Privatizing Social Security was the topic as candidates for the U-S Senate descended on the state fair today. Missouri Senator Richard Gephardt, campaigning for democrat incumbent Tom Harkin, noted today’s the anniversary of the creation of Social Security. Gephardt says 67 years ago, there was a big drop in the stock market, the country was in a big recession, and half the elderly people in the country died in poverty with no pension. Gephardt says Social Security was set up so folks could have one pension that could never be taken away. Harkin says today, Social Security’s backed by the “full faith and credit” of the government, a guarantee that doesn’t backArthur Andersen, Enron, WorldCom, or Wall Street. Harkin’s challenger in the U-S Senate race, Republican Congressman Greg Ganske, says Harkin’s unfairly stating the risk of letting workers invest some of their Social Security taxes themselves. Ganske says it wouldn’t all be privatized, and workers over 50 would see no change, while those younger would get to put part of their payroll tax into an administered fund the way government workers can do. Ganske says if they do that, money taken out of the Social Security trust fund should be made up somehow so the fund is not reduced. Ganske, a physician by trade, says something has to be done to ensure there’s enoughmoney in the fund when “Baby Boomers” all retire. He says in Iowa in the next 20 years, the number of people over age 65 will go up by 60 percent. Ganske says younger workers will have to pay nearly doubled payroll taxes or else Social Security benefits will be cut by 25-percent if nothing’s done. Both Ganske and Harkin worked at the Iowa Pork Producers tent over the noon-hour. Ganske poured tea. Harkin grilled pork chops.
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