State of Maine Archives: on Social Security


Bruce Poliquin: Adjustments to future retirees, but not current ones

Our critically important and popular Social Security and Medicare programs must be saved and protected. For decades, millions of senior citizens have paid taxes into these programs to ensure they will have basic retirement and health care security during their later years.

The good news is that we CAN keep the retirement and health care promises made to our senior citizens; save Social Security and Medicare for future generations; and still address our nation's fiscal and jobs crises. There should be no change to the expected benefits received by our retirees or soon-to-be seniors. However, adjustments to the programs must be made for future generations if those benefits are to be there when needed.

As Maine State Treasurer, I helped lead the successful effort to solve a similar problem in Augusta.

Source: 2014 Maine House campaign website, PoliquinForCongress.com Nov 4, 2014

Shenna Bellows: Scrap the Cap: highest-paid Americans pay their fair share

Social Security is funded by an outdated system that caps taxpayer contributions to a percentage of the first $117,000 they earn. That means millionaires and even billionaires pay the same amount into Social Security as someone who makes $117,000 a year. Nobody thinks it's fair, everybody knows it has to change--and Congress hasn't done anything about it. I support a solution called "Scrap the Cap" that eliminates the taxable cap and makes sure the highest-paid Americans pay their fair share. This is the fiscally responsible way to expand Social Security benefits.

I am passionate about strengthening and expanding Social Security benefits for our seniors and future generations. I support legislation that would expand Social Security benefits like the "Strengthening Social Security Act" and the RAISE Act. I strongly oppose privatization of Social Security and proposals like means testing or raising the retirement age that would undermine the fundamental promise of Social Security.

Source: 2014 Maine Senate campaign website BellowsForSenate.com Aug 31, 2014

Shenna Bellows: Scrap the cap; apply payroll tax over $113,700

Q: How would you protect Social Security for today's seniors and strengthen it for future generations?

A: I support expanding Social Security benefits in a responsible way to make sure retired Mainers don't face hunger or lose out on medicines they need. In the 21st century, there's no excuse for letting Social Security recipients starve to pay for corporate tax breaks. Expanding benefits is the right thing to do, both morally and economically. Right now, the payroll tax that funds Social Security only applies to the first $113,700 of income. I support scrapping that cap entirely and making sure everyone pays their fair share, regardless of how many lobbyists they know.

Source: AARP Voter Guide on 2014 Maine Senate race Aug 31, 2014

Paul LePage: Keep our promise; don't tax Social Security

Governor LePage agrees with Senator Angus King on the issue of not taxing Social Security benefits in Maine. Then-Governor King vetoed and stopped Michael Michaud's efforts to tax Social Security benefits. [Following is] Governor Paul LePage's personal message about his efforts to preserve and protect Social Security:

"We all have family and friends who count on Social Security. I do not believe that Social Security is anything but a promise that we must keep. That's why I will always preserve and protect the Social Security system.

"While I work to protect Social Security and pensions, politicians knowingly and deliberately falsify information to get your vote. One of those is 30-year politician Michael Michaud. This is the same Michael Michaud who voted to cut Medicare by $716 billion. And the same Michael Michaud who voted to tax your Social Security. Luckily for all of us, Gov. King vetoed it and stopped it. I strongly agree. I will never allow politicians to tax Social Security."

Source: 2014 Maine Gubernatorial campaign website, LePage2014.com Jul 9, 2014

Mike Michaud: Soc. Sec. & Medicare secure retirement; they're not welfare

LePage lumped Social Security and Medicare into the definition of welfare: "It doesn't matter what liberals call these payments, it is welfare, pure and simple," LePage said. "Liberals from the White House all the way down to Democratic leadership in Augusta believe that redistribution of wealth--taking money from hard-working taxpayers and giving it to a growing number of welfare recipients--is personal income. It's not. It's just more welfare expansion."

Rep. Mike Michaud, LePage's Democratic opponent in this year's race for governor, called LePage's comments "an insult to Maine seniors." Michaud said, "These two programs have helped to provide a secure retirement to thousands upon thousands of hard-working men and women who have earned them one paycheck at a time. They deserve much better than to have their monthly Social Security checks called 'welfare handouts.' The governor should be embarrassed that he ever suggested such a thing."

Source: Portland Press Herald on 2014 Maine gubernatorial race Jun 26, 2014

Paul LePage: Medicare and Social Security are really just welfare

Gov. Paul LePage has long cast a wide net for programs that he says fit the definition of welfare. In a media release written as an alternative take on new personal-income data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, he lumped Social Security and Medicare into that definition.

"It doesn't matter what liberals call these payments, it is welfare, pure and simple," LePage said in the statement. "Liberals from the White House all the way down to Democratic leadership in Augusta believe that redistribution of wealth--taking money from hard-working taxpayers and giving it to a growing number of welfare recipients--is personal income. It's not. It's just more welfare expansion. Democrats can obfuscate the numbers any way they want. The fact is that we have created thousands of jobs, more Mainers are working, and their income is going up."

Rep. Mike Michaud, LePage's Democratic opponent in this year's race for governor, called LePage's comments "an insult to Maine seniors."

Source: Portland Press Herald on 2014 Maine gubernatorial race Jun 26, 2014

Eliot Cutler: Support & strengthen the foundations for Social Security

Q: Do you support maintaining and strengthening Social Security, Medicare and MaineCare (Medicaid)?

A: I absolutely support maintaining and strengthening the foundations for Social Security, Medicare, and MaineCare. I believe we should expand the access to MaineCare afforded by the ACA.

Source: AFL-CIO Questionnaire on 2014 Maine Gubernatorial race Oct 16, 2013

Charlie Summers: Remove disability coverage from Social Security

Believes that Social Security has morphed over decades from a program designed to provide a supplement for retirees, into a program that covers a host of disabilities. Quote: "While I think that the issue of disability is an important one, it shouldn't funded through Social Security, it should be funded through Human Services."
Source: Public Broadcasting "Your Vote 2012" Maine Senate debate Sep 1, 2012

Cynthia Dill: Stop raiding Social Security Trust Fund

Believes that Social Security is important and must be saved, by taking a hard look at raising caps on income, and raising the retirement age. Quote: "There are plenty of seniors I know that want to work past the age of 65 or 67 and have the capacity to, and should be able to." Said government must also stop raiding Social Security Trust Fund.
Source: Public Broadcasting "Your Vote 2012" Maine Senate debate Sep 1, 2012

Matt Dunlap: Remove cap on earnings to sustain system

Believes the Social Security trust fund should be off limits to funding other things, such as the war in Iraq. Believes the system should be sustained, and supports removing the cap on earnings subject to social security taxes. Has reservations about raising the retirement age because it would penalize those who are unable to work beyond the age of 66.
Source: Public Broadcasting "Your Vote 2012" Maine Senate debate Sep 1, 2012

Scott D`Amboise: Option to invest in private retirement program

Said those paying into the system should also have the option to invest in private retirement program. Quote: "Social Security was never intended as a retirement program. It's morphed into that and you can't get rid of it, but you can make it better."
Source: Public Broadcasting "Your Vote 2012" Maine Senate debate Sep 1, 2012

Charlie Summers: Invest portion of workers' payroll tax in private accounts

Source: Maine Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Jean Hay Bright: “Promote the General Welfare” is our founding principle

Remember that phrase [from the Preamble to the Constitution], “Promote the General Welfare.” Anyone trying to “kill the welfare state” in this country is trying to kill one of the very basic founding principles of this great nation.

I agree that Social Security is not in crisis. And I agree with the idea of raising the cap on the wages that now pay into Social Security to help balance the books decades into the future.

Source: Speech to Senior Citizen Center - Bangor, Maine Feb 22, 2005

  • The above quotations are from State of Maine Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Social Security.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Social Security:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018