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Laura Vecsey's Blog

Laura Vecsey's Blog

Middle Ground

Toomey changes verb, not intent for Social Security

Toomey changes verb, not intent for Social Security

Republican Senate hopeful Pat Toomey appeared to be trying a little revisionist history this week when he claimed he never called for privatizing Social Security.

Toomey made the statement at the end of his appearance at the Pennsylvania Press Club Monday, only to see a wave of critics calling him out. That included the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which dug up a 2003 headline from Toomey’s hometown newspaper, The Morning Call, which read: “Toomey: Privatize Social Security.”

The former Club for Growth president said he does favor allowing younger workers to deposit savings into private accounts, a position he has held since his first congressional term in 1999. He recently touted it in his book, “The Road to Prosperity,” which is now selling for $3.03 on Amazon.

The key to understanding this semantic subterfuge is, well, semantics. The word Toomey uses is “personalized” Social Security accounts.

The increasing volume on Social Security was escalated Wednesday, when former Senat0r Alan Simpson the GOP co-chair of President Obama’s deficit commission, was force to apologize for sending an e-mail to a female activist for seniors in which he described Social Security as “a milk cow with 310 million tits.”

The flap has prompted an outcry amongst groups like AARP, which are calling for Simpson to resign or for the president to fire him from the commission post.

Democrats have been charged with trying to gin up anxiety about the future of Social Security benefits, like when President Obama recently said some GOP leaders are “pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall.

The president called such privatization “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.”

The issue resurfaced in time for election year political football after Congressman Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, offered a proposal that would allow younger people to put Social Security money into personal accounts.

This pretty much mirrors the proposal pushed unsuccessfully by former President George W. Bush—which was supported by Toomey.

August 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

--Laura Vecsey



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