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

burned-social-security

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.

29 Replies to “Democrats Pound Republicans Over Their Push to Privatize and Cut Social Security”

  1. Where were these ads a month ago? Democrats always seem to want to play nice as their Republican opponents play dirty. That didn’t turn out so well in 2010.

  2. Rick, the Dems probably left it until the last minute on purpose, so it would hopefully be fresh in the minds of voters.

    People forget, you hardly even hear about the disastrous shutting down of the government anymore; or the fact that Boehner left millions of Americans holding the bag when he did not renew UE.

  3. By all rights, republicans should never “win” an election. They are so blatantly, in your face, anti-human. Their base is a result of a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome. As in, they tell the base that they’re are going rob them, beat them, make them write bad checks..and somehow make it sound like a good thing. Defies all logic.

  4. The republicans want to privatize your social security benefits; play it on the stock market which would immediately bring up the market, then they will sell off their stocks, in conspiracy, causing the market to collapse, then buy back at cheap prices. These people are psychopaths and sociopaths that must be stopped. It will put everyone into poverty, except them! We should privatize the worthless congress; substantially reduce their underserved salaries; force them to pay for their health benefits; reduce their staffs by 100%; take away their retirement benefits which are lavish; take away their expense accounts which, as with everything else, is exorbitant; take away sick days and holidays and vacation days. In other words, do to them as they want to do to you.

  5. I also wish Dems would have run these ads from the beginning of election cycle. Maybe Dems and President Obama would be more popular if people knew what each party actually stood for. Hopefully, they will still have an impact. People voting against their own best interest still boggles my mind.

  6. Yes and according to Huffpost, the McConnell
    team have now admitted that he will repeal the full health care law – even the Kynect which he has lied and said would remain.
    How do you like that – folks from Kentucky!

  7. The Republican Party is a Robin Hood and his merry madmen —-IN REVERSE! Republican Robin Hoods, rob the poor to support the Rich. Ain’t that a Biaaatch?
    But true.

  8. My Mom passed away last year. She grew up during the Depression. A few years ago, we talked about how the GOP wanted to privatize Social Security and how bad of an idea that was if it were to law.

    I am going to tell you what she said.

    Privatization breeds corruption, first of all. Second, you work all your life. You have a family, or, you remain single all your life. The Government takes out monies for your retirement out of your paycheck. This money comes back to you when you retire.

    This is good because, in your life, you have many emergencies. Car, roof, house, school, etc. If it is going into a fund for your retirement, you can’t touch it.

    If SS was privatized, you would lose that money if you needed it for your emergencies and possibly be penalized. There goes your retirement and will you will die broke and more dependent, not only your family, but the government as well.

    A 93 old lady who was born when women got the right to vote, and lived the through depression…

  9. Bless your mom, smart lady, full of wisdom and absolutely correct.

    People don’t touch their social security, because of the reasons she said. But if it was privatized, everyone else would have their hands on YOUR hard earned money. It is a travesty to say the least.

    ..and I bet in your mom’s day, social security was not referred to as an “entitlement,” because it is not. People earned that money. Vote the GOP out.

  10. Not to mention that Social Security was created because the Great Depression was caused by the infamous Black Monday. Wall Street is just legalized gambling with prospectives; some make it big. But SS is the safety net in case WS fails again (and it does…alot).

  11. Robyn, absolutely. Funny thing is the GOPT does not want the middle class to have a safety net, even if it is from our own earnings.

    They want to privatize social security and use it as their play money, money to gamble with, while we take the loss.

    How these elections can even be close is beyond me.

  12. So true,grawson. The problem is that many “reasonable” middle class people equate Democrats with “high taxes” for themselves. That’s how the Repubs package tax cuts for billionaires.. They throw middle class people a bone, and those people don’t realize that essential government services are getting cut as well. Many, many “normal” middle class people supported the partial privatizing of Social Security in 2005.. because they didn’t like or trust government.

  13. I’ve been really trying to understand how these races can be so close, and I have only a few ideas. I have many friends and family members who STILL support Republicans. These people aren’t extremists and I don’t think they watch Fox from morning until night. But they equate Democrats with corruption and they equate Democrats with high taxes and government waste. We can talk until we are blue in the face, and they still think Democrats equal: Corruption, squalid, cities, high taxes, and government waste. Of course, there are answers to all of those things, but the truth is much more complex than a few catch words.

  14. Molly, out of curiosity..do the people you know who still vote for Republicans think that it was a good idea that the government was shut down? I mean, they don’t think trying to repeal ACA 50+ times was a waste of taxpayer money?

    I am thinking these races are so close its pathetic; and Dems are not perfect, but our President and Dem reps are trying to help the middle class…that doesn’t hold any weight with the GOP voters you know?

    Its amazing I guess..just boggles my mind.

  15. We are in agreement, except for the definition of ‘entitlement’… the term has been bastardized by the GOP/TP… to me it means something a person is entitled to because they earned it or paid for it… getting something one didn’t earn or pay for is a gift… not an entitlement…

  16. Kvan, I agree. Entitlement, the true meaning is just what you said. We worked for it, we are entitled to it. But the way the GOP uses it in context, it makes it sound like we are getting something we don’t deserve. I absolutely hate that word now that they have bastardized it as you say..good description.

    We know we earned it; and so do they, but they like to belittle people who are not in the 1%. Thanks for the feedback.

  17. Really? The obvious was pointed out to me in the early 1980’s when Ronald Reagan was running for president by my college sociology teacher. It wasn’t long after Reagan won that sociology departments began disappearing in all universities all over the country. I never forgot those lessons on Social Stratification in the United States, which at that time was pretty bad, and which by now are completely absurd. Where were you?

  18. I find it insane that anybody who works for a living would think that privatizing social security is a good idea. privatization in general is a bad idea. how do you “save” taxpayers money by putting a middleman in to do thihgs you currently do yourself?

    if the private sector “always” does things better than the gov’t, how come most of our transportation facilities are or have been either built by gov’t (highways, airports, locks & dams) or built with gov’t subsidies (land grants to railroads, etc.) hw come when the private sectorfalls flat on its face, it’s the gov’t they come looking to for bailouts? (penn central, Chrysler twice, the banking system)

    on a personal level, the market crash has wiped out my “privatized” ira, so social security is all I have left for retirement. I wil be damned if I let them take that away.

  19. The ACA was designed to prevent Americans from having to declare bankruptcy following a critical health issue and its medical resolution. A majority of bankruptcies are filed due to medical catastrophe. The Ryan budget plan would kill Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. One voucher would be worth $7,000 worth of care. If a senior had, for example, acute gall bladder surgery, the minimum cost would be $70,000. Ryan would stick the consumer with the $63,000 balance. Probably wipe out most seniors’ savings. The Koch Kabal does not have to worry about such things since they have round the clock high dollar physicians attending them, even making house calls. Vote Democratic!

  20. I agree with all of the comments above.
    I worked hard all of my life, social security is not a entitlement, you put money into that, paid taxes. You’re entitled to your own money you worked for when you retire. I am 5 years away from collecting my ss. I will not let the republicans take that away.

  21. Tell that to the white senior voters who voted for the very people who would privatize Social Security faster than a crack whore chasing a rock

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