LTE: George Allen Counters Kaine on Social Security

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate responds to opponent's Letter to the Editor

Throughout my public service, I’ve understood that leadership is about setting priorities and then finding others to agree on accomplishing those goals for the people of Virginia. As Governor, I worked with a legislature controlled by Democrats to set priorities from reforming education to cutting taxes to establishing welfare to work to better help people succeed in life. And I believe that is the same kind of leadership we need in Washington today to strengthen Social Security for future generations. 

This week, my opponent . There are areas in which we agree, including that Social Security is a crucial part of our nation’s commitment to securing seniors’ provision and protection from poverty. We agree that Social Security is not a handout but a program people have paid into their entire working lives, and we must ensure that Social Security provides them the benefits they have earned.

But the Social Security program faces significant challenges that require proven leadership to work with both parties for real solutions to preserve this vital program for future generations. Since 2010, Social Security has been paying out more in benefits than it receives in taxes. President Obama’s own fiscal reform commission (Simpson-Bowles) warned that "Unless we act … demographic changes will bring the Social Security program to its knees [and] the benefits currently pledged under Social Security are a promise we cannot keep." The 2012 Social Security Trustee Report estimates that the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year.

To protect the viability of Social Security for future generations, we cannot ignore simple logical reforms to address these issues. Political games aimed at distorting records and tarring ideas for constructive solutions are irresponsible and unfair to the people. We need civil engagement as the basis of any efforts to save Social Security.

One of the most important things we can do to protect Social Security is to work together to get our economy moving and create jobs. More Americans working means more Americans paying into Social Security.

Further, Americans should have additional freedom to choose to invest their hard-earned dollars for their retirement security.

In his opinion article, Tim Kaine goes to great lengths to blame others and provides no solutions for Social Security, but we do know where Tim Kaine stands on Medicare. Unfortunately, as national chairman of the Democratic Party, he was a vocal advocate of the health care tax law he called a "great achievement" and proclaimed it "would be a great thing politically for the Dems." A recent Congressional Budget Office report revealed the law could take over $700 Billion from Medicare to help pay for it. 

Virginians deserve better. That is why I am running for the U.S. Senate. I bring a proven record of bipartisan work and landmark reforms to the office and will be the voice of seniors and hard-working Americans for the benefits they have earned. 

When I was Governor we removed the Virginia tax on Social Security benefits, saving Virginia taxpayers millions of dollars and helping older citizens on fixed incomes live more comfortable and secure lives. This is a far different approach than my opponent who tried to raise taxes on people earning as little as $17,000 a year and is now proposing raising the payroll tax cap which would increase taxes on working people and small business owners.

This election is our opportunity to choose our future. We can embrace a path of positive solutions or follow the tired demagoguery of false accusations and scare tactics leading to failure.

As my father Coach George Allen would say, "The future is now." I hope you’ll join me in choosing an American Comeback on November 6.

George Allen
Republican candidate for U.S Senate and former Virginia governor.

JoeB90 August 16, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Doug...The future IS now! To use your words, if our politicians aren't willing to give one more great effort to secure Social Security and Medicare now, at the risk to the remainder of their political careers, then we're in trouble. There is no proposal out there that I know of that wants to change anything for current or near retirees. Much of the various GOP plans savings comes from means testing people and withholding paid for benefits from those with higher incomes (sometimes referred to as the selfish 1%). As far as the zany privatization of social security just think how much capital would be in the economy today if Social Security beneficiaries could have passed on any remainders of their Social Security onto their heirs since the inception of SS in 1937.Here are some examples of $1 invested in 1937 and their value today: $16.90 if saved in a short-term asset. $59.30 if saved in a long-term asset at a term of 10 years. $1,079.79 if saved in a S&P portfolio with dividends reinvested. $45.70 if saved in a gold portfolio. The most dangerous phrase is business is "that's the way we've always done it" because that means there's no innovation. I think it's time for our politicians to apply that same logic today. George Allen is looking forwards not backwards.
Buck August 17, 2012 at 03:40 AM
guys, just wanted to mention that my dad was the coach of Redskins
Jim Gries August 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM
As a 15 times (soon to be 16) times certified grandfather, what's depressing for me is how Social Security has been used by both political parties to financially water board my grandchildren. When President Reagan signed SS reform legislation into law in 1983, it was billed as a 75 year fix. Millions of working Americans were called upon to give up an additional piece of their paychecks to build a cash reserve for the now retiring 78 million baby boomers. We kept our end of the bargain. George and his ilk reneged, used our retirement dollars to offset general revenue fund obligations, in other words our retirement dollars subsidized the income and corporate tax rates of the more affluent, then left a special obligation bond (SOB) debt that my grand children will have to pay again. Now it's another campaign season, and both Republicans and Democrats are asking us to trust them again?? Sign our petition and help us put a new twist on this old lemon: http://www.care2.com/my/petitionsite/dashboard/370104320
Marcus Aurelius August 18, 2012 at 06:16 PM
DON'T MONKEY AROUND WITH SOCIAL SECURITY! Mr. Gries makes an important point about the misuse of SS funds. (and congrats, Gramps!) I would add that the current income cap for Social Security withholding is $106,800, and raising this cap would strengthen the program for future recipients. I wonder which candidate supports Social Security for current seniors? Is it the businessman candidate, or the son of a football coach candidate?


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