Social Security and McCain

I was talking to a woman at the office today about the stock market and the overall economy. I’m a little freaked out because we’ve got some money in, not a lot but more than we’d like to lose. Heck, I can piss away money by myself thanks and enjoy it a whole lote more than what’s been going on lately.

Less than a year away from her planned retirement she’s actually feeling pretty secure. Her money is pretty conservatively invested at this point and while there may be some loss she doesn’t expect it to be much. Add that to the pension and it should be okay.

Then the conversation turned to Social Security. That’s when she reminded me of the plan that Bush tried to push through to privatize social security. I hadn’t thought about it since the American people crushed that idea into the ground. But a little reasearch showed that not only did Bush want to privatize it but so did McCain.

In 1998 McCain voted twice to replace Social Security’s guaranteed benefits with income from private investments.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “[a] centerpiece of a McCain presidential bid in 2000 was a plan to divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to fund private accounts, much as President Bush proposed unsuccessfully.” The plan would put workers’ retirement money into the risky market and reduce the amount of Social Security payments they would receive from the government. The plan would undermine the Social Security system. (3/3/08)

In 2005, McCain supported a Social Security plan that would require deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt. That same year, McCain voted against prioritizing Social Security solvency over tax cuts for the wealthy.

McCain told the Wall Street Journal he still backs a system of private retirement accounts that he supported in 2000 and President Bush pushed unsuccessfully. The Journal reported he “disowned” details of a proposal on his 2008 campaign website that says he would “supplement” the existing Social Security system with personally managed accounts. But when asked about the position change he denied it and promised to change the website to reflect his true position. “I’m totally in favor of personal savings accounts… As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it—along the lines that President Bush proposed,” McCain told the Journal. [WSJ, 3/3/08]

The Dow Jones industrial average, which only two days ago suffered its steepest drop since the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, lost another 450 points. About $700 billion in investments vanished. (AP)

Is that where you want your social security money? Is that how McCain understands the needs of the average American? Am I missing something?

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