Will Toomey Take Back Statement Denying His Push To Privatize Social Security?

Video shows him praising President Bush’s privatization plan and saying “we should all be thrilled if this is something that could be accomplished.”

Maybe there is a reason that Congressman Toomey “took no questions from reporters” at a rally yesterday and would not “address the issue [of Social Security].”

On Monday, he told the Pennsylvania Press Club, “I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security.” If the 36 instances released earlier this week of his supporting moving retirement savings to Wall Street were not enough to convince him to correct his record, maybe a reminder of a 2005 press conference will be.

Standing side-by-side with top representatives from prominent ultra-conservative groups (the American Conservative Union, the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council), Congressman Toomey praised President Bush’s effort to take money from Social Security and let Wall Street risk investing it. (During his 2004 campaign, President Bush said, “I’m going to come out strong after my swearing-in with fundamental tax reform, tort reform, privatizing of Social Security.”)

At the 2005 event, Congressman Toomey addresses President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, saying:

“The president deserves an enormous amount of credit for making this a front-burner issue helping Americans to understand the nature of the problem”; and

“I think it’s hopeful, but realistic and we should all be thrilled if this is something that could be accomplished. Profound reform of Social Security could be accomplished in a two or three year period.”

(You can watch the video at the following link and see the transcript below: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/189452-1 – Toomey speaks at the 28:50 mark.)

Congressman Toomey won’t talk about the details of his plan for ‘less government’ because he does not want to admit that this means he wants to effectively end Social Security. Rather than continue to try to ridiculously mislead voters about his privatization plan, Congressman Toomey should correct his own record and admit that he would advocate giving Wall Street control of seniors’ retirement savings and risk putting 20 million seniors into poverty. This fits right in with his proposal for zero corporate taxes, while having a 30 percent tax on the middle class on food, clothing, car purchases, doctors’ visits and other purchases.

American Conservative Union Press Conference on Efforts to Curb Federal Government Spending – October 20, 2005

Reporter (27:44): How would you assess the political will for a second round of Social Security reform? You think Bush is going to have a second chance at it and what does that look like in the overall budget picture?

David Keene (American Conservative Union Chairman): Well I’ll only say I think Pat may want to comment on that, but I will only say that one thing that we have to say is that as President Bush has attempted to address the entitlement problem in some areas and with social security in particular, he has not succeeded and this time, but I think the table has been set so that the problem will be addressed and others as well. So I think in that area, because we were talking about what the administration has and hasn’t done, at least the administration has made an effort. We might wish that it was a stronger effort, we might wish it had been more successful, certainly we wish it had been more successful, but I do think that raising the issue at the time that he did and attempting to get something done about the problem that Ed had mentioned in his opening remarks is something that for which this administration should be praised.

Pat Toomey (President of Club for Growth): I would, first I want to echo David’s comment. First of all, the president deserves enormous amount of credit for making this a front-burner issue helping Americans to understand the nature of the problem. But if we ever thought that a seventy year old program that’s the biggest government program in the history of the world that’s enormously popular was going to change quickly and easily, then we were being naive. The president has moved the ball down the field. I think the ’06 election cycle is going to have a big impact on whether that ball can be picked up and run further down the field in the next cycle. But I think it’s hopeful, but realistic and we should all be thrilled if this is something that could be accomplished. Profound reform of Social Security could be accomplished in a two or three year period.

August 25th, 2010 | Posted in Front Page Stories | No Comments