FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Contact: Linda Benesch, [email protected]

Tonight, Mike Pence Lied to the American People About his Social Security Record

(Washington, DC) — The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, founding co-director of Social Security Works, in response to the Social Security exchange in tonight’s debate:

“Voters cannot be informed if candidates refuse to tell the truth. It is fine to repudiate past positions, but not to deny them. Both Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence have clear records in support of privatizing Social Security – in fact, Pence criticized George W. Bush’s failed privatization plan for not going far enough! But rather than being honest with the American people, Mike Pence sought to mislead them tonight. He did that because poll after poll shows that the American people support expanding, not cutting, Social Security. In one recent survey, 68% of voters, including 53% of Republicans, opposed Social Security privatization.

Senator Tim Kaine clearly understands the importance of Social Security and spoke of requiring those at the top to contribute more. I hope that in Sunday’s debate, Hillary Clinton will build on Kaine’s answer by informing the American people that the Democratic Party supports expanding, not cutting, Social Security, while the Republican Party stands for cutting and privatizing Social Security.

I was disappointed that tonight’s moderator did not fact check Pence’s lie, as well as with the framing of the initial question. Fearmongering about Social Security “running out of money” is inaccurate and alarmist. Social Security has a modest shortfall nearly two decades from now. If we require the wealthiest Americans, like Donald Trump, to pay their fair share into Social Security, we can easily afford to close that shortfall and expand benefits.

Instead of asking about a non-existent Social Security crisis, the moderators of the next debate should ask how the candidates would expand Social Security to address our retirement income crisis.”

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Social Security Works staffs the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, which is comprised of more than 350 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, veterans’, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.