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Here's what VP candidates said about Social Security

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The candidates for Vice President may not have spent as much time talking about Social Security as we would like, but the issue did come up for the first time in a fall debate forum Tuesday night.

AARP has been pressing daily through its Take A Stand  campaign for the candidates at the top of the ticket to elaborate on their positions concerning the future of Social Security. Visit: www.2016takeastand.org

It finally happened at Longwood University in Virginia Tuesday night when Moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS News asked VP hopefuls Tim Kaine and Mike Pence about the issue.

Here's what they said:

QUIJANO: Senator Kaine, on  the issue of Social Security, in 18 years, when the Social Security Trust Funds run out of money, you’ll be 76. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates your benefits could be cut by as much as $7,500 per year. What would your administration do to prevent this cut?

KAINE: First, we’re going to protect Social Security, which is one of the greatest programs that the American government has ever done. It happened at a time when you would work your whole life, your whole life, raising your kids, working, being a Little League coach or a Sunday school teacher, and then you would retire into poverty. And Social Security has enabled people to retire with dignity and overwhelmingly not be in poverty.

We have to keep it solvent. And we will keep it solvent. And we’ll look for strategies like adjusting the payroll tax cap upward in order to do that.

Here’s what Hillary and I will not do. And I want to make this very plain. We will never, ever engage in a risky scheme to privatize Social Security. Donald Trump wrote a book and he said Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and privatization would be good for all of us.

And when Congressman Pence was in Congress, he was the chief cheerleader for the privatization of Social Security. Even after President Bush stopped pushing for it, Congressman Pence kept pushing for it. We’re going to stand up against efforts to privatize Social Security. And we’ll look for ways to keep it solvent going forward, focusing primarily on the payroll tax cap.

QUIJANO: Governor Pence, I’ll give you an opportunity to respond.

PENCE: Well, thanks, Elaine. There they go again. OK...

KAINE: Go read — go read the book.

PENCE: All Donald Trump — all Donald Trump and I have said about Social Security is we’re going to meet our obligations to our seniors. That’s it.

KAINE: Go read the book.

PENCE: We’ve said we’re going to meet the obligations of Medicare. That’s what this campaign is really about, Senator. And I get, this is — this is the old scare tactic that they roll out...

KAINE: But — but you have a voting record, Governor.

PENCE: And I get all of that. I just, look...

KAINE: I...

PENCE: There’s a question that you asked a little bit earlier that I want to go back to.

KAINE: I can’t believe that you won’t defend your own voting record.

PENCE: I have to go back to.

QUIJANO: We...

PENCE: Well, look, I — you’re running with Hillary Clinton, who wants to raise taxes by $1 trillion, increase spending by $2 trillion, and you say you’re going to keep the promises of Social Security. Donald Trump and I are going to cut taxes. We’re going to — we’re going to — we’re going to...

KAINE: You’re not going to cut taxes. You’re going to raise taxes on the middle class.

PENCE: ... reform government programs so we can meet the obligations of Social Security and Medicare.

Transcript: New York Times

 

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