Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mitt Romney to Rick Perry: Answer these Questions on Social Security

Copied as written on Mitt Romney's website:
In advance of Thursday’s debate in Orlando, the Romney for President campaign released a series of questions for Governor Rick Perry about his proposal to “let the states [decide] how to run the pensions.” Questions about Perry’s proposal to return Social Security to the states have so far gone unanswered.

“This election is about choices and voters – and voters will have the opportunity to choose between Mitt Romney, who wants to fix and strengthen Social Security for the next generation, and Rick Perry, who wants to dismantle it. Voters are now learning more about Rick Perry’s position on Social Security and find it troubling that he has refused to answer questions on what the Social Security program would look like at the state level, as Rick Perry suggests. Governor Perry has the opportunity to clarify his proposal while he is in Florida – a state with an extraordinarily high number of retirees and near retirees,” said Gail Gitcho, Romney Communications Director.
Six Questions for Rick Perry on Returning Social Security to the States

1. Constitutionality: Perry has asserted that a federally run Social Security program is unconstitutional. If this remains his position, it suggests that the program must be devolved to the states notwithstanding the advisability of such an approach. The first question in understanding Perry’s approach must be whether he believes there is no choice but to devolve or, alternatively, if he believes it is the right policy solution.

2. Unfunded Liabilities: Devolving the program to the states does not address underlying fiscal challenges. Where a single program once faced possible insolvency, there would now be fifty. How would Perry suggest a state such as Texas address this challenge? Should it raise taxes, reduce benefits, or pursue other types of reform?

3. Trust Fund Accounting: What would happen to the Trust Fund that accrued while the system was in surplus? Interest payments from the fund and draw-down on the principal are crucial funding streams for the national system that are unavailable to the states. How would those funds be equitably allocated to the states?
Click graph to enlarge
4. Mobility: How would a state-by-state system accommodate the enormous number of Americans who move across state lines during their lives, and especially as retirement nears? Would each state be responsible for supporting its current disabled and elderly population on its current payroll? Would funds paid into the system in one state follow a resident to another state later in life?

5. State Obligations: Would states be free to forego a pension program altogether? If so, what if any provision would be made for the disabled and elderly in that state? Or would they be expected to move to other states with more generous benefits, inevitably overwhelming those systems?

6. Administration: Would individuals retain national Social Security numbers or would each state administer its own system? Would individuals have any guarantee that commitments made during their working life are honored in retirement? Who would pay for the added expense associated with administering fifty programs instead of one?

BTW, Romney gave specifics today on how to fix Social Security:
“There are one of two ways you can make Social Security work forever.

“One of course is to raise the retirement age by a year or two,” said Romney. “The other is having slower growth in inflating the benefits of higher-income of Social Security recipients. Again, not current recipients but those in their 20′s, 30′s, 40′s and early 50′s.

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Noelle said...

I suspect that Romney did Perry a favor by pointing out some of the challenges that arise from Perry's position on Social Security. Maybe I'm not giving him enough credit, but I suspect that Perry hadn't considered the repercussions of position on Social Security.

I find that Romney is a serious man with a serious approach to addressing the challenges this country faces. Too many of the other candidates (especially Rick Perry in my opinion) are content to complain about the problems, assign blame, but have no idea how to fix anything.

Whether you agree with Romney or not, whether you support him or not, I would think everyone has to respect Romney for his ability to solve problems.

larry said...

Perry will need to have his handlers working overtime to answer these questions.

He has NO CLUE.

Anonymous said...

perry will somehow deflect these questions and ask mitt why he was 47th in job creation lol

Ohio JOE said...

"but I suspect that Perry hadn't considered the repercussions of position on Social Security." He has at least considered it more than Mr. Romney considered MAcare or FDR considered this unconstitutional ponzi scheme in the first place,

"I would think everyone has to respect Romney for his ability to solve problems." In his public career, he has caused more problems than he has solved. Now it the time more capitalism, not experimenting with more government plans.

Revolution 2012 said...

It will be interesting if Wallace will pick up on these questions tomorrow, or allow Romney to ask.

Noelle said...

OJ, as usual, it looks like we'll have to agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Romney's MassHealth Care was and is a market-based plan. It is quite unlike the plan that the 85 percent Democratic legislature had intended to pass. The part in the plan that is most offensive is the mandate. While I agree that the mandate may be offensive, I am far more offended by the MANDATE that is already in place for the entire United States that I will pay for anyone's healthcare no matter what.

Do you know that women are even allowed to have epidurals during labor and delivery whether they can pay for it or not? I know that labor is painful--from personal experience--but I do think we might be pampering people who never have to provide for themselves.

As for "causing more problems than he solved" as a Governor, what else comes to your mind besides health care, OJ?