

KLOBUCHAR: We can have a bipartisan commission look at those changes. They should be options to be looked at, but it would be a hard sell on me because I believe our priority should be to balance the budget. There is a better way to do this by being fiscally responsible instead of giving billions of dollars in oil giveaways.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press , Oct 15, 2006

President’s privatization scheme puts us at risk

The Social Security system will be below the even point by 2042. We should raise the cap [on payment] from $90,000. The president’s privatization scheme would have cost more. The privatization scheme puts us at risk. People saw it for what it was -- it gives money to special interests, and it doesn’t solve the problem.
Source: MN 2006 Senate debates - MPR interview , Jan 26, 2006

Raise cap from $90,000 for paying in

I’d like to see raising the cap as a potential solution. [Paying into Social Security] is currently capped out at $90,000. The Social Security system can be fixed. There’s some way you could do something with the wealthiest people.
Source: MN 2006 Senate debates - MPR interview , Jan 26, 2006

Privatization is a risky scheme

I will fight and oppose the current administration’s risky scheme to privatize Social Security because it would turn the guarantee of a secure retirement into a gamble. The president’s irresponsible proposal would divert billions of dollars out of Social Security and put it at risk in the stock market. And it would require trillions of dollars of borrowing for transition costs. That’s no way to fix a system.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

Make Social Security more secure for the long term

I will fight to make sure our nation plans ahead and works toward a bipartisan solution to make Social Security more secure for the long term. I’m confident that working together across party lines, we can responsibly address any projected funding shortfalls and ensure that Social Security remains a vital part of retirement for future generations.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

Incentives for private retirement options

I will fight to expand incentives for Americans to participate more fully in private retirement options such as IRA and 401(k) accounts. These are essential supplements to the guarantee of Social Security, and I believe we can provide working families with stronger incentives to save for retirement.
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.amyklobuchar.com, “Issues” , Jan 18, 2006

Voted NO on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security.

Voting YES would:
  1. require that the Federal Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund be used only to finance retirement income of future beneficiaries;
  2. ensure that there is no change to benefits for individuals born before January 1, 1951
  3. provide participants with the benefits of savings and investment while permitting the pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits; and
  4. ensure that the funds made available to finance such legislation do not exceed the amounts estimated to be actuarially available.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Perhaps the worst example of wasteful spending is when we take the taxes people pay for Social Security and, instead of saving them, we spend them on other things. Even worse than spending Social Security on other things is we do not count it as debt when we talk about the deficit every year. So using the Social Security money is actually a way to hide even more wasteful spending without counting it as debt. This Amendment would change that.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This amendment has a fatal flaw. It leaves the door open for private Social Security accounts by providing participants with the option of "pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits."

Make no mistake about it, this is a stalking-horse for Social Security. It looks good on the surface, but this is an amendment to privatize Social Security.
Reference: Bill S.Amdt.489 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-089 on Mar 22, 2007

Rated 99% by ARA, indicating a pro-Trust Fund stance.

Klobuchar scores 99% Alliance for Retired Americans

Scoring system for 2014: Ranges from 0% (supports privatization and other market-based reforms) to 100% (supports keeping federal control over Trust Fund and Social Security system).

About ARA (from their website, www.RetiredAmericans.org):

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a nationwide organization, founded in May 2001, with now over 4.2 million members working together to make their voices heard in the laws, policies, politics, and institutions that shape our lives. The mission of the Alliance for Retired Americans is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens so that they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security.

Source: ARA lifetime rating on incumbents of 113th Congress 14_ARA on Jan 1, 2013

Other candidates on Social Security: Amy Klobuchar on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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External Links about Amy Klobuchar:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Feb 24, 2020