Social Security: What Dems Won’t Be Doing If They Are in Control…..

By September 21, 2006General

We get lots of press calls these days about what the Dems will do if they gain control of one or both houses of Congress. We’ve got all sorts of opinions on the topic but the one thing we can tell you they won’t do is work on Social Security reform.

Here’s a press release from the esteemed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) — with whom many Dems are disappointed and might well be replaced — and Finance Committee Chair-in waiting Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT). It calls on the President to not raise the issue of personal accounts after the election. They use the derisive (and poll-tested) term, “privatization,” but heck, even the WaPo said that personal accounts don’t equal privatization. (Click here for some good info on the issue.)

This is an issue that has been demagogued for years. AARP and the left have scared old people to death over this issue. The irony is that AARP opposed the President’s plan for personal accounts when all of their current members would be held harmless. And, how could groups like the AFL-CIO oppose the plan, when it’s one way to help people out of poverty? Poor people would (for the first time) have an account they can pass on to heirs. Some folks just love to perpetuate dependence, helps on election day. We find it cynical and, well, disgusting.

So let Harry Reid lay down the marker on personal accounts. In taking this position, he shows that he has little faith in the individual. In government he trusts. We’d just ask him (or a representative) to click on the “Comment” tag below and let us know what his plan is to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security. The longer we wait, the worse it’s gonna be.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • marian bauman says:

    Tim, please. Of course, personal retirement accounts are privatization of social security, Please don’t play with words. The American people know that this idea will only enrich Wall Street and big business. For shame.

  • Jeff says:

    Thanks for keeping this issue alive. It is a simple mathematical and economic reality that Social Security is on a financially unsustainable path and is in need of reform. Even the most skilled politician cannot avoid this reality forever.

    Time magazine ran a piece recently on Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is in line to become Speaker of the House if the Democrats win back the House in November. In this piece, it discussed how her Social Security strategy was to simply attack the President, without ever putting out a Democratic plan to deal with the program’s insolvency. When a lone Democratic Congressman from Florida decided it was time to put out a Democratic plan, and acknowledge that a failure to reform the system implied large tax increases on workers, Rep. Pelosi worked overtime to distance her party from it. Unfortunately, denial is not a solution.

  • Jim says:

    Maybe we should call the Democrats’ tactics “pre-emptive demagoguery”. Seems they believe that if they scare enough people the issue will just go away. This is amazingly irresponsible and it completely ignores the looming crisis the Social Security system faces.

  • Tim Penny says:

    I appreciate your commentary on Social Security and the way it is once agin being politicized for campaign purposes. In a related veiwn, it is worth noting a new study by scholars at Temple University and the University of British Columbia which discloses something American voters have long suspected: Members of Congress often mislead. While stopping short of calling legislators liars, these scholars – after analyzing the veracity of claims made in numerous legislative debates – discovered that congresspeople tell the truth only about one-quarter of the time. Most of the time ? in order to advocate, defend or explain their position on an issue – lawmakers rely on half-truths or deliberate exaggerations. The researchers found the content of merely 25 percent of the debates studied to be largely substantiated by the facts.

    No wonder it is so hard to get anything accomplished in Washington!! Each side seems content to invent its own version of the truth. Under those circumstances, it is easy to understand why politicians seldom find any common ground.

    Misleading statements have clearly been on display on the issue of Social Security reform. In fairness, both Republicans and Democrats have told some whoppers. But in recent weeks, Democrats turned up the volume. At carefully orchestrated Capitol Hill events, Democratic Party leaders loudly proclaim their opposition to the attempt by President Bush to ?privatize? Social Security. This assertion by Democrats is NOT a half-truth. It is NOT a deliberate exaggeration. It is an outright lie!!!!!

    The President has never proposed ?privatization? of Social Security. And, there is no objective evidence that he has ever done so. Even the otherwise reliably liberal and Democratic?leaning editorial page of the Washington Post commented recently that: ?The Social Security reform that President Bush pushed last year involved personal retirement accounts. But it did not involve ?privatization.??

    Democrats may oppose personal accounts as part of a comprehensive plan to fix Social Security. If so, they should honestly say so and then offer a better alternative (if they have one). But they should not be allowed to simply lie about the President?s plan ? while offering absolutely no plan of their own.

    It is long past time for some truth-telling on Social Security.

  • Heidi says:

    Some Democrats are willing to sacrifice the futures of our grandchildren for their own political gain. It?s time to put politics aside and work toward a bipartisan solution to secure Social Security. Thanks Harry

  • shyamaa creaven says:

    THANK YOU for your comment on Social Security in this year’s campaign. IT makes me sick to see it demogogued again, when it is so important. We all know that wasting another year not dealing with it isn’t smart, and will place a bigger and bigger burden on our kids. It seems that all they think about is the next election, NOT the next generation.