State of Colorado Archives: on Social Security


Cory Gardner: Social Security one of the most important social safety nets

Q: Your Social Security policy?

Gardner: I'm going to continue to protect Social Security. It's one of the most important social safety nets that we have as a country. Medicare and Social Security are two of the key things that we have for generations of Americans who have paid into them. We have to make sure that they are safeguarded so they can continue to pay out to those people who have invested all of their lives into these programs. We need to make sure that people stop borrowing against the Social Security trust fund.

Q: Your senior healthcare policy?

Gardner: I've worked hard to promote $10 billion for nursing homes, with additional dollars going toward their relief during COVID-19 so that they will be in place long-term. I've also worked hard to fight for reimbursement for telemedicine, telehealth visits through Medicare and other programs. Seniors who are able to receive care at home without having to go to the doctor will result in better care.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Colorado Senate race Sep 30, 2020

John Hickenlooper: Protect Social Security; oppose attempts to reduce benefits

Q: Your Social Security policy?

Hickenlooper: I will fight to protect Social Security, oppose any attempt to reduce benefits and work to ensure that every senior can retire with dignity. Social Security is essential to our nation's safety net. The rising costs of food, housing and transportation means that those dollars need to go even further. Social Security is an intergenerational promise between Americans that we will care for each other as we age. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of seniors.

Gardner: I'm going to continue to protect Social Security. It's one of the most important social safety nets that we have. Medicare and Social Security are two of the key things that we have for generations of Americans who have paid into them. We have to make sure that they are safeguarded so they can continue to pay out to those people who have invested all of their lives. We need to make sure that people stop borrowing against the Social Security trust fund.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Colorado Senate race Sep 30, 2020

John Hickenlooper: Protect and bolster Social Security, Medicare

It's time to renew our promise to older and younger generations alike that a dignified and stable retirement is the cornerstone of aging in America. We can do this by protecting Social Security and Medicare, as well as by proactively bolstering these programs so that they remain solvent for years to come.
Source: 2020 Colorado Senate campaign website Hickenlooper.com Jul 9, 2020

Steve Barlock: Fully fund Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA)

Republican Steve Barlock is best known in Colorado as a former co-chair for Donald Trump's presidential campaign in Colorado. Barlock also served as an alternate delegate for Trump at last year's Republican National Convention. In his announcement, he billed himself as the only candidate who is "truly loyal to Donald Trump," and promised to "drain the swamp" of Colorado politics. His other plans include making sure the troubled Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) is fully funded.
Source: Colorado Times-Recorder on 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race Apr 17, 2017

Michael Bennet: Eliminate income cap for payroll taxes

Q: On Taxes: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?

Bennet: Mostly yes. Includes eliminating income cap for payroll taxes supporting Social Security & Medicare.

Glenn: No. Supports substantial tax decreases, including for the wealthy. Pledged to oppose any tax increases to raise revenue. Allow charities & community programs to do the work of alleviating poverty.[7]

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Colorado Senate race Oct 9, 2016

Darryl Glenn: Raise retirement age for those aged under 55 now

Q: Which of the entitlement programs would you look at first to reform or make cuts?

A: Social Security reform must be addressed first, because the program payouts exceed its revenue stream. I would strongly consider supporting a proposal to raise the retirement age to receive Social Security for individuals at least 10 years away from retirement age.

Source: Denver Post Voter Guide on 2016 Colorado Senate race Jun 7, 2016

Jon Keyser: For next generation, use free market reforms

Q: Which of the entitlement programs would you look at first to reform or make cuts?

A: We need to make sure that programs like Social Security and Medicare are protected for those citizens who have spent their lives paying into them. After all, it's their money, and as a United States Senator, I will make sure Coloradans that are at or near retirement will be unaffected by modernizing our entitlement programs. For those just starting out, I would support reforms that would ensure the government couldn't raid the retirement accounts of hardworking Coloradans. Technology is changing our world at an amazing pace, people are living significantly longer, and that means raising the retirement age probably makes sense. For the next generation, we need to be focused on innovative reforms that allow the free market to work.

Source: Denver Post Voter Guide on 2016 Colorado Senate race Jun 7, 2016

John Hickenlooper: Update constitutional barriers in state's retirement program

We can make state government more effective and realize cost savings by bringing the state's antiquated personnel system into the 21st century. The state Constitution is riddled with personnel rules and administrative procedures that are obsolete and should be reformed. We are working with state employees on a package of reforms. We are not immediately seeking legislative changes to the state's retirement program; we are mindful of the obligation to ensure that PERA is both stable and sustainable.
Source: Colorado 2012 State of the State Address Jan 12, 2012

Ken Buck: Give younger workers option to invest in separate retirement

Bennet accused Buck of changing his positions on Social Security and other issues, depending on the audience. Buck denied it, calling that a deliberate distortion. "It's OK to change your mind," Bennet shot back. "But it's important to say the same thing in the red parts of the state as well as the blue parts."

Buck charged that Bennet's television ads were dishonest, taking snippets of Buck's comments to portray him as wanting to privatize Social Security. Buck said he supported redesigning Social Security so that younger workers in the future would have the option of investing in separate retirement accounts. No one paying into the system would lose benefits, he insisted. "I've never said we should privatize Social Security," he told Bennet, who made that accusation against Buck in television ads. "You in your commercials take little clips out of context," Buck answered to cheers from his ranks.

Source: Pueblo Chieftan coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate Debate Oct 8, 2010

Andrew Romanoff: Optional personal retirement accounts, but no privatization

Romanoff characterized the mailer sent out by primary opponent Sen. Michael Bennet as an exercise in selective reporting. The Bennet Flier called Romanoff out on a 2004 vote urging the Colorado Congressional delegation to support what the Bennet campaign called a "risky privatization plan." Romanoff pointed to legislation he voted on and signed as Speaker of the House in 2005 that called on the congressional delegation to protect Social Security from privatization.

Romanoff told reporters to look at the facts. Senate Joint Resolution 28 signed by Romanoff in 2004 resolved to "support optional personal retirement accounts and not support increases in payroll taxes and cuts to Social Security benefits."

The resolution pushed optional savings accounts as a way to provide younger workers the opportunity to net greater savings by retirement age. Romanoff said that any money generated through the program would come on top of money already paid into social security.

Source: Denver Post on 2020 Colorado Senate race Jul 29, 2010

Michael Bennet: Optional personal retirement accounts ARE privatization

Andrew Romanoff characterized the latest campaign mailer sent out by primary opponent Sen. Michael Bennet as an exercise in selective reporting. The Bennet flier accused Romanoff of pushing for the privatization of Social Security. The flier called Romanoff out on a 2004 vote in which he supported what the Bennet campaign called a "risky privatization plan."

Romanoff responded that the 2004 Senate Joint Resolution "does not say that it will divert money out of Social Security. I wouldn't have voted for it if it did."

The Bennet camp followed the flier with a new press release: "Romanoff surrounds himself with seniors in a shameful attempt to show his support. What he isn't telling them is that Speaker Romanoff voted to privatize Social Security. A move that would have stripped many seniors from their only source of income."

SJR 28 in 2004 resolved to "support optional personal retirement accounts and not support increases in payroll taxes and cuts to Social Security benefits."

Source: Denver Post on 2020 Colorado Senate race Jul 29, 2010

Andrew Romanoff: Raise cap on income subject to Social Security tax

Currently, earners stop paying the Social Security taxes after $106,000 in income. Previous bipartisan commissions and studies have said that ceiling will need to be raised in order to keep the fund solvent. "I believe Congress should expose incomes above $100,000 to the Social Security tax," Romanoff said. Critics of the current ceiling said it makes the system a regressive tax by allowing the highest-income earners to pay a smaller overall percentage of taxes.
Source: Denver Post on 2020 Colorado Senate race May 18, 2010

Amy Stephens: Voted NO on increases to public employee retirement benefits

Vote to pass a bill that makes changes to the Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA):
  • Increases the amortization equalization disbursement (AED) (employer contribution to PERA) for 2013 through 2017 as follows:
  • For employers in the school division, the payment shall be increased 0.4% of total payroll for 2013 through 2015 and 0.3%
  • Increases the supplemental amortization equalization disbursement (SAED)--employer contribution to PERA using funds that would otherwise be used to fund compensation adjustments--for 2014 through 2018 by 0.5%
  • Limits the cost of living increase for retirement benefits to the lesser of 2% or the average of the annual increases in the consumer price index for each month, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor.
    Source: VoteSmart summary: 2014 Colorado Senate voting record Feb 16, 2010

    Randy Baumgardner: Voted NO on increases to public employee retirement benefits

    Vote to pass a bill that makes changes to the Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA):
  • Increases the amortization equalization disbursement (AED) (employer contribution to PERA) for 2013 through 2017 as follows:
  • For employers in the school division, the payment shall be increased 0.4% of total payroll for 2013 through 2015 and 0.3%
  • Increases the supplemental amortization equalization disbursement (SAED)--employer contribution to PERA using funds that would otherwise be used to fund compensation adjustments--for 2014 through 2018 by 0.5%
  • Limits the cost of living increase for retirement benefits to the lesser of 2% or the average of the annual increases in the consumer price index for each month, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor.
    Source: VoteSmart summary: 2014 Colorado Senate voting record Feb 16, 2010

    Michael Bennet: Preserve the integrity of entitlement programs

    We need to take a serious look at reforming our entitlement programs. Social Security is our most successful retirement program and it provides the only path to a secure retirement for millions of Americans. Similarly, Medicare is the only way to get quality health care for many Americans. We must find a way to preserve the integrity of these programs while reducing the increasingly large impact they have on the overall federal budget.
    Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, bennetforcolorado.com "Issues" Jul 2, 2009

    Michael Bennet: Strongly opposes privatizing or reducing benefits

    I am working hard in Congress to preserve the long-term survival of Social Security, so that is remains solvent decades from now.

    I strongly oppose privatizing Social Security or reducing Social Security benefits. We can work together to confront Social Security's solvency challenge without taking these drastic, ill-conceived measures. A component for guaranteeing the long-term viability of Social Security is to get our nation's fiscal house in order, without raiding Social Security to do it.

    Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, bennetforcolorado.com "Issues" Jul 2, 2009

    Cary Kennedy: Address long term solvency of the state's pension system

    As Treasurer, Cary Kennedy will protect taxpayers' money and serve the long-term economic interest of the state. Cary will:
    Source: 2006 Colorado campaign website KennedyForTreasurer.com Nov 4, 2006

    Ken Salazar: Opposes privatization and individual investment accounts

    Ensuring the stability of Social Security pensions is more important now than ever. Just as many Americans have lost all or part of their retirement savings because of corporate fraud & precipitous drops in the stock market, privatization proposals would subject Social Security-the only retirement safety net-to stock market volatility. For too many Americans, privatization will change Social Security from a safety net into a roulette wheel. I will fight against proposals to privatize Social Security. As Colorado Attorney General, I am familiar with the many kinds of investment fraud schemes that particularly target our elderly. I would, therefore, be very wary of “individual investment accounts.”

    More than half of Americans over 65 years old would live in poverty if Social Security disappeared. I will push for a return to fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets to maintain a foundation for economic growth, and I will press to make the preservation of Social Security a national priority.

    Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, SalazarForColorado.com Aug 11, 2004

    • The above quotations are from State of Colorado Politicians: Archives.
    • Click here for definitions & background information on Social Security.
    • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
    2020 Presidential contenders on Social Security:
      Democrats running for President:
    Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
    V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
    Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
    Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
    Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
    Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
    Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
    CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

    2020 Third Party Candidates:
    Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
    CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Howard Schultz(I-WA)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
    Republicans running for President:
    Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
    Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
    V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
    Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
    Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
    Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
    Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

    2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
    Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
    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)
    Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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    Page last updated: Jan 28, 2021