Congressman Boozman: Advocate of Social Security Privatization

He said it …

A Boozman spokesman this week acknowledged that the five-term Washington Republican Congressman supports a plan allowing younger workers to put a portion of their payroll taxes into private accounts, which most economists agree would drastically reduce benefits for current and future retirees.  Congressman John Boozman’s plan to privatize Social Security is similar to what President Bush proposed in 2005 and what Congressman Paul Ryan is advocating for this year.


2001: Boozman a “Strong Supporter of Privatizing Social Security.” During his initial run for Congress in 2001, Boozman “said he would be a strong supporter of privatizing Social Security.  The future of Social Security is dependent on creating a vehicle for private investment, Boozman said in a prepared statement. An accountant will tell you that saving Social Security is as simple as lowering the benefits or raising taxes. Neither of these will meet the future needs of Americans working today. I believe we must implement President Bushs proposal to provide younger workers with the opportunity to invest part of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/2/2001]

Boozman: Putting Social Security In The Stock Market Is Going To Be Only Option In A “Few Years.” In September 2004, Boozman advocated putting Social Security benefits into the stock market and stated it would be the only remaining option in a “few years.” He said, “No one is advocating an Enron-style system, but we surely can come up with a safe system that can at least return the money invested in it. In a few years, the current system won’t even be able to do that.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 9/21/2004]

Any Privatization of Social Security Would Cut Benefits

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare: Ryan Plan “Decimates” Social Security. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare discussing the Ryan/Republican plan wrote, “In short, it is a budget plan which decimates Social Security and Medicare in the name of deficit reduction.  The only thing new about this strategy, is the fact that Rep. Ryan isn’t shy about acknowledging that he believes seniors should foot the bill for our current economic nightmare…Destroying Social Security and Medicare, under the guise of deficit reduction, isn’t about creating sound economic policy it’s just more of the same old privatization politics, rewrapped, repackaged and rejected by the American people just two years ago.” [NCPSSM, 2/3/10]

CBPP: Rep. Ryan’s Plan “Privatizes Social Security.” According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Ryan’s plan “privatizes Social Security.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/10/10]

What They’re Not Telling You: Benefits Will be Cut. According to an analysis of President Bush’s Social Security proposal by FactCheck.org, anyone choosing to opt into private accounts “would also have to give up an offsetting portion of their future guaranteed retirement benefits. If their investments in private accounts returned more than 3 percent annually over the years, they would end up better off than under the current formula. But if those investments did worse, they wouldn’t make up for the portion of benefits that were given up, and the owner of an account would end up worse off.” [FactCheck.org, 2/3/2005]

Bush Plan Would Affect Benefits of Current Retirees. In 2005, during debate of President Bush’s proposal to overhaul Social Security, the head of the GAO, Comptroller General David Walker testified that the plan would absolutely affect current retirees.  “Walker noted…the private accounts would worsen the program’s shortfalls, because the reduction in the program’s liabilities would not appear for decades.  Until then, benefits would have to be paid to current retirees with less revenue from payroll taxes.” [San Francisco Gate, 3/10/2005]

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare: Argument that Private Accounts Will Not Affect Current Retirees is a “Myth.” The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare characterized the argument that private accounts will not affect current retirees or those close to retirement as a “myth.” They argue: “Retirees and near retirees should not count on being exempt. Because privatization diverts two-thirds of the employee-paid Social Security tax away from Social Security and into private accounts, Social Security’s financial status is worsened and benefits for every retiree are threatened. In order to continue to pay benefits to retirees, privatization plans must borrow trillions of dollars over several decades from the general fund of the Treasury, causing an already huge federal deficit to balloon. This will increase the debt burden on all Americans, forcing policy makers to consider cuts in all federal programs, including Social Security.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare website, accessed 9/3/2010]

Bush Plan Would Drastically Reduce Benefits. According to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Century Foundation, Bush’s privatization plan would drastically reduce benefits.  Under Bush’s plan, “workers aged 35 today who retire at age 65 in 2032 and do not choose the private accounts would have their Social Security benefits reduced 17 percent, compared to the benefits they would receive under the current benefit structure.  Benefits would be reduced 41 percent for those born in 2001 who retire at age 65 in 2066.”  In addition, “a medium-earning couple that retired at age 65 in 2075 and received the average expected rate of return from a private account would receive a combined benefit – including a monthly annuity check from its account – that is about 20 percent below the benefit the couple would receive under the current Social Security benefit structure. ” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities/Century Foundation, “Security Commission Plans Would Entail Substantial Benefit Reductions and Large Subsidies for Private Accounts,” 6/18/2002, http://www.cbpp.org/6-18-02socsec-pr.htm ]

Center On Budget and Policy Priorities: Private Accounts Plan Would Reduce Benefits. According to a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Social Security reform plans that divert payroll tax revenues toward individual accounts “generally entail quite large reductions in Social Security benefits.”  [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Social Security Plans That Reduce Social Security Retirement Benefits Substantially Are Also Likely To Cut Disability and Survivor Benefits As Well,” 12/15/2005, http://www.cbpp.org/12-15-98socsec.htm]

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

One Response to Congressman Boozman: Advocate of Social Security Privatization

  1. Pingback: Pat Lynch: Criticizes Social Security Privatization | haltingarkansasliberalswithtruth

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