82 Days: Dole isn't Celebrating the Anniversary of Social Security

DAY 82

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the Social Security Act becoming law, and though millions of hardworking Americans benefit from its provisions, Elizabeth Dole certainly isn’t celebrating. She has been an outspoken advocate for privatization – voting to raid the fund’s surpluses, allowing the program to be subjected to the whims of the stock market and even going so far as to campaign with President Bush for this drastic and unpopular alternative.


Kay Hagan on the other hand, had something else to say to commemorate this historic anniversary:

“Social Security has been a vital part of this country for the past 73 years, and will continue to be into the future."

“President Roosevelt’s visionary plan has helped millions of workers and their families realize part of the American dream. While Social Security is currently projected to be able to pay full benefits without any policy changes for 33 years, the next Congress and our new President will have work to continue honoring the promise between the government and Americans who have spent their lives working.”

“The $9 trillion George Bush-sponsored and Republican-supported debt is the biggest threat to Social Security.”

“When I’m in the U.S. Senate I’ll work with my colleagues to restore fiscal responsibility so we can increase the solvency of the Social Security system without limiting eligibility, reducing benefits, or privatizing any aspect of it.”
-U.S. Senate Candidate Kay Hagan (D-NC)

DOLE/BUSH TEAM FOUGHT TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY

“Like President Bush,” Dole Supports Partial Privatization. Discussing privatization in September 2002, the Charlotte Observer wrote, “Dole, like President Bush, supports a partial investment program.” [Charlotte Observer, 9/17/02]

In 2005, Dole Said She Admired Bush for Taking On Social Security, Adding That She “Talked A Lot” About Private Accounts In Her 2002 Campaign. Asked about her support for President Bush’s privatization plan in 2005, Dole said, “I admire him for taking on a tough issue, and frankly, I wish the other side would come up with some ideas. It seems that, you know, it's just a matter of criticizing the president, or criticizing what we're trying to do. But, you know, in my campaign for the Senate, I talked a lot about the personal savings account.” [CNN, “Inside Politics,” 4/25/05]

Dole Was “Steadfast In Her Support” Of Bush’s Privatization Plan And Claimed It Wouldn’t Affect Current Beneficiaries. In 2005, Gannett News Service reported, “Dole, who campaigned on creating privately managed Social Security accounts, is steadfast in her support of the president's plan. Creating such accounts, Dole said, won't ‘affect ... people who are drawing benefits now -- retirees or near retirees. But if you are a senior citizen and you have a grandson or granddaughter who'd like to voluntarily take a small part of that payroll tax and put it into a diversified account ... it's going to be a nest egg that's going to grow.’ [Gannett News Service, 4/15/05]

Bush Brought Dole On Part Of His 2005 Privatization Tour As An Example Of How to Campaign On Social Security. In 2005, Bush visited Raleigh on his tour to promote his plan to privatize Social Security. The Raleigh News & Observer reported that he was bringing Dole to the event with him, “as an example of the rare politician who won office while pledging to change Social Security.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 2/9/05]

Charlotte Observer Editorial Blasted Bush/Dole Plan, Saying “Social Security Is A Retirement Program, Not An Investment Plan.”
In 2002, the Charlotte Observer editorial board wrote, “Social Security is a retirement program, not an investment plan. It provides security, not earnings. President Bush and Mrs. Dole would change that by allowing workers to put some of their Social Security taxes into investment accounts… taking the money from Social Security creates two problems. First, where would the money come from... The second problem: If an investment account does poorly, what happens to retirees already living on a meager pension (the average Social Security recipient gets about $800 a month)… It’s possible to create modest investment accounts and still protect retirees, but it won’t be cost-free.” [Charlotte Observer, 10/16/02]

After Her Campaign, Dole Defended Privatization And The GOP Used Dole’s 2002 Campaign As Example of How to Run on Social Security. Campaigning in February 2007, Dole “said she took risky stands during her 2002 Senate campaign, including support for partial privatization of Social Security, because she thought it was right.” In 2005, the Associated Press reported, “Republicans regularly point to Sen. Elizabeth Dole's campaign in 2002 as evidence of the shift on Social Security. Attacked as an advocate of privatization, she held up a blank sheet of paper and told her audiences it represented her rival's plan to fix the system's ailing finances.” National Republicans also distributed a guide to Social Security reforms using Dole as their model for a winning campaign, saying Dole “never ran away from her support of Social Security reforms.” [Associated Press, 2/20/05, 2/3/05; Raleigh News & Observer, 2/17/07]

DOLE HAS REPEATEDLY VOTED AGAINST PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY

March 2006: Dole Voted To Raid Social Security Trust Fund In Order To Pay For Privatization. In March 2006, 46 Republican Senators, including Dole, voted to raid the Social Security trust fund in an effort to advance President Bush’s unpopular plan to privatize Social Security. The GOP’s privatization proposal would shift Social Security’s annual surpluses into a reserve account intended to be turned into risky private accounts. Max Baucus noted, “This is privatization of Social Security pure and simple.” [Vote 68, 3/16/06; Baucus, Floor Speech, 3/16/06]

May 2003: Dole Voted To Allow Using The Social Security Trust Fund To Pay Off The National Debt. In 2003, Dole voted to kill an amendment that would prevent use of the Social Security Trust Fund to pay off any of the federal debt. [Vote 201, 5/23/03]

May 2003: Dole Voted Against Expressing The Sense Of The Senate That Social Security COLAs Should Not Be Reduced. In 2003, Dole voted to kill an amendment that would have expressed the sense of the Senate that cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients should not be reduced. [Vote 198, 5/23/03]

DOLE SUPPORTED BUSH TAX CUTS OVER SOCIAL SECURITY

March 2005: Dole Voted For Tax Cuts Over Social Security. In 2005, Dole voted against an amendment that would make the consideration of new tax cuts or net mandatory spending that would increase the deficit subject to a 60-vote point of order unless Congress restored the solvency of Social Security for 75 years. [Vote 47, 3/15/05]

March 2003: Dole Voted Against Cutting Bush Tax Cut In Half, To $350 Billion, With Savings Going To Social Security Reserve And Deficit Reduction. In 2003, Dole voted against cutting Bush’s proposed $726 billion tax cut in half, to $350 billion, and allocate the funding to a new Social Security reserve account and deficit reduction. The amendment would reduce tax cuts in the resolution to $350 billion and allocate $120 billion of the subsequent increased revenues toward a new Social Security reserve account, with the remainder going toward deficit reduction [Vote 93, 3/25/03]

March 2003: Dole Voted Against Eliminating $1.2 Billion From Bush Tax Cuts, And Putting The Savings Into Social Security. In 2003, Dole voted to table an amendment that would have reduced the 10-year Bush tax cut by $1.2 trillion and put the money towards Social Security and deficit reduction. The president’s $726 billion economic package was included in that amount. [Vote 58, 3/18/03; Associated Press, 3/18/03]

DOLE IS A LONG-TIME SUPPORTER OF SOCIAL SECURITY PRIVATIZATION

1999: Dole Supported Privatizing Social Security Accounts. In 1999, as a presidential candidate, Dole said she supported allowing workers to invest a portion of their Social Security income in the securities market. According to Investor’s Business Daily, Dole supported “some degree of Social Security privatization.” The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that “Dole would let taxpayers invest some of their Social Security contributions in the stock market.” [Pensions and Investments, 6/28/99; Investor’s Business Daily, 9/14/99; Fort Worth Star Telegram, 8/29/99]

---Disclaimer: I am Kay Hagan's Online Communications Director---