CREDO Action released the following statement in response to a report that Secretary Hillary Clinton did not rule out cuts to Social Security and raising the retirement age during her remarks at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Wednesday:
“Democratic primary voters deserve to know exactly where Secretary Clinton stands on Social Security,” said Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s deputy political director. “Sec. Clinton needs to draw a line in the sand and make it clear that she will veto any bill that cuts Social Security benefits or raises the retirement age.”
Secretary Clinton’s full remarks on Social Security at Wednesday’s “politics and eggs” luncheon at Saint Anselm College can be found below:
Yes you know, I think there are three parts to what we have to do with social security and the first is we really have to defend social security from the continuing efforts by some to privatize it, which I have been studying and opposing for a long time because the numbers just don’t work out. And in the Bush administration when I was in the Senate I was one of the leaders in the fight against the Bush plan to privatize and it is something that I number 1, we’ll focus on: we are not going to privatize social security. Secondly, I am concerned about those people on social security who are most vulnerable in terms of what their monthly payout is. That is primarily divorced, widowed, single women who either never worked themselves or worked only a little so they have either just their own earnings to depend on or they had a spouse who also was a low wage worker and the first and most important task I think is to make sure that we get the monthly payment for the poorest social security recipients up. So that would be the first thing I would look at. Thirdly, we do have to consider ways to make sure that the funding of social security does maintain the system. I think we have a number of options, this would be something that I would look at, I do not favor raising the retirement age. And I don’t favor it because it might be fine for somebody like me, but the vast majority of working people who have worked hard and have had a difficult, maybe last couple of decades trying to continue to work, it would be very challenging for them. If there were a way to do it that would not penalize or punish laborers and factory workers and long distance truck drivers and people who really are ready for retirement at a much earlier age, I would consider it. But I have yet to find any recommendation that I would think would be suitable. And I want to look at raising the cap, I think that’s something we should look at how we do it, because I don’t want it to be an extra burden on middle class families and in some parts of the country, you know, there’s a different level of income that defines middle class. So what do we skip and what level do we start at? And we have to consider that. So those are my three priorities in looking at social security.
CREDO has played a leading role in the fight to stop any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and expand the programs. Here are some highlights of CREDO’s work so far in 2015:
200,000 ACTIVISTS TO BOEHNER: NO CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS: In response to House Republicans’ January rule change that stopped the routine reallocation of Social Security payroll tax income from the old-age program to the disability program, more than 200,000 CREDO activists signed a rapid response petition telling Speaker Boehner and House Republicans not to use the rule change to force benefit cuts.
175,000 CREDO ACTIVISTS CONDEMN RAND PAUL’S ATTACK ON SOCIAL SECURITY: When Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said that a majority of people who receive Social Security disability benefits are “gaming the system,” CREDO activists fought back. More than 175,000 activists nationwide signed our petition telling Senator Paul to “stop attacking disabled Americans and keep [his] hands off of Social Security.”
235,000+ ACTIVISTS URGE CONGRESS TO EXPAND SOCIAL SECURITY: CREDO activists went on offense earlier this year, with more than 239,000 signing a petition telling Congress to expand Social Security benefits.
185,000+ FIGHT TO STOP REPUBLICANS’ SNEAK ATTACK ON MEDICARE: In June, more than 188,000 CREDO activists signed a rapid response petition urging Democrats in Congress to reject a Republican plan to pay for Trade Adjustment Assistance with an extension on the sequester on Medicare payments.
DONATED $84,000+ TO SOCIAL SECURITY WORKS IN MARCH 2015: As part of its innovative model for funding progressive non-profit organizations, CREDO Mobile donated $84,292 in March 2015 to Social Security Works, a leading organization in the fight to preserve and expand Social Security. Learn more about CREDO’s donations program.
CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of 3.8 million activists, sending millions of petition signatures and more than 100,000 phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct actions for progressive change. Follow CREDOmobile on Twitter.