James Oberstar on Social Security
Democrat/Farmer/Labor Representative (MN-8)
Voted NO on raising 401(k) limits & making pension plans more portable.
Comprehensive Retirement Security and Pension Reform Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would raise the amount individuals may contribute to traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts and to 401[k] plans and make pensions plans more portable
Reference: Bill sponsored by Portman, R-OH;
Bill HR 10
; vote number 2001-96
on May 2, 2001
Voted NO on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits.
Vote to pass a bill that would reduce the percentage of Social Security benefits that is taxable from 85 to 50 percent for single taxpayers with incomes over $25,000 and married couples with incomes over $32,000. The revenues that would be lost for the Medicare trust fund would be replaced by money from the general fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX;
Bill HR 4865
; vote number 2000-450
on Jul 27, 2000
Voted YES on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox.
Amending the Social Security Lockbox bill to require that any budget surplus cannot be spent until the solvency of Social Security and Medicare is guaranteed.
Reference: Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY;
Bill HR 1259
; vote number 1999-163
on May 26, 1999
Changing Social Security disproportionately affects women.
Oberstar co-sponsored changing Social Security disproportionately affect women
RESOLUTION: Recognizing the unique effects that proposals to reform Social Security may have on women.
Source: H.RES.128 01-H128 on May 1, 2001
- Whereas the Social Security benefit structure is of particular importance to low-earning wives and widows, with 63% of women beneficiaries aged 62 or older receiving wife's or widow's benefits;
- Whereas 3/4 of unmarried and widowed elderly women rely on Social Security for over half of their income;
- Whereas without Social Security benefits, the elderly poverty rate among women would have been 52.2% and among widows would have been 60.6%;
- Whereas women tend to live longer and tend to have lower lifetime earnings than men do;
- Whereas women spend an average of 11.5 years out of their careers to care for their families, and are more likely to work part-time than full-time; and
Whereas during these years in the workforce, women earn an average of 70 cents for every dollar men earn:
- Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives recognizes the unique obstacles that women face in ensuring retirement security and survivor and disability stability and the essential role that Social Security plays in guaranteeing inflation-protected financial stability for women throughout their entire old age, and it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the Congress and the President should take these factors into account when considering proposals to reform the Social Security system.
Reject proposals for private saving accounts.
Oberstar co-sponsored rejecting proposals for private saving accounts
To reject proposals to partially or completely substitute private saving accounts for the lifelong, guaranteed, inflation-protected insurance benefits provided through Social Security. The Congress finds the following:
- President Bush promised to partially privatize Social Security, and appointed a commission to develop a plan on his behalf.
- The commission developed three alternative plans that would partially privatize Social Security.
- The plans divert substantial monies from the Social Security Trust Funds to pay for the private accounts, which threatens benefits for current beneficiaries by significantly weakening the financial condition of the Trust Funds.
- The plans' cuts in disability and survivor benefits directly contradict the President's promise that disability and survivor benefits would be preserved under privatization.
- Furthermore, these reductions in guaranteed benefits apply to all workers,
regardless of whether they chose to have an individual account or not.
- Substituting private accounts for guaranteed Social Security benefits increases financial risk for retirees, disabled workers and their families.
- Moreover, other proposals to privatize Social Security, such as the 'Social Security Guarantee Plus' plan or the 'Social Security Ownership and Guarantee' plan, establish private accounts that directly or indirectly reduce Social Security benefits.
Source: H.R.4780 02-H4780 on May 21, 2002
- The Congress hereby commits to preserve the guaranteed, lifelong, inflation-protected benefits provided under the Social Security Act to retirees, disabled workers and their families, and the survivors of deceased workers; and
- Congress therefore rejects the President's plans to partially privatize Social Security, and other proposals to privatize Social Security by establishing private accounts that would undermine traditional Social Security benefits.
Rated 100% by the ARA, indicating a pro-senior voting record.
Oberstar scores 100% by the ARA on senior issues
The mission of the Alliance for Retired Americans is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens so that they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility to strive to create a society that incorporates these goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and their communities.
The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: ARA website 03n-ARA on Dec 31, 2003
No severe changes; no privatization.
Oberstar signed H.RES.1077
RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives against severe changes to Social Security.
Source: Resolution Against Severe Changes 10-HR1077 on Feb 5, 2010
- Whereas Social Security's essential protections for workers and their families cannot be matched by private savings, which are a complement to, but not a substitute for, Social Security's guaranteed benefits;
- Whereas, as one such protection, Social Security provides a guaranteed benefit that one can never outlive, and unlike private savings or investments, is not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market;
- Whereas, for 75 years, Social Security has never been a day late or a dollar short;
- Whereas the American people made clear in 2005 that they did not seek severe change in Social Security when they resoundingly rejected President Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security;
- Whereas the current minority party plan for Social Security is even more extreme than the plan they advanced in 2005:
- it cuts guaranteed retirement and survivor benefits
for all workers, whether or not they wish to have a private account;
- it diverts trillions from the Trust Fund into private accounts;
- it increases Federal borrowing by $4,100,000,000,000; and
- it subjects workers' basic retirement security to market volatility and the risk of losses; and
- Whereas privatizing Social Security means benefit cuts, diversion of Trust Fund resources, subjecting individuals to market risk and losses, and increasing Federal borrowing by trillions of dollars:
- Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Congress should stand with the American people to reject severe changes to Social Security, including any and all attempts to privatize Social Security, and instead should commit to work bipartisanly to make common-sense adjustments to Social Security to strengthen it for future generations while preserving its guarantees of secure income and family protection in the event of a worker's death, retirement, or severe disability.
Reject privatization; don't raise the retirement age.
Oberstar signed the Social Security Protectors Pledge
Some 200 Democratic House and Senate candidates have signed on to a pledge rejecting any effort to privatize or scale back Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee sponsored this pledge among Congressional candidates.
Source: PCCC Survey 10-PCCC on Aug 11, 2010
Page last updated: Mar 09, 2011