Democratic candidate Roxanne Conlin accuses her opponent, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, of being a “radical” advocate of “privatizing” Social Security. Grassley supported former President Bush’s push to let younger workers invest their contributions to Social Security in the stock market instead.
“I am fundamentally opposed to Chuck Grassley’s extreme plan to privatize Social Security and throw that safety net for hundreds of thousands of Iowans into the wreckless hands of the Wall Street bankers,” Conlin says. “Could you imagine what would have happened when the market collapsed two years ago if he had succeeded?”
According to Conlin, Grassley has accepted $800,000 this election cycle from Wall Street interests. “The very same interests that stood to make $279 (billion) in fees and in profits if this program were to be privatized,” Conlin says. “His actions are indefensible.”
Conlin opposes raising the retirement age or decreasing Social Security benefits. Conlin says such changes would erode support for Social Security, and she suggests that’s the ultimate goal. “The folks who want us to think that we have to cut benefits right now and raise the retirement age right now are the very folks who don’t like the concept of Social Security and have spent time and energy trying to take it away,” Conlin says. “…We must protect this program from those wishing to privatize it.”
Grassley’s senate website has an “issues” section about retirement security. Grassley calls Social Security a “good deal for older Americans” but a “raw deal for America’s youngest generations if reforms aren’t made to fix the funding shortfall.” According to Grassley, Social Security reform is a “politically sensitive issue” that will take a “bipartisan consensus” to resolve.
According to the Social Security Administration, it will begin paying out out more than it collects in Social Security taxes in 2017 and will have to dip into the interest from the securities it holds to pay all the Social Security benefits due. If congress fails to act by 2041, the system will only have enough money to pay 75 percent of the already-promised benefits.
Eric Woolson, a spokesman for Grassley’s campaign, issued a written statement, accusing Conlin of giving conflicting signals on Social Security. “She first said requiring people to pay Social Security tax on all their wages ‘seems to be a reasonable thing to me to do’ and less than an hour later she said the last thing the government should do is raise Social Security taxes,” Woolson said. “She’s using fear-monger tactics to scare older Iowans and, once again, she clearly doesn’t understand the issues.”
Conlin made her comments earlier today during a news conference in Des Moines. Listen by clicking on the following link: capss
(This story was updated at 12:06 p.m.)