Mel Martinez on Social Security

Republican Jr Senator (FL); previously Secretary of H.U.D.

Social Security is a sacred promise but plan future solvency

Q: Do you favor the privatization of Social Security?

CASTOR: I’m all for people investing for their retirement, but the proposal to take money out of the Social Security system and put it into the stock market would endanger Social Security because investment choices would be severely limited by the federal government. Switching to a privatized system would cost money we simply do not have, given the deficit run up over the past four years. I am adamantly against spending Social Security money on other items. I oppose privatizing Social Security, raising the retirement age or cutting benefits.

MARTINEZ: Social Security is a solemn promise that must be kept and I urge Congress to preserve that sacred trust. We must not change the rules for middl -aged workers and seniors. Social Security must improve service with new business processes and use technology to become more efficient. We must work together to develop a system that will be solvent in the future. Finally, I do not support raising taxe

Source: Florida Senate Debate, Q&A by Associated Press Oct 24, 2004

Allow people to invest in a private account

I have a young son-in-law and daughter, they’re just starting their working lives, they’re in their late 20s. Why would they not have an opportunity to invest in a private account that would permit them an opportunity to also receive a larger return than the 2 percent Social Security provides?
Source: Florida Senate Debate, on News4Jax.com Oct 19, 2004

Support Social Security privatization

Martinez will: seek new ways to protect Social Security and Medicare and stop fraud that costs the programs millions each year; work to modernize Medicare and Social Security, so that it efficiently serves the next generation; and support allowing young people new to or entering the workforce to invest a portion of their money in private accounts that will yield higher dividends.
Source: Campaign website, MelforSenate.org, “On The Issues” Jul 2, 2004

Voted YES on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security.

Voting YES would:
  1. require that the Federal Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund be used only to finance retirement income of future beneficiaries;
  2. ensure that there is no change to benefits for individuals born before January 1, 1951
  3. provide participants with the benefits of savings and investment while permitting the pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits; and
  4. ensure that the funds made available to finance such legislation do not exceed the amounts estimated to be actuarially available.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Perhaps the worst example of wasteful spending is when we take the taxes people pay for Social Security and, instead of saving them, we spend them on other things. Even worse than spending Social Security on other things is we do not count it as debt when we talk about the deficit every year. So using the Social Security money is actually a way to hide even more wasteful spending without counting it as debt. This Amendment would change that.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

This amendment has a fatal flaw. It leaves the door open for private Social Security accounts by providing participants with the option of "pre-funding of at least some portion of future benefits."

Make no mistake about it, this is a stalking-horse for Social Security. It looks good on the surface, but this is an amendment to privatize Social Security.
Reference: Bill S.Amdt.489 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-089 on Mar 22, 2007

Other candidates on Social Security: Mel Martinez on other issues:
FL Gubernatorial:
Charlie Crist
FL Senatorial:
Bill Nelson
George LeMieux

Newly elected in 2008 & seated in 2009:
AK:Begich (D)
CO:Udall (D)
ID:Risch (R)
MN:Franken (D)
NC:Hagan (D)
NE:Johanns (R)
NH:Shaheen (D)
NM:Udall (D)
OR:Merkley (D)
VA:Warner (D)

Newly appointed in 2009;
special election in 2010:

DE:Kaufman (D)
CO:Bennet (D)
IL:Burris (D)
NY:Gillibrand (D)

Announced retirement as of 2010:
DE:Kaufman (D)
FL:Martinez (R)
KS:Brownback (R)
MO:Bond (R)
OH:Voinovich (R)

Up for 6-year term in 2010:
(13 Democrats; 15 Republicans)
AK:Murkowski (R)
AL:Shelby (R)
AR:Lincoln (D)
AZ:McCain (R)
CA:Boxer (D)
CT:Dodd (D)
GA:Isakson (R)
HI:Inouye (D)
IA:Grassley (R)
ID:Crapo (R)
IN:Bayh (D)
KY:Bunning (R)
LA:Vitter (R)
MD:Mikulski (D)
NC:Burr (R)
ND:Dorgan (D)
NH:Gregg (R)
NV:Reid (D)
NY:Schumer (D)
OK:Coburn (R)
OR:Wyden (D)
PA:Specter (R)
SC:DeMint (R)
SD:Thune (R)
UT:Bennett (R)
VT:Leahy (D)
WA:Murray (D)
WI:Feingold (D)
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Page last updated: Nov 22, 2009