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77th Anniversary of Social Security: Akin Would Let Reckless Wall Street Banks Control Missouri Seniors’ Retirement Benefits

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77th Anniversary of Social Security: Akin Would Let Reckless Wall Street Banks Control Missouri Seniors’ Retirement Benefits

As U.S. marks anniversary of vital protection relied upon by more than 1 million Missourians, Akin continues his drive to privatize Social Security, hand reins over to Wall Street

St. Louis Mo. — As the nation marks the 77th anniversary of the signing into law of the Social Security Act, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman Erik Dorey released the following statement in response to Congressman Todd Akin’s pledge to end Social Security benefits and, instead, put retirement security for one million Missouri seniors at the mercy of Wall Street:

“Todd Akin's plans for Social Security are far outside Missouri's mainstream and would have a devastating impact on our seniors if he had his way. It’s only been a few years since reckless Wall Street banks nearly brought our economy to its knees, and the only thing that saved millions of our seniors in Missouri and across the country from financial ruin was Social Security. But instead of protecting Social Security’s guarantee for our kids and grandkids, Congressman Akin wants to hand this safety net over to the big banks on Wall Street. The choice in this election couldn’t be clearer — Claire McCaskill, a proven champion on the side of Missouri’s seniors and working families, or Todd Akin, who would subject our seniors’ livelihoods to the whims of a volatile stock market. Who do you want on your side?”

President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law on August 14, 1935, and since then, the program has provided a crucial safety net lifting millions of seniors out of poverty and allowing them to live out old age in health and dignity.

While McCaskill has consistently fought to protect and extend Social Security benefits for today’s seniors and future generations, Akin has vocally supported plans in the U.S. House that would seek to balance the federal budget on the back of seniors.

VIDEO: Akin on Social Security: “I Don’t Like It.” In March 2011, Akin said he doesn’t like Social Security. “Now, Social Security through the years, for many, many people, has been a terrible investment. It’s really a tax, that’s all it is. Social Security is a tax. The government has taken the tax. There’s been more money coming in than going out. And we spend it. That’s not been responsible. I don’t like it. I didn’t design Social Security. It actually came from Bismarck, FDR put it in place.” [CSPAN Washington Journal, 3/18/11]

Fifty-five million Americans and more than one million Missourians rely on Social Security. For more than half of elderly beneficiaries, Social Security provides the majority of their cash income. For about one-third, it provides at least 90% of their income.

BACKGROUND:

Akin Said That He Would Transform Social Security Into a System of Private Retirement Accounts. Speaking at a Republican debate in St. Charles in June 2012, Akin said that he would support transforming Social Security into a system of private retirement accounts. As reported in theColumbia Daily Tribune, “All three said they wanted to repeal the federal health insurance overhaul passed in 2010, transform Social Security into a program of private retirement accounts and make deep cuts in federal spending…On Social Security…Akin said people need to ‘take responsibility for investing their own money.’” [Columbia Daily Tribune, 6/12/12]

Private Social Security Accounts Would Have Been Devastated by the 2008 Stock Market Crash. According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, private Social Security accounts would have been devastated by the 2008 stock market crash: “A person with a private Social Security account similar to what President George W. Bush proposed in 20054 that was invested in stocks retiring on October 1, 2008 after saving for 35 years (since 1973), would have seen a negative return on their account — an effective -0.6 percent net annual real rate of return — and lost $26,000 on the market.” [Center for American Progress, October 2008]

Social Security Privatization Would Result in $152,200 Retirement Cut for Average American. According to a study conducted by the Campaign for America’s Future, the privatization of Social Security would result in a $152,200 cut from the average American’s retirement: “The President's plan would impose benefit cuts of 15 percent for a 45-year-old worker today, cuts of 25 percent for a 35-year-old worker today and a typical 20-year-old worker, who has just begun paying into the Social Security system, can expect to see a cut of $152,000 over their retirement. The plan would saddle young workers with both the cost of crippling national debt and with severe reductions in the amount they can expect to see from their Social Security checks.” [Campaign for America’s Future, 3/1/05]

Privatization Would Risk Retirement In The Market. According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, “Privatization will replace Social Security's guaranteed defined benefits with individual investment accounts. In other words, privatization would take money out of Social Security and have workers invest instead in Wall Street.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Social Security Privatization]

Privatization Could Mean Billions In Windfalls For Wall Street. According to MSNBC, even plans to partially privatize “Social Security could be a windfall for Wall Street, generating billions of dollars in management fees for brokerages and mutual fund companies.” [MSNBC, 12/28/04]

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Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 14, 2012