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Obama: GOP out to kill Social Security

By ERICA WERNER
August 14, 2010

President Barack Obama (AP)

President Barack Obama used the anniversary of Social Security to trumpet Democrats’ support for the popular program and accuse Republicans of trying to destroy it.

Seventy-five years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday: “We have an obligation to keep that promise, to safeguard Social Security for our seniors, people with disabilities and all Americans — today, tomorrow and forever.”

Some Republican leaders in Congress are “pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall,” Obama said.

He contended that such privatization was “an ill-conceived idea that would add trillions of dollars to our budget deficit while tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market.”

Most Republicans, in fact, are wary of touching that idea, because Social Security is virtually sacrosanct to voters, particularly seniors.

Nonetheless, Democrats have been able to seize on the issue because of a proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, that would allow younger people to put Social Security money into personal accounts.

Ryan’s idea is similar to a proposal pushed unsuccessfully by former President George W. Bush. It’s not been endorsed by party leaders and has attracted only a small number of GOP co-sponsors.

With Social Security’s finances strained, policymakers talk frequently about the need to address the solvency of the entitlement program. How to do so is less clear, as Obama’s comments Saturday underscored.

Obama said he’s “committed to working with anyone, Democrat or Republican, who wants to strengthen Social Security.” But he proposed no ideas for doing that.

Many Democrats adamantly oppose any cut in benefits to reduce costs and some won’t accept a gradual increase in the retirement age, something that was done in the last overhaul in 1983. Republicans say an increase in Social Security taxes is out of the question, even for the wealthy.

Unless Congress acts, Social Security’s combined retirement and disability trust funds are expected to run out of money in 2037. At that point, Social Security will collect enough in payroll taxes to cover about three-fourths of the benefits.

Obama has created a bipartisan fiscal commission that is supposed to come up with recommendations in December on improving the government’s troubled finances and has said everything should be on the table.

Republicans used their weekend address to accuse Democrats of pursuing an “extreme ideologically driven agenda” that threatens the nation’s economic recovery.

“I am deeply concerned about the direction we’re heading in right now,” said former Rep. Pat Toomey, speaking for the GOP. “That direction is being driven by extreme policies that are coming from one-party domination of government in Washington. … It’s time we put some real checks and balances back in place this November.”

Toomey, the GOP Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, focused on bailouts for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the car companies; the economic stimulus legislation that has failed to cut unemployment rates; and Obama’s health care law.

“Now, where do all these bailouts, takeovers and spending sprees leave us?” Toomey asked. “They leave us with a weak economy without job growth and with a mountain of debt for our kids.”

___

Online:

White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

GOP address: http://tinyurl.com/25warlp

Social Security: http://www.ssa.gov/

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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10 Responses to Obama: GOP out to kill Social Security

  1. Almandine

    August 14, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Saving social security ??? That’s what all the inflation is for.

  2. Baldemar Huerta

    August 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

    It’s Already Dead. If you or I offered an “investment” scheme like SS, we’d be in prison. Or we’d get a government bailout with taxpayer money. Hard to tell with the Idiot in charge right now.

  3. MikeS

    August 14, 2010 at 9:49 am

    So, after 4 years in complete control of Congress, the Dem campaign theme is, “Oh yeah? Well we haven’t screwed with Social Security.”

    I just wish they hadn’t screwed with the economy and health care.

  4. hadenuffalready

    August 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I paid into the Social Security System all my life. I have not ever believed that it was anything but a government scheme to collect money.

    I will be GLAD when the entire Federal Bureaucracy collapses. Then there won’t be a stupid bureaucrat lurking around every corner. Then I can make a living and keep most of the money I make.

    I am willing to pay for roads, power, clean water, and defense. I am not willing to pay a fat-arsed bureaucrat $100,000/yearly to tell me what I can and cannot do. I am fed up with bureaucratic rules and regulations.

    The Constitution says what it means and means what it says. That’s enough. Goodbye bureaucrats. Goodbye bureaucracy. Let Freedom Ring!

  5. Almandine

    August 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Obummer and his team are moving as fast as can be imagined to decimate the value of middle class retirement plans through their profligacy and poor decision-making, augmented by forced state and individual spending and redistributionist tax policies that suck the rest of middle America’s capital into their socialist schemes designed to form a permanent leftist voting majority.

    GOP killing social security ??? Hardly. Try fear mongering by a duplicitous Pres.

  6. jrobinson

    August 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Killing Social Security? You mean the ponzi-scheme that is collapsing because there is no more money left? That Social Security? Only a liberal would complain that a Republican is trying to kill a program that is already dead. This is why we call you libtards – you live in this bizarre fantasy world where the Great Society was a success and the New Deal was the Best Deal. Wake up! Your Great Society was a complete and total failure – refusing to recognize reality won’t get you anywhere in the end. And blaming the people who warned you all along that this was going to happen, is just plain silly.

  7. Frederick Michael

    August 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    It’s disingenuous to equate privatization with killing. Over my lifetime, I’ve put slightly less into my IRA than I put into social security. Even in a down market, my my Social Security isn’t a third my IRA payout (even leaving plenty of the IRA’s returns in for growth).

    I basically put half my retirement into a chain letter and half into the market. It’s obvious which half did better. Giving everyone some of that pie isn’t “killing.”

  8. Bogofree

    August 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    This is a Ponzi scheme and always has been. One administration after another has used SS as piggy bank or to expand “coverage” to simply buy votes. A good intention once again prostituted by career politicians. A retirement system turned into a welfare system. FDR would puke.

    How much would I have today if my employer and my contributions had been placed in an index fund? Down market or not it would far exceed anything I current receive or will receive down the road. What would happen if at 59 I died and had a nephew as an heir? What would he get from SS? What would he get from my 401 (k)?

    If a financial planner gave you the SS framework built into a presentation he’d be busted out the door in a flash.

    • Almandine

      August 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm

      “If a financial planner gave you the SS framework built into a presentation he’d be busted out the door in a flash.”

      Yeah, but he’d be welcome at Treasury.

      • Bogofree

        August 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

        ROTFLMAO!