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the choice 2000 FRONTLINE
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Pat Buchanan on Social Security

Address solvency first, before adding new programs

Q: How would you save Social Security? A: Before you add anything to it, we ought to make it solvent. That means way out, 50 years into the future, and there’s got to be some bullets that have to be bitten there. And before you add drugs or prescription drugs, we’ve got to make sure that [Medicare] is solvent way out into the future, like Social Security. Than you and I can argue about whether we should add something new, or not add something new.
Source: Interview on MSNBC’s “Equal Time” Nov 2, 1999

Option for private investment, with public fall-back

[There should be] an option to privatize part of Social Security, as long as the individual is willing to take the risk, especially for younger people. You [need to have] some kind of fall back, because quite frankly, [for the situation where] some guy goes out and says, look, I blew it all. You know what the government’s going to do. Well, we’ll take care of you. Some provision in there you ought to be taking a look.
Source: Interview on MSNBC’s “Equal Time” Nov 2, 1999

Let people who work past 65 collect benefits

Q: Would you raise the retirement age?
A: I’m open to [the idea of raising it]. But the idea that people are told when you’re 65, the only way you get Social Security when you’ve invested for 45 years, is if you quit work-that’s outrageous! If a fellow wants to keep working all his life, he should get his Social Security; if he retired he should get his Social Security. Why do we punish folks who, at 65 and 66, in their prime, and they want to keep working?
Source: Interview on MSNBC’s “Equal Time” Nov 2, 1999

Put Medicare taxes into personal insurance accounts

[We should] allow workers to save and invest their Medicare taxes in personal investment or insurance accounts to provide for health care after they retire. Government bureaucracy will not ration their benefits and a third-party will not manage their care. Instead, this less costly, privately controlled, competition-driven alternative will empower seniors to make their own health care decisions and support our American ideals of free choice, free markets, and the sanctity of each and every human life
Source: “Issues: Medicare” Jun 12, 1999

Medicare: no socialized system; no expansion

America’s seniors have already made their sacrifices. As our 39 million elderly citizens enter the twilight of their lives, we must keep faith with them by maximizing choice of coverage and quality of care. Medicare must be redesigned, but herding seniors into a socialized system dominated by HMOs and brokered by a Big Business, Big Government partnership is not the answer. Neither is the irrational proposal to massively expand a program already on life-support.
Source: “Issues: Medicare” Jun 12, 1999

Abolish Congressional pensions; put them on Social Security

Congressional pensions will be eliminated. Retired and current members of the House and Senate may keep their pensions, but payments will be frozen, and there will be no future cost of living increases. As of 2000, congressmen will not be allowed into the pension system. They will go on Social Security and can use their personal savings, like everyone else, for their retirement.
Source: “Issues: Congressional Reform” Jun 12, 1999

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Social Security.
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  • Click here for IssueMatch responses by Pat Buchanan.
Other candidates on Social Security: Pat Buchanan on other issues:
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George W. Bush
Al Gore
Ralph Nader

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David McReynolds
Howard Phillips

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Winona LaDuke
Joe Lieberman

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