AUFC - On Eve of Senator McCain's Visit to New Hampshire

On Eve of Senator McCain's Visit to Exeter, Seniors, SocialSecurity Advocates, NH State Representatives Tell Sens. McCain, Sununu, Gregg to Reject Bush’s Renewed Privatization Plan

New Hampshire 's Seniors, Survivors, and the Disabled Resoundingly Rejected the Same Bush Proposal in 2005 – A Risky Investment Scheme that Would Slash Guaranteed Benefits and Explode National Debt

Concord , NH –On the eve of Senator John McCain's visit to Exeter Wednesday, area seniors, Social Security Advocates, and State Representatives gathered in Concord today to urge McCain and his Senate colleagues John Sununu and Judd Gregg to reject President Bush's renewed and disastrous proposal to privatize SocialSecurity. The event came in furious response to the president's inclusion in his FY09 budget of the very same privatization proposal that was overwhelmingly rejected by New Hampshire seniors, survivors and the disabled in 2005. The event also came on the heels of Senator John McCain's recent comments to the Wall Street Journal : "As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it -- along the lines that President Bush proposed." [ Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08 ] Participants in the event included: Cathy Silber from New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action; John Mendalowsky from Alliance for Retired Americans; Jaime Comtois from Working Families Win; Rep. Mike Brunele from Americans United for Change, and NH State Legislators Mike Farley and Bill Hatch.

“Our Social Security, which has been a rock-solid guarantee for millions of our seniors, survivors and the disabled, is in the crosshairs once again,” said Brunelle. “President Bush and Senator McCain are attempting to bring back from the dead the very same risky scheme to privatize Social Security that was resoundingly rejected by the American public in 2005. Privatization is the same bad deal today that it was when then. It’s a bad deal because it replaces security with insecurity by slashing the guaranteed benefit. It will hurt our economy and put a huge new tax burden on Americans by requiring massive new borrowing and debt. It will add trillions of dollars to the national debt, which has already surpassed $9 trillion under this administration. And President Bush, Senator McCain and the rest of the anti-Social Security forces in Congress never escaped the simple fact that private accounts don’t add a single day to the life of Social Security – not one single day. Top Bush advisors even admitted as much. Privatization will weaken -- not strengthen -- Social Security by diverting trillions that would be used to pay guaranteed benefits.”

“Now that this critical fight over the future of Social Security has been renewed, we must now also know where our Representatives in Congress stand,” added Brunelle. “When Senator McCain visits New Hampshire tomorrow,will Senators John Sununu and Judd Gregg call to him to back away from pursuing a failed and discredited policy which would turn Social Security from a guarantee into a gamble while slashing benefits for seniors, the disabled and survivors?”

“Privatization is a Lose-Lose scam,” said Rep. Mike Farley. “Privatizers claim that you can keep your private accounts, but they don’t tell you that the government will actually take back 70% or more of your account at retirement. If you invest poorly, you lose; if you invest well, the government wins. And what President Bush always neglected to mention is that privatization would slash the guaranteed benefit by as much as 46% --whether we choose to have a private account or not. It’s a bad deal that will slash about $154,000 in retirement benefits for the average retiree. It’s a bad deal that would leave a worker born in 1990 to rely on risky stock investments for 83% of his/her benefit. It’s a bad deal that will cost nearly $5 trillion over 20 years, passing down a crippling debt to the next generation.”

“We need common sense solutions for strengthening Social Security, but replacing one of our nation’s most successful and popular programs with risky private accounts makes no sense at all,” added Farley. “We must know: will Senator Sununu and Greg travel with Senator McCain down this tortured path towards dismantling our Social Security which has been a rock solid guarantee for over 70 years? Or will they do the right thing and stand up for New Hampshire’s seniors, disabled, and survivors?”

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