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November 28, 2007 > Where the candidates stand on possible Social Security changes

Where the candidates stand on possible Social Security changes

By The Associated Press

DEMOCRATS:

_ Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Advocates a bipartisan commission to propose changes. Told an Iowa voter she would consider higher payroll taxes on higher wage-earners. ``I don't think I should be negotiating about what I would do as president. You know, I want to see what other people come to the table with.''

_ Sen. Barack Obama: Supports bipartisan commission. Says higher payroll taxes on upper wage-earners are probably the best option. Opposes benefit cuts or raising the retirement age. ``Everything should be on the table.''

_ Former Sen. John Edwards: Opposes changes in benefits or raising the retirement age. Supports higher payroll taxes on upper wage-earners. ``These millionaires on Wall Street ought to be paying their Social Security taxes.''

REPUBLICANS:

_ Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Supports private accounts. Opposes higher taxes. Favors bipartisan commission to propose changes. ``I would rule out a tax increase''

_ Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: Supports private accounts. Opposes higher taxes. Open to a reduction in promised benefits to future retirees at higher income levels. ``I'm prepared to be entirely bold, but I'm not prepared to cut benefits for low-income Americans.''

_ Sen. John McCain: Supports private accounts. Says obligations can be met without raising taxes. ``As president, I'll submit a plan to save Social Security, and I'll ask Congress to do the same.''

_ Former Sen. Fred Thompson: Supports reduction in promised benefits to future retirees. Supports voluntary private accounts, with the government matching funds contributed by individual. Opposes raising taxes. ``The status quo is not having a Social Security system as we know it.''

_ Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: Supports private accounts. Would allow retirees who don't need their benefits the option of a tax-free lump sum payment that goes at their death to children or grandchildren. Would allow higher benefits for seniors who delay retirement beyond 70. ``The president had the right idea, but he used the wrong word.''

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