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Where they stand on Social Security
We're asking Mike McGavick and Maria Cantwell to address a series of issues facing Congress. Their responses will appear occasionally in The Seattle Times. Some answers are edited for space.
Should the government reduce benefits for wealthier Americans to help cut costs?
Mike McGavick: To help increase the solvency of Social Security in the short term, McGavick supports a voluntary program that would give wealthier beneficiaries an annual option to contribute their benefits back into the Social Security trust fund.
Maria Cantwell: Cantwell opposes means testing to determine eligibility for benefits.
Should the Social Security retirement age be raised?
Mike McGavick: McGavick opposes raising the retirement age. People should have the ability to make their own retirement decisions. While many choose to work past 65, the government should not mandate this decision.
Maria Cantwell: Cantwell opposes raising the retirement age. Under current law, the "standard" retirement age is gradually going up to 67 years old.
Should workers be required to save a portion of their payroll contributions in individually owned retirement accounts?
Mike McGavick: McGavick says benefits must be guaranteed for current beneficiaries and those nearing retirement. He does not support privatization or a phasing-out of Social Security. But confidence in the system is broken. He would give younger workers the option of placing their benefits in voluntary personal accounts controlled by the federal government. This would help restore confidence in the system and ensure its solvency.
Maria Cantwell: Cantwell opposes privatizing Social Security. She supports encouraging people to supplement their savings on their own by investing in additional individual savings accounts. She believes it is too risky to require an individual's Social Security account to be in an unguaranteed private account managed by Wall Street.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company