Texas Democrats believe we must keep the promise of Social Security strong and certain for those who have worked and contributed to the system most of their lives. Social Security should continue to be the foundation of income security for working Americans. We believe all Americans should have access to the Social Security system, including public employees. Private savings accounts and other pension programs should be additions to the guaranteed Social Security benefit, not a substitute for any portion of it.
We oppose privatization of the Social Security program and consider the use of taxpayer dollars as capital to invest in the stock market as a threat to the income security of working Americans. Texas Democrats believe privatization of social security is fiscally irresponsible. We oppose Republican federal budget plans to spend down and undermine the Social Security Trust Fund, including proposals to carve out private savings accounts, which would drain trillions of dollars from the Social Security system.
Millions of workers have invested in public or private pensions to secure their retirement income. Texas Democrats support measures to provide strong and effective legal protections to secure the investments of workers in public or private pensions to honor the principle that a lifetime of honest work should be rewarded with adequate retirement income.We believe:
- a participant in a pension or retirement program should have legal protection for the full amount to which they are entitled if such accounts or corporate pensions lose their funding or are dismantled due to financial improprieties, insolvency or reorganization;
- companies filing for bankruptcy or encountering legal problems should have funds automatically frozen or set aside to fund the pension plan in place;
- time limits must be in place to allow the expedient transfer of pensioners’ funds to a new account or directly to the pensioner within the confines of IRS tax regulations;
- measures should be taken to improve corporate governance to enhance confidence of all stakeholders in the private enterprise system; and
- the state should act to ensure the solvency of the Teacher retirement System.