Hillary Differs From Obama On Social Security
by Jeff Dinelli
During a speech yesterday in Boston attended by thousands of senior citizens at an AARP forum, Sen. Clinton drew a contrast between herself and Sen. Obama in their respective approaches towards social security. Suprisingly for a group that turns out the vote like no other, and although every candidate from both parties was invited, only Clinton and Mike Huckabee showed up at the event. Huckabee spoke to a couple hundred people, while Clinton drew a couple thousand. Hillary looked back at her husband's presidency, saying, "Just seven years ago we had a balanced budget and a surplus and we had a plan to ensure Social Security's solvency until 2055." That situation, she said, was crushed by President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy and the invasion of Iraq. "You know, right now we've basically funded the two big priorities of the administration - tax cuts for the wealthiest and the Iraq war - from two sources," meaning the Social Security trust fund and borrowers like China. "I do not think that those are policies that will make America strong again, and I reject them," she said.
The difference between Hillary's and Obama's approaches was then breached. Obama has said he wants to raise the retirement age or payroll taxes to save social security, saying in May on ABC News "everything should be on the table." Hillary claims that if the economy itself improves, there would be no need for trust fund withdrawals. In a direct swipe at the Illinois Senator, she said, "Putting everything on the table is not the right answer, raising the retirement age is not an answer. Cutting benefits is not an answer. We need to get back to the fiscal responsibility that we had in the 1990s, when we weren't draining the Social Security fund any more."
Hillary also touched on fixing health care and ending what she calls the “war on science,” calling for more stem cell and biotech research. She blasted Bush for his Iraq (non) policy and said the country needs to “get away from no-bid contracts and cronyism. I want to rebuild our standing in the world."
On a lighter note, she also pleased the crowd by talking about her big upcoming birthday. “I turn 60 this year,” she said to loud applause. “Speaking for myself, I consider it the new 30.”