Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shulman vs. Garrett: Social Security

Dennis Shulman's campaign has had a couple interesting strategies it's rolled out over the last week. First, there was telling donors how many donations of how much to offset PAC money going to Representative Scott Garrett. Then today, the campaign released a kind of "do you still feel this way" question about privatizing Social Security:

Scott Garrett's statements suggest that he would like to privatize Social Security on behalf of the special interests that fund his campaign, just like his leader, President Bush. I call upon Scott Garrett to state, once and for all, if he would like to hand Social Security over to Wall Street.

Pretty strongly worded, and it is an interesting point. However, there is no "suggest" regarding Garrett's previous statements and Social Security privatization: It's a firmly articulated belief.

Back in 2005, Garrett joined a number of his colleagues in signing this letter (still using the E.) urging the President to push private savings accounts. Here's what they stated:
As such, we urge you to continue to pursue a permanent solution that would allow workers to take a portion of their social security payroll tax and put it into personal accounts. These accounts would ensure a secure retirement for all Americans, while simultaneously increasing the rate of return for younger workers.

Although I'm not sure I count as a "younger worker" at this point, among my peers who I've talked to about our 401Ks, I'm the only one who is only down a single digit percentage over the last year. That's a big reason you don't hear a lot about private savings accounts or privatization these days. People have looked at their 401K and realized there is nothing secure about it.

Granted, Garrett may have also realized the systemic economic risk of millions of Americans relying on the private accounts and retiring during a down cycle in the market. However, I kind of doubt it.


Anonymous said...

Fine keep social security as it is and you will get a whole $1000 a month if you are lucky. What is so great about that. I have been investing for 15 years in taxable accounts for the most part, which you obviously feel should be taxed more with Obama's plan, and have accumulated more than I can ever expect from social security. Investing does work.

rmfretz said...

I don't believe I've ever made any statement about taxing investments more. The only thing I've ever gone after are the hedgefund managers and oil speculators and the 2/3 of businesses with gross sales over $100 million who aren't paying any taxes. If we got those folks to pay their fair share, everyone else could have their taxes cut substantially.

Also, I'm hellbent on reducing the deficit. Here's a post I wrote about how if we paid down the deficit we could all get roughly a 30% tax cut.

If you're so for Garrett, why don't you find out why he voted for all but one of Bush's deficit busting budgets. I can't seem to get an answer, maybe you can.