Kasich wants to implement a program of allowing individuals to have private accounts that would grow as the economy grows.
RUTH MASON: My name is Ruth Mason and I am very close to retirement age as if you couldn’t tell. And I would like to know what you’re going to do to ensure the stability of social security as well as to ensure it for future generations so that the very pretty twenty-two year olds over there will have something to look forward to when they get to my age.
JOHN KASICH: Yes. Well, we’re not putting you out to pasture by the way so I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about. But here’s the thing: In 1999 whatever I wrote a social security plan. It would have taken some of the five trillion dollar surplus and used it so that young people could get a couple percent of private accounts where as America’s economy grows they would grow like federal employees have, plus their social security. Baby boomers would start at a slightly lower level and our seniors and those close would be protected now. That was offered sixteen years ago and would have stabilized the system for about 100 years. Something like 50 to 100 years. But they never voted on it, didn’t care about it, or got afraid of it.
So these principals are still pretty much intact. But we don’t have the five trillion to pay for the private accounts; we have to work through all of this. But here’s what I will tell you. I’ve reformed a lot of entitlements in my life. We’ve taken Medicaid from 10 percent growth where the per capita growth keeps coming down and down and we’re managing the program. We’ve moved people into managed care, we’ve paid bills exactly and not rounding off, we let people stay in their homes if they want to be in their homes instead of a nursing home. All these things improve competition between people who deliver the services; all these things have come together to work. When we did the balanced budget we did some changes in Medicare, we made the wealthier pay for some of the premium for part B. But I don’t want to turn social security into a welfare program okay?
But the reason why this has all worked is because people saw the problem and we came together. And any social security plan, Medicare plan, we’re going to do in this country has to have some bipartisan support because if you don’t you get demagogue that doesn’t pass and you’re farther in the hold. The same is true on immigration. You’re not going to fix an immigration problem without having both parties agreeing to fix it. So those principles that I laid out for you would be what I would follow. But we have to make sure that we work some democrats in if I’m president so we can actually pass something that’s going to work.
21 August, 2015: Town Hall Meeting Salem, New Hampshire (26:57- 29:42)