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Issue Position: Social Security

Issue Position

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Congressman Bob Filner has been at the forefront of the fight to preserve Social Security and Medicare for our nation's seniors.

Congressman Filner is vehemently opposed to the privatization of Social Security. Social Security requires continual evaluation because of the number of baby boomers who will retire shortly and because of longer lifespans, but it is not in crisis. In fact, the Republican tax policies will cost more than twice as much over the next 75 years as the long-term deficit in Social Security.

If we did nothing about Social Security--and nobody is suggesting that--but even if we did nothing, the system would pay full benefits through the year 2041. Bob is working to craft a solution that will extend benefits after 2041 without reducing them significantly and without increasing payroll taxes.

In contrast, privatization--taking a portion of the Social Security payroll tax to allow individuals to invest in private accounts--would cost approximately $2 trillion. Privatization has high administrative costs and would be at the mercy of the stock market's ups and downs. It would decrease benefits for disabled beneficiaries, widows, and women. Privatization is being pushed by Wall Street firms that, according to the June 12, 2001 Wall Street Journal, are raising millions to lobby for the privatization of Social Security. We cannot gamble our retirement in the stock market!

Bob also believes that the Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund should be used only to pay for Social Security and Medicare benefits. Because the President's tax cut uses up virtually the entire non-Medicare, non-Social Security surplus, we are dipping into the Trust Funds to finance the Iraq war and other spending needs.

Another issue of concern to seniors is the Notch Baby issue. Rule changes in 1977 meant that many people born in the 5-15 year period after 1916 received lower benefits than those of retirees born before or after them. Bob has signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 368 to correct this inequity. Changes would include a lump-sum payment of $5,000 or a higher monthly payment.

Bob's bills providing social security and tax assistance for seniors:

* H.R. 2127 would increase the capital gains tax exemption on the sale of a home for citizens who are 50 or older. This bill would provide a one-time increase to $500,000 for a single person and $1 million for a couple in the amount they can exclude from the sale of their principal residence if they are 50 years of age or older. Passing this bill would give many seniors the additional money they need for nursing home care, medical costs, and other retirement expenses.


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