McGlowan Backs Social Security Privatization; Alan Nunnelee Still Says Nothing

After reports surfaced of his primary opponent supporting Social Security privatization, Democrats renewed their call for state Senator and congressional candidate Alan Nunnelee (MS-01), who previously “steered clear of specifics” on the proposal, to tell Mississippi seniors where he stands. A newspaper report this weekend made clear that Nunnelee’s primary opponent, Angela McGlowan, supports Social Security privatization, a key component of the recent GOP Leadership budget proposal.

When interviewed last week, state Senator and congressional candidate Alan Nunnelee “steered clear of the specifics” when asked about his support for a “controversial GOP budget proposal to privatize Social Security.”

“His Republican primary rival supports privatizing Social Security just like the national Republicans that have restarted this Bush-era plan, but Alan Nunnelee can’t be bothered to say what he believes,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Alan Nunnelee either stands with his primary opponent and the Republican leadership in Washington or with the seniors of Mississippi. Alan, it’s a yes or no question…”

The plan, introduced by ranking Republican budget committee member, Representative Paul Ryan, returns to the Bush-era concept of privatizing Social Security in Wall Street accounts. Representative Pete Sessions, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee which has named Alan Nunnelee a contender for its Young Gun Candidate Program, supports privatizing Social Security.

Background

McGlowan backs privatization. “McGlowan has been criticized for her suggestion the public should be allowed to invest at least some of the social security money the federal government deducts from paychecks.” [Commercial Appeal, 2/28/10]

Alan Nunnelee “Steered Clear of the Specifics” on Social Security. [WCBI, 2/24/10]

House GOP Leader supports privatizing social security. In May 2001, now NRCC Chairman Representative Pete Sessions, co-signed a letter to the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security urging for privatization. The letter read, “Social Security reform must offer younger workers the opportunity to improve their rates of return using personal retirement accounts.” [Rep. Jim DeMint Letter to The Social Security Reform Commission, 5/24/01]
Alan Nunnelee is a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s list of contenders in their Young Gun candidate program. [NRCC]

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein writes that under House Republican Ranking Member of the Budget Committee Paul Ryan’s budget proposal reforms are “nothing short of violent. Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher’s growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs. Medicaid is also privatized. The employer tax exclusion is fully eliminated, replaced by a tax credit that grows more slowly than medical costs. And beyond health care, Social Security gets guaranteed, private accounts that CBO says will actually cost more than the present arrangement, further underscoring how ancillary the program is to our budget problem.” [The Washington Post, 2/1/10; Ranking Republican of Budget Committee Paul Ryan Web site]

In 2005, President Bush went on a 60 stops in 60 days Social Security tour, following him outlining the details of his private account plan in his February State of the Union Address. [Washington Post, 4/27/05]

Had seniors been relying on private social security accounts in the Stock Market during the 2008 collapse, they might have lost nearly 40% of their retirement savings in the 12 months leading up to the collapse. On October 9, 2007 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14,164.53. On October 9, 2008 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,579.19. [History of Dow Jones Industrial Average, http://www.mdleasing.com/djia.htm; http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=^DJI&a=09&b=9&c=2007&d=09&e=9&f=2008&g=d&z=66&y=198]