Governor Romney believes that Social Security must be reformed in order to remain fiscally solvent for the long-term. He advocates a progressive price indexing tied to a lower inflation growth model, as well as reducing benefits for top bracket earners.
“Now, my own view is, that we have to make it very, very clear that Social Security is a responsibility of the federal government, not the state governments, that we're going to have one plan, and we're going to make sure that it's fiscally sound and stable.September 22, 2011: Fox News-Google GOP Presidential debate, Orlando Convention Center
And I'm absolutely committed to keeping Social Security working. I put in my book that I wrote a couple of years ago a plan for how we can do that and to make sure Social Security stable not just for the next 25 years, but for the next 75.”
Gerald Seib: Governor Romney, in the book you wrote just before this campaign began, you said you were surprised that the press in the last campaign didn’t press for more specifics on how to fix Social Security and Medicare, so let’s fix that tonight. Let me ask you specifically: Would you reduce the cost of these programs by raising the retirement age for Social Security, by raising the eligibility age for Medicare, or by reducing benefits for seniors with higher incomes?January 16, 2012: Fox News/ Wall Street Journal Debate in South Carolina
Mitt Romney: Let me lay it out. First of all, for the people who are already retired or 55 years of age and older, nothing changes. It’s very important, because I know the Democrats are going to be showing videos of, you know, old people being thrown off cliffs and so forth. But don’t forget… don’t forget who it was that cut Medicare by $500 billion, and that was President Obama to pay for Obamacare. So let’s not forget that.
What, what I would do with Social Security is that I would lower, if you will, the 2.0, the version for the next generations coming up, I’d lower the rate of inflation growth in the benefits received by higher-income recipients and keep the rate as it is now pretty high for lower income recipients. And I’d also add a year or two to the retirement age under Social Security. That balances Social Security.
…. I, I know it’s popular here to say, oh we could just, we can do this and it’s not going to cost anything. But look, it’s going to get tough to get our federal spending from the current 25 percent of the GDP down to 20, down to 18 percent, which has been our history. We’ve got a huge number of obligations in this country and cutting back is going to have to happen. I know something about balancing budgets.
In the private sector, you don’t have a choice. You balance your budget, or you go out of business. And we, we simply can’t say we’re going to go out and borrow more money to let people set up new accounts that take money away from Social Security and Medicare today. Therefore, we should allow people to have a voluntary account, a voluntary savings program, tax free. That’s why I’ve said anybody middle income should be able to save their money tax free. No tax on interest, dividends or capital gains.
That will get American’s saving and accomplishes your objective, Mr. Speaker, without threatening the future of America’s vitality by virtue of fiscal insanity.
President Obama has had three years in office, during which time he has attacked every serious proposal to preserve and strengthen America’s entitlement programs. Mitt Romney has laid out the approach he would take to modernizing America’s entitlement programs, guaranteeing their continued vitality for future generations. Mitt’s proposals will not raise taxes and will not affect today’s seniors or those nearing retirement. He proposes that Social Security should be adjusted in a couple of commonsense ways that will put it on the path of solvency and ensure that it is preserved for future generations.Mittromney.com, Social Security
• First, for future generations of seniors, Mitt believes that the retirement age should be slowly increased to account for increases in longevity.
• Second, for future generations of seniors, Mitt believes that benefits should continue to grow but that the growth rate should be lower for those with higher incomes.
With just those two simple steps, and no change in benefits for those at or near retirement, America can guarantee the preservation of the Social Security system for the foreseeable future.
The Republican nominee must be someone who is committed to saving Social Security. Mitt will ensure that America honors all of its commitments to today’s seniors and strengthens the program so that it is financially secure for future generations.