State of Kentucky Archives: on Social Security


C. Wesley Morgan: Social security taxes should go directly to a private trust

Q: How would you guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?

A: Social Security should be moved to a private trust, out of the hands of politicians who constantly steal to funds for other purposes. The social security taxes should go directly to and be controlled by the private trust.

Q: What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

A: I like Rand Paul's penny plan.

Source: AFA iVoterGuide on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Adam Edelen: Fully fund government pensions; reform state system

Q: What sacrifices should public employees and taxpayers expect to make to fix the state retirement system?

A: Why do we always ask working people to make sacrifices when it was Frankfort lawmakers, Wall Street lobbyists and retirement system board members who put us in this position today? This system will not work until it is fully funded, but the system will never be able to fulfill its goal of providing a stable retirement for hardworking government employees until it is cleaned up. For too long, Frankfort has been run by those who are more focused on helping out the good old boys or giving contracts out for kickbacks than on Kentucky's working families. I think that every Kentuckian should be asking why the legislators' pension system is nearly fully funded. When I'm governor, no one who donated a dime to my campaign will be given a say in where working people's pensions are invested as some kind of shady political favor.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor's race May 10, 2019

Andy Beshear: No cuts to government pensions; find other revenue

Q: What sacrifices should public employees and taxpayers expect to make to fix the state retirement system?

A: Our educators, first responders, city, state and county employees already sacrifice so much. They work their whole lives to make Kentucky a better place to live. The last thing they should sacrifice is the pension they've earned. The best way to fix our state retirement system is to find new sources of revenue like closing tax loopholes for luxury items like private jets.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor's race May 10, 2019

Robert Goforth: Fulfill state pensions--they're inviolable contracts

Q: What sacrifices should public employees and taxpayers expect to make to fix the state retirement system?

A: Retired and current state employees should not have to make any "sacrifices" regarding legal as well as moral obligations that were made to them through inviolable contracts when it comes to their retirements. I do not believe that any "sacrifices" must be inordinately applied to Kentucky's taxpayers when it comes to raising taxes either. We can solve these problems without harming our retired and current state employees or asking more from the taxpayers of Kentucky.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor's race May 10, 2019

Rocky Adkins: No new burdens on people who've paid into pensions

Q: What sacrifices should public employees and taxpayers expect to make to fix the state retirement system?

A: Public employees and teachers should not be further burdened with fixing their promised pension; these employees have paid their share into the system. Teachers have already been contributing more each paycheck since 2010 because of reforms that the legislature passed to strengthen their retiree health insurance. We must keep the 2013 reforms in place and continue to fully fund the ARC. Teachers do not receive Social Security and they are especially dependent on their pensions. Removing them from a defined benefit plan would also make it tougher to lure the best and brightest to Kentucky classrooms. We need to also look at closing loopholes in our current tax code. Closing just 10% would generate $1.3 billion to shore up our pension system.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor's race May 10, 2019

Matt Bevin: 401(k)-style plan for state employee pensions struck down

The Kentucky Supreme Court's ruling against the controversial pension reform bill handed a decisive victory to state Attorney General Andy Beshear. That victory comes at the expense of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who pushed for the law.
  • The unanimous, 7-0, decision upholds a June ruling by Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd who struck down the law, known as Senate Bill 151.

    Andy Beshear took aim at Bevin: "This is a landmark win for our hardworking teachers, police officers, firefighters, EMS, social workers and all city, county and state employees," Beshear said. "Our government broke its promise and betrayed its people."

    Bevin's bill proposed a new 401(k)-style plan. While the Supreme Court ruling doesn't fix the state's huge pension debt, it does maintain the same plan educators expected.

    Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on Kentucky voting records: SB151 Dec 14, 2018

    Andy Beshear: State gaming will cover $43B unfunded state pension plan

    Attorney General Andy Beshear sent a letter to state lawmakers asking them to legalize casinos and sports betting as the way raise money to save Kentucky's ailing public pension system.

    Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has opposed legalizing casinos. Bevin called the proposal "a tired tenet" of the Democratic Party.

    Beshear's letter makes familiar arguments for expanding gambling--primarily that Kentuckians are already wagering big money at casinos in five neighboring states, including Indiana. It does not estimate how much money legal casinos would generate for Kentucky, but he wrote, "Commercial gaming in Indiana last year alone netted over $600 million in direct tax revenue." He said legalized sports betting could raise "an additional $30 million" in annual revenue.

    Kentucky's eight pension plans recently reported having $42.7 billion in unfunded liabilities, including both pension and health plans.

    Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor race Nov 26, 2018

    Matt Bevin: More state contribution to $43B unfunded state pension plan

    Kentucky's eight pension plans recently reported having $42.7 billion in unfunded liabilities, including both pension and health plans. That figure is a slight improvement over a year ago due largely to big increases during the Bevin administration in the state's contribution to the funds. But the financial condition of the main pension plan covering most state government workers got worse last year and now has only 12.9% of the funds it will need to pay future benefits.
    Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on 2019 Kentucky governor race Nov 26, 2018

    Matt Bevin: Increase taxes to fund Kentucky Retirement Systems

    Bevin also promised to cut the state's inventory and estate tax, but said he expects other taxes to increase in order to ensure the state can pay its growing pension obligations, which Bevin called a crisis. "That's not a pension system," Bevin said of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. "That's a checking account and it's about to go bankrupt."

    Bevin said lawmakers must examine every aspect of the tax code and that there will be "sacred cows" that are turned into hamburger.

    Source: 2017 Kentucky State of the State address Feb 8, 2017

    Jim Gray: Fight any measure to cut or privatize Social Security

    With too many Americans struggling to save for their retirement, we certainly shouldn't be cutting benefits to seniors who need and deserve Social Security. These are benefits hardworking Americans have earned by paying into the system their whole lives.

    Jim supports measures to ensure long-term stability, raising the revenue cap is one option. And Jim will fight any measure to cut or privatize Social Security. He believes in keeping our promises to our nation's seniors by paying what we owe and preserving these programs for our children and grandchildren.

    After a lifetime of hard work, our seniors deserve to know that Medicare will continue to guarantee their health coverage for life.

    Source: 2016 Kentucky Senate campaign website, GrayForKentucky.com Aug 8, 2016

    Matt Bevin: Replace public pension system with 401(k) for new employees

    It's time for a Governor who will deal with Kentucky's unfunded pension liabilities that are in excess of $20 billion and likely more than double that amount. Our plan will fix our public retirement system while ensuring that we meet the existing obligations we have made to retired state workers. This starts with instituting an immediate freeze on the expansion of participants in our current pension plans and implementing a 401(k) style defined contribution plan for new employees.
    Source: 2015 Kentucky Gubernatorial campaign website, MattBevin.com Aug 11, 2015

    Jack Conway: Sue banks to recover Great Recession public pension losses

    One of Kentucky's public pension systems lost $69 million because it unknowingly purchased risky mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the 2008 housing market crash. But now, the system got $23 million of those losses back in an unprecedented settlement with Bank of America and its related companies. Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway announced the settlement along with the federal Department of Justice and attorneys general from five other states. The $23 million settlement covers $21 million in losses the retirement system suffered specifically from securities purchased from Bank of America and its subsidiaries Countrywide and Merrill Lynch.
    Source: Associated Press on 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial race Aug 22, 2014

    Alison Grimes: Keep our promises to our nation's seniors

    I am running to protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security. I believe in keeping our promises to our nation's seniors while preserving these programs for our children and grandchildren. But rather than pushing for privatization, vouchers, or simply shifting costs to seniors, we should be looking for ways to spend smarter. We should focus on reducing waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare system, improve coordination of care between doctors, hospitals and patients, and allow Medicare to better negotiate prescription drug prices

    Instead of strengthening and preserving these critical programs, Mitch McConnell plans to end Medicare as we know it. Thousands of seniors would be forced back into the prescription drug "donut hole," costing them approximately $13,000 more by 2022 than under current law. I believe we've got to balance the budget, but we've got to do it the right way, and that means protecting the benefits and programs seniors have paid into over a lifetime of hard work.

    Source: Secretary of State campaign website, alisonforkentucky.com Dec 31, 2012

    Jack Conway: Pledges to not scale back program nor raise retirement age

    Conway is the public face of a new push led by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that is targeting GOP candidates who support privatizing or cutting Social Security. "Rand Paul, the Tea Party leader running against me for Senate in Kentucky, thinks Social Security is unconstitutional," Conway says in a letter to supporters of the progressive group. Joining Conway are some 200 other Democratic House and Senate candidates who have signed on to a pledge rejecting any effort to privatize or scal back Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age.

    In an interview with ABC News, Conway said that Social Security represented an "area of stark contrast in the race." During the course of the campaign, Paul has suggested raising the retirement age and Conway has alleged his opponent believes Social Security is unconstitutional.

    It's a claim that Paul denied as recently as Sunday night: "I've never challenged it and I do not challenge the constitutionality of it," Paul said at a debate.

    Source: ABC News coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

    Rand Paul: I've never challenged constitutionality of Social Security

    Conway is the public face of a new push led by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that is targeting GOP candidates who support privatizing or cutting Social Security. "Rand Paul, the Tea Party leader running against me for Senate in Kentucky, thinks Social Security is unconstitutional," Conway says in a letter to supporters of the progressive group. Joining Conway are some 200 other Democratic House and Senate candidates who have signed on to a pledge rejecting any effort to privatize or scale back Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age.

    In an interview with ABC News, Conway said that Social Security represented an "area of stark contrast in the race." During the course of the campaign, Paul has suggested raising the retirement age and Conway has alleged his opponent believes Social Security is unconstitutional.

    It's a claim that Paul denied as recently as Sunday night: "I've never challenged it and I do not challenge the constitutionality of it," Paul said at a debate.

    Source: ABC News coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

    Rand Paul: Raise the retirement age for people under age 55

    Q: If you want to get serious about the national debt, you have to do something about entitlements. Tell me of a single benefit you would reduce?

    PAUL: Well, you don't do anything to people who are currently receiving Medicare or Social Security. But we do have to admit that we have the baby boom generation getting ready to retire. There will have to be changes for the younger generation.

    Q: So you would raise the retirement age?

    PAUL: For younger people, yes.

    Q: So higher deductibles or higher premiums, for people 55 or younger?

    PAUL: Yes. You're going to have to have eligibility changes for the younger people. And I think all younger people, if they're honest and will admit to it and have an adult discussion and not demagogue the issue, will admit that younger people will have to have different rules.

    Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

    • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Kentucky Politicians: Archives.
    • Click here for definitions & background information on Social Security.
    • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
    2020 Presidential contenders on Social Security:
      Democrats running for President:
    Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
    V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
    Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
    Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
    Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
    Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
    Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
    CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

    2020 Third Party Candidates:
    Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
    CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Howard Schultz(I-WA)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
    Republicans running for President:
    Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
    Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
    V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
    Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
    Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
    Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
    Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

    2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
    Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
    Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
    Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
    Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
    Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
    Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
    Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
    Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
    Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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    Page last updated: Jan 28, 2021