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Boozman Holds Fundraiser with President Bush’s ‘Point Man’ for Privatizing Social Security

August 24th, 2010

Boozman Holds Fundraiser with President Bush’s ‘Point Man’ for Privatizing Social Security

 

John Boozman and John Thune: Two Peas in a Pod When It Comes to Turning Arkansas’ Guaranteed Social Security Benefits into a Guaranteed Gamble on Wall Street

 

Washington DC– In what promises to be a sweet night for John Boozman’s campaign coffers, the Congressman’s campaign is a hosting a $200 a person dessert and coffee fundraiser with special guest of honor U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD).  It makes sense. The two Johns would be hard pressed to find an issue they disagree on, especially when it comes to privatizing Social Security.  Privatization is a misguided proposal advanced for years by Boozman and Thune – one Arkansas’ seniors have never been sweet on because it would mean massive benefit cuts and exploding the national debt by trillions of dollars.

 

ON THE RECORD:

 

Excerpt from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 02, 2001:“Republican candidate John Boozman of Rogers…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 Bush's proposal to provide younger workers with the opportunity to invest part of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts."

 

In 2005, Senator John Thune was such an enthusiastic supporter of President Bush’s privatization plan that he was dubbed a “point man” for trying to sell the risky investment scheme to the public.

 

“John Boozman and John Thune are two peas in a pod when it comes to handing the keys to the Social Security trust fund over to the same Wall Street bankers that collapsed the economy,” said Tom McMahon, Executive Director, Americans United for Change, the group formerly known as Americans United to Protect Social Security that led the national campaign to defeat President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security in 2005. 

 

“Privatization was a bad idea when Arkansas seniors rejected it in 2005, and it’s an even worse idea today. What if Rep. Boozman and Sen. Thune had had their way and guaranteed Social Security benefits were now gambled on Wall Street?  It’s frightening to think how much Arkansas’ retirees would have lost when the financial system collapsed in 2008 and would continue to lose.”

 

Think Progress: 2008 Retiree Would Have Lost $26,000 In Bush Style Private Social Security Account

 

“Unfortunately, Congressman Boozman refuses to let privatization die at the behest of his big donors on Wall Street.  Boozman recently called a detailed Republican plan to resuscitate the same old Bush privatization scheme “thoughtful and serious.” Boozman says he’s “considering” Congressman Paul Ryan’s ‘roadmap’ to turning Social Security’s guaranteed benefits into a guaranteed gamble on Wall Street. It’s time Congressman Boozman get serious about protecting Social Security for future generations, and the first step is to abandon his misguided support for privatization.”

 

Washington Post’sEzra Klein calls the ‘reforms’ detailed in the budget proposal put forward by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the ranking Republican Member of the House Budget Committee, “nothing short of violent.” Indeed, according to an in-depth analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “The Ryan plan proposes large cuts in Social Security benefits — roughly 16 percent for the average new retiree in 2050 and 28 percent in 2080 from price indexing alone — and initially diverts most of these savings to help fund private accounts rather than to restore Social Security solvency. Because the plan would divert large sums from Social Security to private accounts, it would leave the program facing insolvency in about 30 years, just as under current law.”