Saturday, October 25, 2008

DSCC / Franken Fear Mongering on Social Security

The DSCC released an ad yesterday attacking both Coleman and Barkley on Social Security and Higher Education.

Narrator: Three candidates for Senate, but only one has consistently opposed privatizing Social Security and cutting benefits.
Visual: Opposed privatizing social security and cutting benefits
Narrator: Al Franken.
He won’t let Wall Street gamble your retirement.
Narrator: Al Franken. The only choice for change.Visual: Al Franken. The only choice for change.

Narrator: Three candidates for Senate, but only one will give families a $5,000 tuition tax credit.

Visual: Give Minnesota families a $5000 college tuition tax credit.
Narrator: Al Franken. He’ll make college more affordable.

Narrator: Al Franken. The only choice for change.
Visual: Al Franken. The only choice for change.

Let's remember Al Franken at the Golden Valley KARE 11 debate.
Franken told reporters Monday that he did not think anything needed to be done with Social Security in the six-year term the Minnesota senator would serve.

Dean Barkley offered solutions.
Barkley, at a debate Saturday in Golden Valley, said solutions are available but people have to have the political will to enact them. He said the tax can be raised, the retirement age can be raised, the cap of how much the government taxes can be raised or the benefits can be means-tested.

“But if we accept the hard truths about entitlements and their funding, there’s no reason in the world we can’t save these programs. We don’t need another ‘Blue Ribbon Commission’ to study this issue again,” Barkley said in a statement issued Monday.

Barkley confronted Franken on the Social Security ad and Franken's inconsistency last night on Almanac.
Barkley faulted a Democratic ad suggesting he favors privatization of Social Security, but Franken said he had no control over that ad.

An exchange over Social Security followed, with Coleman calling for a special commission to be the architect of reform, while Franken insisted that the retirement program's problems are far in the future. That brought a rebuke from Barkley.

"It's IOUs in the [Social Security] Trust Fund," he said, adding that the real problem was the refusal to talk candidly about Social Security. "We can fix it," he said. "Let's just be honest and do it."

Franken's political courage on Social Security is similar to the political courage he exuded on the bailout bill, opposing it only after it was passed. Coleman slammed Franken for it last night as well.
"I'm going to exercise my independent judgment as senator, and I think Minnesotans expect that ... just like Paul Wellstone did," Franken said.

"Paul Wellstone never would have waited until after the vote to tell you what he thought," Coleman said.

The DSCC as is misleading and works to spread fear amongst seniors while our nation faces a great financial crisis. It's fear mongering at its finest.

The truth is that Al Franken has had an unclear position on Social Security. He wants to fix it one day, thinks it's fine for his first six year Senate term the next day.

Coleman supports the Bush privatization plan and wants another commission to study it.

Recall Barkley's discussion of Social Security:

Noting that Barkley, in Saturday night's debate at the Breck School, outlined four clear options for ensuring the program's solvency, the Minnesota Daily editors wrote:"Franken talked about his commitment to fix the situation, but said 'eventually we would have to have a solution for this,' noting that he wouldn't want to invest it into the stock market like some politicians have suggested.

Coleman attacked Franken about not stating an actual solution, but didn't seem to offer a clear solution either and then stated his absolute commitment to young people and the obligation to fund social security.

"Since Barkley outlined his four ideas for social security, we call on Franken and Coleman to clearly address the funding of social security and their plans for a solution."

On Sunday, Barkley reiterated his commitment to Social Security, which can be preserved for future generations by either:

• Implementing means-testing to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits;
• Raising the retirement age;
• Raising the tax workers pay into the program; or
• Raising the ceiling on income taxed for contribution to the Social Security trust fund.

"The solutions are only difficult if your top priorities are simply serving the AARP or getting reelected," Barkley said. "But if we accept the hard truths about entitlements and their funding, there's no reason in the world we can't save these programs. We don't need another 'Blue Ribbon Commission' to study this issue again."

In Saturday night's debate, Franken argued Social Security is solvent for decades to come, despite the concerns of many young people that the program won't be there when it's time for their retirement.

"Congress has been robbing the Social Security trust fund dry for the past six years," Barkley said. "In 2000, Al Gore talked about implementing a 'lock box' policy, but the real trouble is that too many people today have keys to the lock box."

We need solutions, not blatant fear mongering.


lloydletta said...

So what is Barkley suggesting doing? Is he saying do all of the above? I'm not clear on which option he prefers, or whether he prefers a combination.

Awakening said...

My Social Security update letter's since I turned 40 (nine years ago) say... I can't fully retire until age 70 years. I've worked all of my adult life. So if the age is raised again, they (government) better create some jobs that a senior, senior worker can actually do and get decent pay for. Raising the retirement age on me again is depressing enough. I am opposed to any privatization of the system and hope a new administration can begin a power house repair project. There are a lot of boomers getting ready to go on. My husband is 62 years (turns 63 12/2008), worked a life time, is a Vet and is looking forward to his retirement at 65 years of age. Realistically, I don't think he will be able to...lot's of lay offs and medical health issues drained that once healthy savings account. So I don't want to bum him out, as he says. But I don't see any other way to survive financially, then to keep working -if there is an appropriate job(s). He is not going to be very fun to live with if his full retirement age of 65 is bumped up just few short years before it's set to start. Maybe a new and improved administration - a team of "Honest, Clear Minded, Logical, Common Sensed, Humanitarian Visionaries" can get a plan together that doesn't cause another type of crisis. Am I asking for too much? I will keep looking for that message from the politicians left to consider. I will continue to look over past track records in order to choose someone as close to that desired position as possible. And I will keep an eye on your post's about Barkley. I was a Ventura supporter, but don't feel well informed enough yet about Barkley's issue's platform. My trust meter and attitude changed after I voted for Klobuchar to help end the Iraq occupation. I am a lot more skeptical about all of the stump speeches than I have ever been. Almost obsessively cautious, which is why this process is taking me so long to decide. My brain and gut are working against each other at every turn. I do know I won't vote for Franken or Coleman. Thank you for helping to educate this Fence Sitting Independent voter from the 6th. awakening