October 23rd, 2008
06:10 PM ET
10 years ago

Candidates ignoring coming Social Security crisis, critics say

Analysts say Sens. McCain and Obama have not spent enough time talking about Social Security.

Analysts say Sens. McCain and Obama have not spent enough time talking about Social Security.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Experts call it the "forgotten issue," or even the "ignored issue" - Social Security.

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have spent ample time addressing the budget crisis, but haven't zeroed in on the growing concerns over Social Security.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, says it's not an accident that McCain and Obama have skirted the issue.

Watch: Candidates talk Social Security

"I think both Obama and McCain ended up thinking talking about fixing [Social Security] was a political loser," MacGuineas said. "So they were just happy letting the issue disappear."

The Obama campaign disagrees with that assertion.

"We have talked about it quite extensively both at our events and in our paid media, as well as in terms of policy," Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan said.

"There is a real difference in the approach that Sen. Obama would take in ensuring the long-term health of Social Security. The primary difference being that Sen. Obama wouldn't risk Social Security savings to the whims of the stock market like John McCain would," said Sevugan.

The McCain campaign's Web site says the Arizona senator is committed to revamping the system:

"John McCain will fight to save the future of Social Security and believes that we may meet our obligations to the retirees of today and the future without raising taxes. John McCain will reach across the aisle, but if the Democrats do not act, he will. No problem is in more need of honesty than the looming financial challenges of entitlement programs."

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. connie

    Obama is a smart man. Social Security and Medicare will remain as they are now.

    McCain has his own plans for Social Security and Medicare...he will eliminate both.

    All available money will be for war.


    October 23, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Obama has already talked about people who make over 100,000 a year pay no SS tax on anything over that. Millionaires, billionaires, trillionaires only pay SS on first 100,000. Like MCain they will all cash their SS checks. By God, if I have to pay SS on every dime I make, so should they. If they did, the system wouldn't be in trouble. Not to mention how much the GOP stole out of the fund for their pet projects (like wars)

    October 23, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Thomas

    What else is new , wait and see!

    October 23, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. Louisiana man

    Somebody please answer me this? John McCain went to school for 22 years. including the Naval Academy, (Did not pay into Soc. Sec.). He was in the Navy for 22 years (Did not pay into Soc. Sec), He has been in Congress for 26 years (Did not pay into Soc. Sec.) That comes up to 70 years of his 72 years in which he did not pay into Soc. Sec. He worked in the private sector for a total of 2 years and had to pay (maybe) into Soc. Sec. How can anyone who paid into Social Security for a maximum of 8 quarters receive over $24,000 a years in benefits while I paid into Soc. Sec. for 40 years and receive one-half of that amount? Can anyone justify that? No wonder he doesn't want to talk about it!!!!!

    October 23, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. gregg

    an obamanation,,, get what you desire,,, and feel the wrath ,, after,,,

    October 23, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  6. Dawn

    Revamp what SS? Politicians has been trying to fix Social Security since the seventies... I remember them saying by the time we reach the age of 65 we will not have our benefits.
    My daughter is on SSI she has a permited Physical disability and she was told that she needed Medicare... to make a long story short she spent one year to get what type of medicare she was entitle too, for dental work and a doctor to take that... She was only 26 years old.

    Pennsylvania is going blue....
    I hope your Grandmother gets better...

    Go Obama/Biden08/12

    October 23, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. HouseDiva

    i have a feeling that all these republicans are jumping ship because some trials are going to start happening...war crimes...abuse of power....theft...greed...you name it

    remember remember the 5th of november.....

    the revolution has just begun

    October 23, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. gregg

    look at that smirk on his face,,,, thinks he owns the world,,, look at every pic here,, he has that same look,,, beware, of the wolf

    October 23, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. deb in az

    also i think they both forgot about securing the borders which comprises our security in this country

    October 23, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Jan in MI

    I am a 66 year old woman, getting my SS and I sure don't want John McCain in charge of Social Security.

    I voted already for Barack Obama and proud of it.

    October 23, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Republican for a better Country

    People, the polls CNN refers to are all either owned by CNN or one of their affiliates. Therefore they(CNN) controls what they want the American public to hear/see. If you want the real story and real polls then you must see Newsmax.com. Obama is sinking in the AP poll , the investor's dailypoll, etc. There is more to the story than what CNN reports.

    October 23, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  12. Republican for a better Country

    Obama's platform is more than what you are seeing on CNN. See Newsmax.com for more information. Obama is going to give 12 million illegals amnesty, they will be come citizens, receive Social Security Benefits, Driver's Licenses, etc. at our tax paying citizens.

    October 23, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. dizizi31

    Who needs SS when you can spread the wealth! Or am I dreaming again?

    October 23, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. Lyn

    I trust Obama to fix social security, McCain will do nothing to help the people who is struggling. "By the way why is McCain not wearing A Flag Pin," he criticized Obama for not wearing one, McCain you are a disgrace, you say one thing one day, and other the next day, we don't know where you are on any issue.

    October 23, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |

    Folks wake the heck up. If McCain would have had his way. Social Security would have been privatized prior to the Markets crashing. And guess what.....THERE GOES YOUR MONEY. DON'T ALLOW THE GOP TO PRIVATIZE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY. THEY CAN'T EVEN CORRECT THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS THAT WE ARE IN.

    October 23, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. Fabian

    You're right! I see McCain down by 1point in the other polls not related to CNN. My wife has been on me constantly telling me how biased CNN is.

    October 23, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. priscilla

    Protect Social Security

    Obama and Biden are committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. Obama and Biden will be honest with the American people about the long-term solvency of Social Security and the ways we can address the shortfall. Obama and Biden will protect Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries alike. And they do not believe it is necessary or fair to hardworking seniors to raise the retirement age. Obama and Biden are strongly opposed to privatizing Social Security. As part of a bipartisan plan that would be phased in over many years, they will ask those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security to keep it sound.

    Obama does not support uncapping the full payroll tax of 12.4 percent rate. Instead, he and Joe Biden are considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee).

    October 23, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. ml t

    I get it. Tax cuts to ordinary workers is socialism, tax cuts to the wealthy is capitalism. Can this be found on any published dictionaries?

    October 23, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |

    Actually not ignored... McCain will try to privitize and if you sink too bad... works for him.

    Obama has said that the cure is increasing the amounts of income subject to ss tax as well as ferriting out fraud and waste... that is a plan by a man that will have the capacity to think it thru and solve it...

    Yup its me, that old(69yrs)-retired-white guy from Ma. a former Republican


    October 23, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. KLEE

    Social Security needs to be addressed. I believe that Obama is the best choice to consider the path/paths that need to considered – (social security – a social program?) we need! OBAMA/BIDEN 2008 – common sense – common ground.

    October 23, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. S. Boatman

    Mccain Doesnt Like Social Security . . . But He Sure Likes Cashing His Social Security Check!

    October 23, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  22. Independent but Leaning

    Obama hates old people if they can't use the internet to contribute $$ on line. Obama will "redistribute" social security to fund abortions and provide welfare checks to drug dealers.

    October 23, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. Julian, UK

    The McCain/Palin team has to be kept well away from Washington, voters need a break from the past 8yrs of Bush and his unpopular policies. A new day has come.

    October 23, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. Independent but Leaning

    Wow is it going be funny on 11/4 when McCain accepts Obama's concession... well, actually, I'm sure Obama will file a few lawsuits first.

    October 23, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  25. Charlie in Maine

    McCain would not answer Wolf Blitzer's question about privitizing social security. A real Maverick would have been man enough to admit he was wrong.

    October 23, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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