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)

    Hmm. . . .

    Personally, I am a little disgruntled when I see a well-abled, older person who is capable of working, collecting social security. Because we now live longer, the retirement age ought to be increased to 70-I'm just saying. . .

    October 23, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. J.C.

    The rich think that they won't need social security, and the social security tax cap is currently taxed up to $102,000 per year. Warren Buffett is taxed the same amount for social security as anybody that makes $102,000 a year. Who will take care of social security for us if you aren't rich? Can they? We have to either grow resources or cut benefits or do both. If we don't revamp our education, there won't be any new money. We may have to cut benefits. Any candidate won't like to tell any senior voter what's on their mind about social security.

    October 23, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  3. David

    Obama talked about it quite a bit during the Primary. There are a lot of topics that the candidates don't talk about during the campaign. What, for instance, is McCain going to do about the depletion of our ocean fisheries?

    October 23, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  4. This one is for That One

    Not to worry ......Obama will take care of this....like all the other messes he is going to inherit from the GOP. Have faith...he is an intelligent man with a America's best interest at heart.

    October 23, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. Franky

    I just wanna say real quick very good point...very good point.

    Later guys gotta go now!!

    October 23, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Voter

    My generation is screwed... and NONE of our parents care =(

    October 23, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  7. Ronald

    I remember Senator Obama addressing the issue on the presidential debates, and even thought he didn't say much, he made pretty clear some of his beliefs and what he thinks needs to be changed or better say regulated in a way, working families can get a decent healthcare that won't lay off sick people, and I ran the numbers, and it works (very hard to do, but can work).

    on the other hand McCain didn't say anything that made any sense and anyone with a calculator can see that nothing of what he promises to do will fix a single thing of our failing (yet necessary) healthcare.

    So in my Eyes, Obama lacks detail, but McCain just FAILS.

    October 23, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. Ons

    McCain does not get it the, the when CEO’s write checks and spend money like crazy main street bails them out, the 700 billion will come from main street so while McCain is practicing socialism for the rich, Obama is busy fighting for people going through foreclosure, people working double shifts to bail out wall street, people who lost their insurance policies, Obama understands what’s it’s like to be raised by single mother who worked hard to make both ends meet, what it’s like to wrestle insurance companies with preexisting conditions, he understands what kind of conversations goes in the kitchen table. Look Sarah palin charges the Alaska state for her kids to travel even to uninvited functions and you talk a bout earmarks please, When I look at the two McCain and Sarah I see abuse of power and deregulation that will take us back to Keating 5 where retirees lost money and wants to do same thing with social security.
    So I love my 16 months Son and don’t want him to pay for all this failed policies I will go Obama and Joe

    October 23, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  9. mitch

    i trust obama turn the economy around quicker than any republicans that got us into this mess.

    October 23, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Audacity

    In McCains own words concerning Social Security "It's absolutely despicable..." Right, like I'm going to trust this guy on the matter. Nov 4th can't come any sooner so I can say goodbye to this guy. I hope he won't complain though if I still advocate his Social Security when he returns to the nursing home.

    October 23, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. aware

    I am very concerned about a possible Obama presidency! 😦

    Obama would lead us into a global depression that would top anything we have ever experienced!

    A part of me would like to see him win just to get rid of him and the democrats for a long, long time! But, the cost would be horrific!

    I am a former democrat and Hillary supporter who voted for McCain/Palin 08! they are America's only hope in this election! 🙂

    October 23, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. aware

    Obama-nation=abomination and a global depression worse than anything we have ever experienced 😦

    October 23, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  13. Ridgeway

    Hmmm...win or lose if it goes either way for Hussein my social security will start with a gun. Rhodesian farmers learned the hard way.

    October 23, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    McCain still collects his "socialist" government security checks as he has for the past eight years!!

    October 23, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  15. hometowndemocrat

    Steve.....so you're the guy that appriciates Bush....I figured there had to be at least one person (other than the oil companies). Oh, one more thing.....you're dumb as a post!

    October 23, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. conny

    If McSame/Pafalin had his/their way, in six months half on America will be living in pup tents and paying rents


    October 23, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Arizona Demo

    People, the question is about their position on Social Security. McCain wants to privitize social security and let some of the funds be invested in the stock market???????How is the stock market working for you now???

    October 23, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. lyn

    As if Mc(7 houses)Cain cares about social security!

    October 23, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  19. Bill Charlotte,NC

    No, John's not annoying it.... he wants to put it in Wall Street! Have you not been listening?

    October 23, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. Hilary B

    Well, privatization is definitely NOT the answer. That's a start.

    October 23, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |

    True as Can Be

    Three stock market crashes under Bush and Gore's Outcry to Protect Social Security goes un heard-
    the Republicans deregulate Wall Street, destroy IRA's and no SS in the future

    Who going to bail us out
    not the GOP they think we are Socialist Commies

    October 23, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  22. John

    Social Security is not an issue that the President alone has much say about, but if the President will be able to do something about it, she/he will need to be a person of integrity that can lead with authentic credibility. Obama lacks the integrity to even run his web site in a way that prevents donor fraud. You can go online and donate with a credit/debit card and use any name you want. You cannot do that on McCain's or Hillary's site. At least they know what is expected of the nation's no. cop. McCain-Palin have proven they are qualified while Biden correctly warns us that Obama will be tested since he has proven he is weak by his demand that we cut and run in Iraq. Looks like he made the wrong call again now that the surge has worked. Who's idea was that? McCain was right again.

    October 23, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. NC Mom

    Being close to retirement and seeing my small safety cushion that I've been saving for 45 years vanishing this is an important issue to me. I only trust Obama on this one...McCain's plans are not the way to go to protect us.

    October 23, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  24. Charles

    Treat social security as the tax. Remove the cap, then we will be fine. Let's face it – it is not secured and not funded. And govenrment has already spent it. Of course, Social Security is a idea from socialism. But so many generations have enbraced it, let's fix it.

    October 23, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  25. Willy Brown

    Obama is a SOCIALIST. McCain will fix it and keep the bed wetting liberals Pelosi & Reid at Bay.

    October 23, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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