Rep. Levin, AUFC Sound the Alarm on Looming Republican Post-Election Sneak Attack on Social Security

Congressman Sander Levin, AUFC Sound the Alarm on the Looming Republican Post-Election Sneak Attack on Social Security

*Read New Report, ‘Social Insecurity’

*Listen to Audio Recording of Today’s Press Call

Washington DC (October 11, 2016) –  On the campaign trail, Republicans have been quiet on the issue of Social Security – for a reason.  They’ve seen the same polling in key swing-states that voters overwhelmingly oppose any cuts to Social Security including proposals to raise the retirement age and let Wall Street gamble away earned benefits via privatization. But there are clear warning signs that if the election goes their way and Republicans retain control of Congress and seize the White House, Donald Trump, Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell will launch another January surprise attack on American’s retirement security as President Bush did in 2005. They want to finish what Bush started.  Congressman Sander Levin joined Americans United for Change on a conference call today to help nip the scheme in the bud, releasing a new report ‘Social Insecurity: GOP Plans Another January Surprise Attack on Earned Benefits’

Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI), House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member: "It is vital that in the next 4 weeks every Republican Congressional Candidate across the country make it clear where they stand on Social Security privatization.  The American people deserve to know if they will follow their Republican leaders down a path of cutting the guaranteed benefit of Social Security and ending the program as we know it today."

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “History shows when Republicans accumulate enough power in Washington, they cannot help but overreach on Social Security. During the 2004 election, George W. Bush ran on national security and social issues, but after he won, he turned around and surprised voters with a risky scheme to privatize Social Security that was guaranteed to cut guaranteed benefits. The American people resoundingly rejected it, recognizing privatization was a bad deal even before the financial crisis of 2008 when it could have been a lot worse for the economy if Social Security benefits were tied up in the stock market.  But we could be in for a bad rerun if Donald Trump moves into the White House and if Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell -- both enthusiastic benefit cutters -- maintain control of Congress.  Serial liar Donald Trump, who once derided Social Security as a Ponzi scheme despite the program never missing a payment since the 1930s, today says he won’t cut benefits.  This claim is belied by 1) the admission by one of his top economic advisers that he’d be open to cuts if his budget isn’t balanced, which would be impossible to do after his proposed multi-trillion tax break for millionaires and outsourcers 2) Trump tellingly left intact language in the official GOP Platform that implicitly advocates privatizing Social Security after his campaign made changes to other planks in the platform; 3) he picked Mike Pence as his running mate who’s all for raising the retirement age and who supported an even more aggressive version of Bush’s privatization plan; 4) Trump never renounced his frothy-mouthed support for privatization in his book from 2000; 5) Can anyone really believe a word Trump says at this point? As President Bush would say, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

This report is part of the six-figure ‘Hands Off My Social Security!’ campaign AUFC announced last month.  Staff has been hired in WI, OH, PA, NV and FL to smoke out the true intentions of Sens. Johnson, Portman, Toomey, Rubio, and Congressman Heck, who all have strong records of support in the past for privatizing Social Security or cutting benefits by other means, and are unwilling to take these harmful and costly ideas off the table today. 

Americans United for Change was founded in 2005 as Americans United to Protect Social Security to lead a national campaign, including field offices in 33 states, to fight President Bush’s surprise plan to privatize Social Security. The effort included major protests wherever President Bush barnstormed the country to sell his plan to the public; and outside the offices of Bush’s backers in Congress. The more Americans heard about the costs and risks of allowing earned benefits to be gambled on the stock market, the less they liked it. The risks remain the same today. Raiding the Social Security trust fund to pay for “private investment accounts” – A.K.A. privatization -- would slash guaranteed benefits by as much as a third for workers even if they didn’t choose to sign up, and would add nearly three trillion dollars to the national debt.