POLITICS
01/16/2012 12:24 pm ET

Where The Republican Presidential Candidates Stand On Social Security

Social Security is a tricky issue in the GOP primary: It's a program of nearly unparalleled popularity, resonates with the seniors most likely to vote, but is also a pure example of government spending and redistribution of wealth, the types of things that have become anathema to a party increasingly tied to its most passionate and extreme wing. How does a Republican who wants to win both the primary and the general election thread the Social Security needle?

Most of the Republican candidates vying for the presidency have proposed at least partially privatizing Social Security. Others have taken their attack on the old-age and disability insurance program even further, calling it a Ponzi scheme and unconstitutional, though conceding that benefits should be made available for those currently approaching or at retirement age.

The group Strengthen Social Security, an advocate of the program, has a guide outlining the candidates' stances on Social Security, focusing on specific issues such as privatization, raising the retirement age, and raising the cap on payroll taxes which fund the program.

Social Security's actuaries say the program has sufficient funds to pay benefits at least until 2037, after which it could pay four-fifths of what it owes. Only the first $110,000 in income is taxed to pay for Social Security. The actuaries say that by lifting the cap entirely, the program would become fully funded for at least the next 75 years.

We've pulled together key points on where each of the GOP candidates come down on the issue of Social Security. Take a look below and vote on whether you agree or disagree:

PHOTO GALLERIES
gop candidates on social security

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