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Toomey Makes Social Security Privatization a Core Component of Fall Campaign

Toomey Makes Social Security Privatization a Core Component of Fall Campaign

Toomey Makes Noticeable Pivot Toward Advocating for Privatization on the Campaign Trail

Harrisburg, PA – It’s been just under a month since Pat Toomey falsely claimed that he had never advocated for Social Security privatization, but during the past month he has made Social Security privatization a cornerstone of his fall campaign.

“As attention has shifted to the fall election season, Pat Toomey has made Social Security privatization a cornerstone of his campaign,” said Mark Nicastre, spokesman with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “Pat Toomey was one of President George W. Bush’s loudest cheerleaders when he tried to privatize Social Security, and now he’s actively campaigning on Social Security privatization. Why is Pat Toomey now making Social Security privatization a key issue in his campaign?”

As the fall campaign gets underway, Social Security privatization has emerged as a core component of Toomey’s platform.

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette observed that Social Security privatization continued to be a core part of Pat Toomey’s platform.

His first run for public office on the local government study commission came in 1994, a year of Republican momentum as the Democrats lost control of Congress for the first time in decades. In 1998, with the retirement of a conservative Democrat, Mr. Toomey emerged from a crowded field to win the Republican nomination for the 15th Congressional District. In the general election, despite the district’s Democratic background, he won easily.

His platform contained the core of the policies he continues to advocate. He called for Social Security reform emphasizing private investments and a flat tax of 17 percent — positions he would continue to embrace and ones he discusses in his 2009 book, “The Road to Prosperity.”

Toomey made Social Security privatization a focus of two recent meetings with newspaper reporters and editors.

In an article published last week in the Harrisburg Patriot News, Toomey discussed the need for privatization:

He spoke briefly about his proposal to reform Social Security, saying all current retirees would be exempt from any reforms.

Toomey proposes giving young workers a choice to put their taxes on Social Security into a savings account.

Last weekend, Toomey’s plan to privatize Social Security was a leading discussion topic with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. His plan appeared in the story’s third paragraph.

A shaky economy, distrust of sweeping Democratic initiatives such as the health care overhaul, huge federal debt and a rising tide of voter discontent signal the time has come for conservative governance, Toomey said. That includes ideas that fell flat a few years earlier, such as allowing workers to put Social Security taxes into private accounts.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that beginning in 2039, the Social Security Administration will not have enough money to pay benefits promised to workers.

“I think we’re at a point where people realize we have to do something pretty dramatic, “Toomey said. President Bush failed to push through a similar plan, but the country’s mood changed, Toomey said. “I think across the country guys like me are going to get elected to Congress.”

A Wall Street Journal article from earlier this month discussed Social Security privatization and featured Toomey. The article said Toomey wasn’t shying away from the privatization fight

Partial privatization of Social Security has been dead ever since President George W. Bush tried and failed to pass it, then the stock market crashed. Problem is, some of the Republicans’ most prominent upstarts aren’t shying from the fight.

In an interview with Washington Wire Thursday, former Rep. Pat Toomey, who is seeking a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, says he rejects the term “privatization,” but he added, “I totally embrace the idea” that younger workers should be allowed to invest some Social Security taxes in the stock market.

Current retirees and those approaching retirement would see no changes in the Toomey plan, which is basically the same as Bush’s.

“But that doesn’t mean the system as it exists needs to exist in perpetuity, which we know is not possible,” Toomey said. “I’m not backing away from that in the least.”

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