Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Republicans want to gamble away your retirement!

With the seventy-first anniversary of Social Security coming up this monday, Senate Democrats are serving notice that they plan to make the President's privatization scheme a centerpiece in their stragety to retake the House and Senate in November.

After the resonding political defeat Bush took on socSec privatization last year, you'd think the idea would be long dead. Think again. In fact, the President's Chief of Staff and Treasury secretary have both expressed their will to renew the push to gamble your retirement security in the stockmarket. You know the calculus by now: if Bush gets his way, the debt will go up up up and benefits will go down down down. I should note that the stock market is actually lower today than it was the day Bush was elected...I'll let you do the math. In the meantime, it's worth underscoring that without a compliant GOP Congress, the President's plans will fail. Resoundingly.

Yesterday, the outreach and advocacy group Center for America's Future hosted a conference call with Senator Menendez and others to discuss the stragety to beat back the privatization scheme once and for all. The fact is, this issue is huge. Not only is socSec the single biggest issue among the over-65 set, but it's a priority for swing voters as well. In other words, this is a major campaign issue for the Democrats heading into November.

Sen. Menendez:
(Social Security) ensures dignity and independence in the twilight years. Americans -- when armed with the facts will refuse to go along (with Bush's plan to privatize.)
Sen. Menendez then reminded us that Tom Kean Jr's position on socSec remains deliberately fuzzy. We all know Junior ran for Senate in 2ooo promising to support the president's scheme to gamble away the future of millions of Americans. Sen. Menendez also pointed out that he was the leader of the Democratic House Caucus that fought (and won) round one of this debate last year when the President first rolled out his plan to privatize.

Ask Junior what his position is nowadays and his mealy-mouthed reply will go something like this: "I am fighting for the people of NJ and the issues that are important to them." Aparently Junior does not grasp the gravitas of this issue in the minds of NJ voters, especially older ones. Polling shows this is a big deal to swing voters as well. And since Dems enjoy far more support on this issue than Republicans, it seems fitting that our side make Social Security a front-and-center issue during the campaign.

The New Jersey Democratic Delegating will begin holding townhalls on socSec to raise awareness among voters that 1) the President still wants to roll the dice with your retirement and 2) we're not gonna let him.

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