Leaders Highlight President Bush’s Controversial Plan To Dismantle Social Security

Representative Sander Levin (D-Mich) speaks about Bush’s plan to dismantle Social Security. Tuesday, January 11, 2005

LISTEN TO CLIP »

Former Representative Barbara Kennelly, president of National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, speaks about Bush’s plan to dismantle Social Security. Tuesday, January 11, 2005

LISTEN TO CLIP »

WASHINGTON – Campaign for America’s Future Co-director Roger Hickey joined Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., and former Rep. Barbara Kennelly, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, on a conference call with reporters today to urge President Bush to tell the truth—that Social Security is not in crisis and is solvent for years to come. President Bush meanwhile pushed his plan to privatize Social Security in Washington despite the protests of many Republicans about his vision.

Hickey said that the president’s plan would hurt the program, not help it.

"The biggest crisis facing Social Security is the president’s plan to privatize it," said Hickey. "Social Security is President Bush’s new ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. He is manufacturing a crisis and working people across the country are not going to buy a deal that cuts their benefits by a third."

Rep. Levin said our nation’s priority must be to protect and provide a secure income to 48 million people, about 30 percent of whom are disabled, widowed or children.

"Mr. President, don’t scare our nation into wrecking Social Security," said Rep. Levin. "Our first task is to make sure the American people have all the facts. The Bush Administration can not be allowed to distort and exaggerate a truly American success story."

Social Security will be solvent until 2052, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, ensuring retirement income, disability protection, and insurance for widows and children who have lost a parent.

Rep. Kennelly was also on the call, noting that only moderate changes are needed to fix Social Security, not the risky privatization scheme Bush is pushing.

"This is not another campaign event where the president can be long on rhetoric and short on plans," said Kennelly. "He is talking about shredding the Social Security safety net, and people have the right to know what the tradeoffs are."

At a campaign-style forum today, President Bush threatened Republican members of Congress, many of whom are skeptical of his plan to privatize Social Security, by telling them they could be risking their jobs if they don’t side with him. Fifty-five percent of Americans believe that investing their Social Security taxes in the stock market is a bad idea, according to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll released today.

# # #

   The Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) is a center of progressive strategy, organizing and issue campaigns. CAF anchors a progressive leadership network, enlisting leaders at the national, state and local levels to build a more just and democratic society. The Campaign is leading the fight about America’s priorities – against privatization of Social Security, for investment in energy independence, good jobs and a sustainable economy, for affordable health care and more.