EAST GRAND FORKS (AP) -- Tempers got hot Friday as Republican Sen. Rod Grams and his DFL opponent, Mark Dayton, went back and forth over the future of Social Security in a KCNN Radio debate.
For almost a half-hour, Grams and Dayton traded economic projections and personal barbs over the issue. Grams supports partial privatization of the government-run retirement system while Dayton wants to keep it largely the same.
"Mark Dayton is not going to rely on Social Security for his retirement," Grams said. "And for these young people out here, he's telling them to be satisfied with ... an average Social Security check of $845 a month."
Dayton replied, "I'm not running for this office for my own personal gain. I'm not running to try to restrict young people's retirement income. I'm not running to do anything other than what I think is in the best interest of the people of Minnesota and the people of America."
Grams accused Dayton of trying to restrict earnings of those in a system he does not have a vested interest in. Grams said Dayton did not pay into the system last year because he had no earned income, a charge Dayton did not address directly when given a chance to respond.
A Dayton spokeswoman could not confirm or deny Grams' statement without checking with Dayton first.
Grams wants to permit people to direct up to 80 percent of their payroll taxes for Social Security into private accounts, including the stock market. Dayton considers the plan risky.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.