Hoyer: Republicans' Private Accounts Do Not Solve Social Security's Problems

Whip Urges President to End Campaign for Unpopular Private Accounts, Work with Democrats to Make Social Security Solvent

For Immediate Release:

March 3, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) issued the following statement today in response to President Bush’s continued campaign to divert money from Social Security into private accounts, which will force benefit cuts and add trillions of dollars to already record deficits:

“Today, President Bush continues his ill-fated campaign to convince Americans to support his proposal to privatize Social Security – a proposal that would do absolutely nothing to address the program’s long-term solvency.

“The President has been focused like a laser on this issue for two months, first claiming that he had a ‘mandate’ to privatize Social Security and now claiming that he is simply satisfied to educate the American people that the program has a long-term problem.

“The real problem for the President is that the more the American people learn about his privatization proposal, the more they oppose it.  In fact, the American people are two steps ahead of the President.  They oppose private accounts within Social Security because such accounts are not a solution but would actually make the program’s problems worse.

“And they have yet to hear the President explain how he would address the Achilles heel of his proposal: The fact that the federal government would be forced to borrow nearly $5 trillion over 20 years – much of that from foreign countries – to establish such accounts.

“Democrats welcome this continued campaign by the President because it will only serve to undermine his privatization proposal.  Numerous polls and anecdotal evidence make clear that the more Americans learn about the consequences of private accounts, including cuts in guaranteed benefits and massive increases in debt, the less they support them. 

“It is time for President Bush to face reality, to scuttle this privatization proposal, and to work with Democrats to arrest the exploding budget deficits and debt that are plundering the Social Security Trust Fund.  We agree with the President that Social Security commands a bipartisan solution, but his privatization proposal is a non-starter and the sooner he recognizes that the sooner we can reach common ground.”

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