Democrats Pound Republicans Over Their Push to Privatize and Cut Social Security

more from Sarah Jones
Monday, October, 27th, 2014, 11:34 am


The piper must be paid. The Tea Party extremism of the modern day Republican Party is being used against them in the final push toward the midterm elections this November 4th, with Democrats pounding Republicans over their efforts to privatize and cut Social Security and Medicare.

In Kentucky, the Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) campaign hit Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his efforts to privatize Social Security in a press release that reads in part:


Usually it takes a secret recording of Mitch McConnell hanging out with his millionaire and billionaire backers to hear him tell the truth. But in a rare moment of candor before the Louisville Rotary Club late last week, McConnell proudly boasted about how hard he worked to privatize Social Security in 2005.

After the electoral drubbing Republicans took for pushing Social Security privatization and theprecarious state of his reeling campaign, it’s hardly surprising that Mitch McConnell refused to elaborate or answer any further questions about Social Security privatization from reporters after the event. As reported by WLEX-18 News:

“McConnell was also asked if he would push for the privatization of Social Security accounts if he became Majority Leader. McConnell said he wasn’t going to say what his agenda would be.”

But in addition to his recent bragging, Mitch McConnell’s record shows he would clearly be an advocate for Social Security privatization if he became Majority Leader in 2015. In fact, Social Security has been a recurring element of McConnell’s 30-year record of failure in Washington. Back in the 1990’s, McConnell cast crucial votes in favor of early privatization schemes, and while campaigning for privatization in 2005, called the idea an “extraordinarily good investment” and the “way we can strengthen and save Social Security.”

Two Democratic ads that came out Monday morning pummel the Republican for their stance on Social Security and Medicare:

In Iowa, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hit Joni Ernst for her “extreme plan to privatize Social Security” and contrasted it with Bruce Braley’s commitment to protecting Social Security. All they had to do was use her own words,  ”Yes, I have talked about privatizing Social Security.”

Watch “Privatize” here:

AUDIO:   They talk about relying on Social Security. And Joni Ernst talks about privatizing it.

ERNST: “Yes.  I have talked about privatizing Social Security.”

TEXT:  Joni Ernst

“Yes.  I have talked about privatizing Social Security.”

SOURCE: Des Moines Seniors Roundtable, 9/3/14

AUDIO:  Joni Ernst is so extreme – she’d risk seniors’ retirement on the stock market, ending the guaranteed minimum benefit.

TEXT:  Joni Ernst

Too Extreme

Joni Ernst Risking Seniors’ Retirement On The Stock Market

Ending The Guaranteed Minimum Benefit.

AUDIO: Joni Ernst is so extreme – she’d risk seniors’ retirement on the stock market, ending the guaranteed minimum benefit.

AUDIO: Bruce Braley stood up to those trying to privatize Social Security.

TEXT: Bruce Braley.  Oppose Social Security Privatization.

CITE: The Gazette, 10/13/14

AUDIO: He’ll protect social security for all of us.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released an ad in New Hampshire hitting Scott Brown for his vote as a Massachusetts Senator to cut Medicare and Social Security while giving tax breaks to millionaires.

Watch “Senior Story”:

 RONNIE WERNER: My name is Ronnie Werner. I’m a longtime Rye resident. After 35 years, I retired and having Medicare gives my husband and me enormous peace of mind.

ANNCR: New Hampshire seniors rely on Medicare.

ANNCR: When Scott Brown represented Massachusetts, he voted to cut Medicare and Social Security…

TEXT: Scott Brown

TEXT: ”Brown To Seniors: Social Security, Medicare Could Be Cut”

SOURCES: Boston Globe, 8/8/11;

Vote 116, 7/22/11

ANNCR: … while giving tax breaks to millionaires and oil companies.

RONNIE WERNER:Scott Brown is no friend to New Hampshire.


All of these releases came with a ton of citations to back up the claims. But there is also the fact that in general, Republicans have been trying to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare for a long time, and this isn’t something that should even be a matter of debate given that within their ideology, these are socialist programs that should not exist. As the Republican Party goes further and further to the right, it is not a surprise that they adopt more Libertarian/Tea Party corporatist platforms that push for giving more tax breaks to millionaires while cutting social programs.

The thing is, no matter what side of the aisle you identify with, we can all agree that Social Security was created for a reason and that reason is also the reason why it can’t be tied to the stock market. Factcheckers will quibble over names, but without the safety net provided by Social Security as it works now, there is no safety net. While private accounts sound glamorous and exciting, the reality is that plunging stock market left people penniless. The plunging Bush market crash of 2008 wiped out private retirement accounts. We’ve already invented this wheel.

Without Social Security, where would our seniors be? We are judged, as a society, by how we care for our young, our elderly, our vulnerable. Tossing seniors to the Wall Street wolves is not a family values plan.

Americans love their Social Security and Medicare, and Republicans need to stop talking about “reforming” them as an excuse to funnel seniors’ money to Wall Street. If politicians are really concerned about the future of either program (and this is not in evidence for the GOP, for whom said programs are a violation of their ideology), they need to work to protect the programs as they are now. That would be “reform”. Dismantling for the profit of Republican donors is not “reform”.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate the crisis of the Great Depression that necessitated the development of Social Security. As recently as 2007, we fell into another great recession, teetering on a depression for years with world markets on the edge. It can happen any time.

So instead of “reforming” Social Security by tying it to the crisis, thereby destroying its intent and function, authentically concerned policymakers will work on protecting the people.

Democrats Pound Republicans Over Their Push to Privatize and Cut Social Security was written by Sarah Jones for PoliticusUSA.
© PoliticusUSA, Mon, Oct 27th, 2014 — All Rights Reserved

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