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Hillary Clinton (D)
Former United States Secretary of State
“For 80 years, Social Security has been America at its best.Â Social Security reflects our shared belief that every American should be able to retire with dignity after decades of hard work. That no American should face poverty because he or she is disabled, or when a loved one dies. That we all have an obligation to each other.
Social Security isn’t just a programâ€”it’s a promise. As president, Hillary will:
Defend Social Security against Republican attacks.Â Republicans are using scare tactics about the future and effectiveness of Social Security to push through policies that would jeopardize it. The real threat is Republican attempts to undermine the bedrock of the system. Hillary believes that Social Security must remain what it has always been: a rock-solid benefit that seniors can always count onâ€”not subject to the budget whims of Congress or to the fluctuations of the stock market. She fought Republican efforts to undermine Social Security when she was a senator and throughout her career, and she will fight them as president. As president, she would:
- Fight any attempts to gamble seniorsâ€™ retirement security on the stock market through privatization.
- Oppose reducing annual cost-of-living adjustments.
- Oppose Republican efforts to raise the retirement ageâ€”an unfair idea that will particularly hurt the seniors who have worked the hardest throughout their lives.
- Oppose closing the long-term shortfall on the backs of the middle class, whether through benefit cuts or tax increases.
Expand Social Security for those who need it most and who are treated unfairly by the current systemâ€”including women who are widows and those who took significant time out of the paid workforce to take care of their children, aging parents, or ailing family members.Â Social Security works well, but it should work better. Hillary will fight to expand Social Security for those who need it most and who are treated unfairly today. For instance:
- The poverty rate for widowed women 65 or older is nearly 90 percent higher than for other seniorsâ€”in part because when a spouse dies, families can face a steep benefit cut. For a two-earner couple, those benefit cuts can be as much as 50 percent. Hillary believes that we have to change that by reducing how much Social Security benefits drop when a spouse dies, so that the loss of a spouse doesnâ€™t mean financial hardship or falling into poverty.
- Millions of womenâ€”and menâ€”take time out of the paid workforce to raise a child, take care of an aging parent or look after an ailing family member. Caregiving is hard work that benefits our entire economy. However, when Americans take time off to take care of a relative, that can reduce their Social Security benefits at retirement, since those benefits are calculated based on their top thirty-five years of earnings. No one should face meager Social Security checks because they took on the vital role of caregiver for part of their career. Americans should receive credit toward their Social Security benefits when they are out of the paid workforce because they are acting as caregivers.
Preserve Social Security for decades to come by asking the wealthiest to contribute more.Â Social Security must continue to guarantee dignity in retirement for future generations. Hillary understands that there is no way to accomplish that goal without asking the highest-income Americans to pay more, including options to tax some of their income above the current Social Security cap, and taxing some of their income not currently taken into account by the Social Security system.”Â â€“ HillaryClinton.com