Senate Democrats

Reid Blasts Latest Privatization Scheme

Senate Democratic Leader says DeMint Plan Cuts Benefits, Increases Debt and Weakens Social Security

Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today released the following statement:

“The latest Republican privatization scheme is a transparent political gimmick that would weaken Social Security. Like the president’s plan, the DeMint Bill would force benefit cuts and an increase in debt, while continuing to raid Social Security. Democrats are committed to strengthening Social Security and will continue to educate the American people about the dangers of privatization.”



As Republicans in Congress have shifted their strategy on Social Security privatization to try and bait Democrats into supporting a bill that would provide a vehicle for private accounts later in the process, it is important to remember that it is the Republicans who have been raiding Social Security surpluses ever since President Bush took office and it is Republicans who have stood in the way of genuine efforts to protect Social Security.

Republicans Have Raided Social Security of Nearly $670 Billion. Since President Bush came to Washington, he has signed legislation that has raided the Social Security surplus by nearly $670 billion, using these funds for purposes such as massive tax breaks and spending for special interests. Now the Washington Republicans want to raid those surpluses to pay for their risky privatization scheme. Their plan would take money out of Social Security, making the program’s long term challenges worse, while doing absolutely nothing to prevent Republicans from continuing to threaten Social Security’s future by running up large budget deficits. [Figure from Senate Budget Committee Democratic staff, based on Congressional Budget Office analysis]

Republicans Blocked Attempt to End Deficit Spending and Protect Social Security. During the budget debate, Republicans blocked an attempt to restore pay as you go budget rules that were used in the past to cut deficits and would protect the Social Security Trust Fund by restoring fiscal discipline. Fifty Senate Republicans, including Senators Bennett, Graham, Santorum and DeMint, voted against the Feingold amendment. The amendment failed 50-50. [RC 53, S. Amdt. 186 to S. Con. Res. 18, 3/16/05]

Republicans Blocked Attempt to Protect Social Security. During the budget debate, Republicans blocked an attempt to protect the Social Security Trust Fund by restoring pay as you go rules that proved effective in maintaining fiscal discipline during the 1990’s. Republicans voted against an amendment by Senator Conrad that would have restored pay as you go budget rules until Social Security’s 75-year solvency was restored. All fifty-five Senate Republicans voted against the Conrad amendment. The amendment failed 45-55. [RC 47, S. Amdt. 144 to S. Con. Res. 18, 3/15/05]