Comparing Party Platforms

A close examination of each Party’s most recent Platform (2016) reveals its core beliefs and could provide a powerful indication of how that Party’s nominee will vote.

For your convenience, we have broken the lengthy party platforms into digestible portions based on topic and placed them side-by-side for comparison.

Retirement

Democratic Party Platform

The Democratic Platform has an overarching category addressing retirement: Raise Incomes and Restore Economic Security for the Middle Class (p. 3-6).
RAISE INCOMES AND RESTORE ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS (p. 3)
Democrats believe we must break down all the barriers holding Americans back and restore the basic bargain that built America’s mighty middle class: If you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead and stay ahead. The system is not working when we have a rigged economy in which ordinary Americans work longer hours for lower wages, while most new income and wealth goes to the top one percent. Republican governors, legislatures, and their corporate allies have launched attack after attack on workers’ fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively. Too many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and hallmarks of a middle class life—owning a home, having access to affordable and quality childcare, retiring with dignity—feel out of reach. It is no wonder so many Americans feel like the deck is stacked against them. The Democratic Party believes that supporting workers through higher wages, workplace protections, policies to balance work and family, and other investments will help rebuild the middle class for the 21st century.
Protecting and Expanding Social Security (p. 5)
Democrats are proud to be the party that created Social Security. . . Social Security is more than just a retirement program. It also provides important life insurance to young survivors of deceased workers and provides disability insurance protection. We will fight every effort to cut, privatize, or weaken Social Security, including attempts to raise the retirement age, diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments, or reducing earned benefits. Democrats will expand Social Security so that every American can retire with dignity and respect, including women who are widowed or took time out of the workforce to care for their children, aging parents, or ailing family members. The Democratic Party recognizes that the way Social Security cost-of- living adjustments are calculated may not always reflect the spending patterns of seniors. . . We are committed to exploring alternatives that could better and more equitably serve seniors.
We will make sure Social Security’s guaranteed benefits continue for generations to come by asking those at the top to pay more. . . also committed to providing all necessary financial support for the Social Security Administration so that it can provide timely benefits and high-quality service. . .

This section was shortened from 271 to 194 words. For full text, see page 5 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.

Ensuring a Secure and Dignified Retirement (p. 6)
Democrats believe it should be easier for Americans to save for retirement and prepare for unforeseen risks and expenses. We will defend the right of workers to collect their defined benefit pensions and make sure workers get priority and protection when pension plans are in distress. Democrats will also fight to enact legislation to make sure that the earned pension benefits of Americans will not be cut, and will pay for it by closing tax loopholes that benefit millionaires and billionaires. We will fight against any attempt by Republicans in Congress or on Wall Street to roll back the Conflict of Interest Rule, which requires that retirement advisors put the best interests of their clients above their own financial gain.

Seniors should not have to choose between putting food on the table, keeping a roof over their heads, or buying the medication that they need to stay healthy. We strongly support the Older Americans Act, which funds critical programs to help seniors remain independent in their own homes and communities. We are also committed to fighting the immense problem of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Republican Party Platform

The Republican Platform has an overarching category addressing retirement: Government Reform (p. 23-30)
Saving Social Security (p. 24)
We reject the old maxim that Social Security is the “Third Rail” of American politics, deadly for anyone who would change it. The Democratic Party still treats it that way, even though everyone knows that its current course will lead to a financial and social disaster. Younger Americans have lost all faith in the program and expect little return for what they are paying into it. As the party of America’s future, we accept the responsibility to preserve and modernize a system of retirement security forged in an old industrial era beyond the memory of most Americans. Current retirees and those close to retirement can be assured of their benefits. Of the many reforms being proposed, all options should be considered to preserve Social Security. As Republicans, we oppose tax increases and believe in the power of markets to create wealth and to help secure the future of our Social Security system. Saving Social Security is more than a challenge. It is our moral obligation to those who trusted in the government’s word.
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