Campaign 2010

Feb 17, 2005

DCCC Press

Feb 17, 2005

New website reveals GOP members whose Social Security campaign ads may come back to haunt them.

The DCCC today unveiled, a website revealing House Republican proponents of President Bush's privatization proposal caught on tape pledging not to cut benefits or privatize Social Security. The GOP Members appeared in campaign ads touting their commitment to protecting Social Security, but now they support President Bush's plan that would slash guaranteed benefits by up to 45 percent.

"Many House Republicans supporting President Bush's privatization plan are in for a rendezvous with their records -- they can't hide from their televised vows not to cut benefits or privatize Social Security," said DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel. "When these Republicans said 'no cuts in benefits,' they were pledging to voters never to back a plan that replaces Social Security's guaranteed benefits with a guaranteed fee for Wall Street. Many Republicans are on-record and on-tape pledging not to cut benefits -- we'll be watching to see if they keep their word."

Now starring at

Rep. Chris Chocola!

2002 Ad: "Chris Chocola believes the Social Security Trust Fund should be for our seniors. Chocola's pledge: No cuts in benefits, no increase in the retirement age, and no new taxes."

Rep. John Kline!

2002 Ad: "John Kline will protect Social Security. No cuts in benefits. No change in the retirement age, period."

Rep. Rob Simmons!

2002 Ad: "Protecting Seniors-Rob has always been against privatizing Social Security."

But here's what they're saying when the camera's off...

Chocola Said He Wanted to Privatize the Whole System. Chocola has stated that eventually he would like to see the entire social security system privatized. "Eventually, I'd like to see the entire system privatized... Will somebody screw it up? No question. But the government is screwing up the whole thing right now." [South Bend Tribune, July 28, 2002; originally reported by the: Elkhart Truth, 10/8/00]

Kline Applauded Plan Bush Presented at State of the Union. Republican Rep. John Kline applauded Bush's privatization plan. "I very much agree that for young workers, some system of personal accounts, so they can build a personal nest egg, is a central component to make sure that Social Security is there for our kids and grandparents, " he said. Some Republicans said it was important for Bush to reach out to Democrats. [Associated Press, 2/2/05]

Simmons Now "Open to the Idea" of Privatization. U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2, previously one of the most outspoken opponents of personal savings accounts among Republicans in Congress, indicated in responding to the speech that he may be open to the idea. " [New Haven Register, 2/3/05]

"U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District, who was quoted last month in The Washington Post as calling Social Security reform "a political hornet's nest, " said in a statement Wednesday that Bush had "rejoined" the Social Security debate by revealing long-term problems with the program and explaining how private accounts could be 'a permanent fix.'" [New London Day, 2/3/05]

Just the facts...

Bush Privatization Plan Would Weaken Social Security & CUT Guaranteed Benefits. Under Bush's Social Security privatization plan, the cost would be at least $2 trillion in the next 10 years, cutting the system's lifespan in half to pay for it. In addition, the White House plan would cut benefits by 25 to 45 percent whether or not a worker picks the "voluntary" private accounts. This benefit reduction would also apparently apply to people with serious disabilities who receive Social Security benefits and to orphans, widows and any other recipients of Social Security survivors' benefits. [Economic Report of the President 2004; Contributions to Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2002; Washington Post, 1/4/05; Congressional Budget Office; CBPP, 1/28/05]