McCain For, Then Against Privatizing Social Security

McCain was in full Mitt Romney mode yesterday, contradicting his previous position on privatizing Social Security:

"I am not for privatizing Social Security. I never have been. I never will be."

Well, that's not quite true.

This shows the slightly different perspective McCain had about privatization in November of 2004:

So McCain actually was in favor of privatizing Social Security, just not now - when it's no longer politically expedient.

Obama will be in Columbus, Ohio today - expect him to mention McCain's...change of heart.

Obama's campaign emailed out a preview of what he'll say:

Now, John McCain's ideas on Social Security amount to four more years of what was attempted and failed under George Bush.  He said he supports private accounts for Social Security - in his words, "along the lines that President Bush proposed." Yesterday he tried to deny that he ever took that position, leaving us wondering if he had a change of heart or a change of politics.

Well let me be clear: privatizing Social Security was a bad idea when George W. Bush proposed it.  It's a bad idea today. It would eventually cut guaranteed benefits by up to 50%.  It would cost a trillion dollars that we don't have to implement on the front end, permanently elevating our debt.  And most of all, it would gamble the retirement plans of millions of Americans on the stock market.  That's why I stood up against this plan in the Senate, and that's why I won't stand for it as President.

Last fall, I was hoping the Republicans would nominate Romney. But McCain is proving almost as good.
 

Tags: Election 08, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Re: Hmmm ...

McCain has been advocating individual accounts to Social Security since at least 2000.  His record is crystal clear on this issue.

by Brad G 2008-06-13 06:22AM | 0 recs
Expand your video to include

the time McCain said he wanted to privatize Social Security "along the lines that President Bush proposed."  

by DaveG 2008-06-13 06:23AM | 0 recs
Flip-flopping again.

When will the traditional media get a clue?  Flip-flopping was the buzz word in the last election and it was used unmercifully against Kerry, McCain, not so much.  

by temptxan 2008-06-13 06:27AM | 0 recs
Because McCain's a CReep...

And the corporate media usually seems to be easier on CReeps (eg Bush v. Kerry, Bush v. Gore). That's why it's our duty to expose McCain's dirty flip-flopping record and hold the media accountable for continuing this "maverick" myth.

by atdleft 2008-06-13 06:56AM | 0 recs
Double edged sword

Not only did he flip flop, but this will piss off his base.

...again...

Make sure all of your diehard conservative friends and coworkers know that McCain is selling out conservative goals for electoral expediency.  Be sure to use phrases like, "How can you trust him?" and "What will he abandon next?  Iraq?"  Have fun!

by thezzyzx 2008-06-13 06:51AM | 0 recs
Hehe...

Are you suggesting I say this to all my Reep family members to get them to stay home or vote Bob Barr? Well, I guess it's worth a try. The fewer votes for McBush, the better. ;-)

by atdleft 2008-06-13 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Hehe...

The best thing about this is that they're already terrified of this.  Prove that their fear is correct.

by thezzyzx 2008-06-13 07:03AM | 0 recs
Obama says he's totally against it, but ...

... his chief adviser on entitlements is Jeffrey Leibman, who spearheaded an effort to salvage privatization from the trash heap of history in 2005 after the netroots, unions, and other progressive allies stomped Bush's plan into the dust.

Obama still "agitates" on common naive impressions of what the Social Security system is, how it works, and what its future holds ... when he's playing on fears to disadvantage opposing candidates.

He also scores with naive audiences by talking up "raising the cap". As anybody who was taking good notes during the netroots triumph of 2005 knows, this is a potential component of future adjustments if and when ... but making this move now is about the worst thing we could do to "fix" the system.

It'll be interesting to see how "Social Security Day" plays out on the trial, in the math, and in the aftermath.

by RonK Seattle 2008-06-13 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he's totally against it, but ...

Prepare to be troll rated for what you said, but I totally agree - Obama's position on SS seems to be very poorly thought out.

Raising the "cap" while the system is still in surplus may seem like a good idea on the surface, but really it is taking the back road to privatization. I take Obama at his word that he is against privatization on principle, but his demogoguery on the "cap" issue is troubling.

To see what will happen if you lift the "cap", you just split SS payers into 3 groups.

1) Middle and lower income folks, who will pay no more in than they do now, and get no additional benefit.

2) Upper income professionals, who earn most of their income from wages. They will pay a lot more, and get no additional benefit. They will start demanding a way to get more equitable treatment from the system - that is, private accounts.

3) Very high income folks, who already get most of their income from non-wage sources, and can easily arrange to have their wage income shifted to investment income. These people will also wind up paying no more than they do now.

With the cap, groups 1,2,3 respectively, care a lot, care a little, and care not at all about preserving SS. Without the cap, the groups care a lot, negatively care a lot, and care not at all. Raising the cap is a long term political loser - that is why FDR's smart planners put the cap in the system in the first place.

by itsthemedia 2008-06-13 07:38AM | 0 recs
BO, lacks a sophisticated grasp of SocSec

That puts him in company with most ordinary folks ... and Tim Russert ... and a host of politicians who flirted with privatization in the 1990s before catching on.

But we went through all that in the 1990s, and we went through it in spades in 2005 (that was where the newly-reelected W wanted to spend his "political capital", remember?), and it'll really piss me off if we have to go through it again so soon ... and if the supposed progressive standardbearer helps inculcate a pro-privatization mindset in the next generation so we'll have to go through it again.

by RonK Seattle 2008-06-13 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he's totally against it, but ...

This is why I was never an Obama supporter in the primaries - Leibman is a co-author with Martin Feldstein who has been jonesing to destroy Social Security for 40 years or more.  However, the more Obama goes on the record opposing privatization, the more boxed in he'll be, I hope, if he's elected.  And Democrats in Congress, like Pelosi who stopped this crap cold in 2005, I hope will stop it again.

McCain was on this again this morning, I think, saying oh no, he's not for privatization, but what he's for is some private accounts for young people.  And then he said he'd guarantee benefits for "current retirees" - very generous of you, John.  He talked about the parties getting together, like Tip O'Neill and Ronal Reagan in 1983 - well, I was there, I worked on it, and Reagan got his ass handed to him on Social Security both before and during the 1983 Amendments.  He was STILL saying privately, to members of Congress of both parties, right up to the signing of the 1983 Amendments that, "You know, we really do have to get rid of this program."  I don't know why the elderly don't get it that Republicans CANNOT be trusted on Social Security.  Period.

McCain's continuing support for privatization  makes a great attack ad point, I agree - and I hope using it against McCain stops Leibman and other of Obama's advisors (like Goolsbee) from bringing it up again in any context.

by geordie 2008-06-13 08:49AM | 0 recs
Privitization of Social Security

is a LOSER issue so McCain is smart to back away from it.

However, now we have an ATTACK ad for the Fall in Pennsylvania and Florida which has older populations.

It will be that McCain "was for privitization of social security before he was against it" and will show A BUNCH OF CLIPS of McCain touting private accounts and then saying well he changed his mind.  It will be a flip flop ad.

by puma 2008-06-13 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Privitization of Social Security

Lets definately show the contrast, but I wish you would stop that "For it before he was against it wording..."  That was a terrible statement by KERRY himself.  Lets not use thos ewords that helped get bush Term 2.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-13 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain For, Then Against Privatizing Social Se

I REALLY need to find the time to sit down with McCain footage, editing software and the Flipper theme song.  God I love YOU TUBE for elections.  It helped destroy Allen and now its going after McSame.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-13 09:32AM | 0 recs

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