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Tom Udall on Social Security

Democratic Jr Senator; previously Representative (NM-3)

 


If you paid into system, you can rely on benefits

One in six New Mexico residents receive Social Security. Nearly 330,000 residents rely on Medicare. America made a promise to our seniors--if you work hard throughout your life, if you pay into the system, then you will be able to rely on Social Security benefits in retirement.

Tom believes that retirement security must be preserved. We need to protect Medicare for our seniors and Medicaid for the most vulnerable among us. Whether it's reimbursement rates through Medicare or closing the "doughnut hole" that made it harder for seniors to afford life-saving prescriptions, Tom always fights for New Mexico's seniors.

Seniors shouldn't be forced to choose between buying their groceries and buying their medication. They shouldn't have to worry about affording their mortgage payments and affording their health care. Our seniors have earned their benefits. Tom is committed to making sure those benefit programs remain intact.

Source: Vote-USA.org on 2020 New Mexico Senate race , Oct 25, 2014

Privatization of Social Security is a very bad idea

On issues important to senior citizens, the two sparred over Social Security. “I think that privatization of Social Security is a very bad idea,” Udall said. “I want it to be there for my children and grandchildren when they retire. I don’t agree with Steve Pearce’s approach that privatization is the way to go. I think privatization is really a step to undermine Social Security and I would do everything I can to fight against it.”

Pearce said the big problem with Social Security is that Congress has robbed funds from the program and needs to refund them so the program can remain solvent.

But when Udall charged Pearce had continuously voted for privatization, Pearce challenged him. “Tell me one piece of legislation.” Udall said Pearce was a supporter of Bush’s plan to privatize social security, which ultimately failed.

Pearce said Social Security has a rate of return of about 1%, & supports giving retirees the option of having targeted funds. “We must improve the rates of return,” he said

Source: 2008 N.M. Senate Debate reported in Silver City Sun-News , Oct 19, 2008

Voted YES on raising 401(k) limits & making pension plans more portable.

Comprehensive Retirement Security and Pension Reform Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would raise the amount individuals may contribute to traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts and to 401[k] plans and make pensions plans more portable
Reference: Bill sponsored by Portman, R-OH; Bill HR 10 ; vote number 2001-96 on May 2, 2001

Voted NO on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits.

Vote to pass a bill that would reduce the percentage of Social Security benefits that is taxable from 85 to 50 percent for single taxpayers with incomes over $25,000 and married couples with incomes over $32,000. The revenues that would be lost for the Medicare trust fund would be replaced by money from the general fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865 ; vote number 2000-450 on Jul 27, 2000

Voted YES on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox.

Amending the Social Security Lockbox bill to require that any budget surplus cannot be spent until the solvency of Social Security and Medicare is guaranteed.
Reference: Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259 ; vote number 1999-163 on May 26, 1999

Create Retirement Savings Accounts.

Udall adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Balance America’s Commitments to the Young and the Old
An ever-growing share of the federal budget today consists of automatic transfers from working Americans to retirees. Moreover, the costs of the big entitlements for the elderly -- Social Security and Medicare -- are growing at rates that will eventually bankrupt them and that could leave little to pay for everything else government does. We can’t just spend our way out of the problem; we must find a way to contain future costs. The federal government already spends seven times as much on the elderly as it does on children. To allow that ratio to grow even more imbalanced would be grossly unfair to today’s workers and future generations. In addition, Social Security and Medicare need to be modernized to reflect conditions not envisioned when they were created in the 1930s and the 1960s. Social Security, for example, needs a stronger basic benefit to bolster its critical role in reducing poverty in old age. Medicare needs to offer retirees more choices and a modern benefit package that includes prescription drugs. Such changes, however, will only add to the cost of the programs unless they are accompanied by structural reforms that restrain their growth and limit their claim on the working families whose taxes support the programs.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC7 on Aug 1, 2000

Rated 100% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record.

Udall scores 100% by the ARA on senior issues

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. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility to strive to create a society that incorporates these goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and their communities.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: ARA website 03n-ARA on Dec 31, 2003

Rated 100% by ARA, indicating a pro-Trust Fund stance.

Udall scores 100% 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: Tom Udall on other issues:
NM Gubernatorial:
Deb Haaland
Gary Johnson
Gary King
Jay Block
Jeff Apodaca
Joe Cervantes
John Sanchez
Michelle Lujan-Grisham
Rebecca Dow
Steve Pearce
Susana Martinez
NM Senatorial:
Ben Ray Lujan
Bob Walsh
Gary Johnson
Gavin Clarkson
Maggie Toulouse Oliver
Mark Ronchetti
Martin Heinrich
Mick Rich

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