Study finds Social Security privatization
would cause cuts to guaranteed benefits

111,000 Mississippians would fall into poverty without promised benefits
JACKSON (Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008) – Current and future Social Security recipients sounded the alarm today about the long-term economic impact in Mississippi of a John McCain/George W. Bush-style privatization plan for Social Security.

A report released this week by the nonprofit Institute for America’s Future says that McCain’s privatization plan would cut guaranteed benefits by $96,818 over the course of a single recipient’s lifetime.

Currently, 559,344 Mississippi residents rely on Social Security – the most effective anti-poverty program in our country since its inception,” said Barbara Blackmon, vice chair of the Mississippi Democratic Party.

“Diverting money away from the Social Security Trust and gambling it in the stock market takes the guarantee out of guaranteed benefits for current and future retirees. If Sen. McCain – and the same folks who stood by President Bush the last time this was tried – manages to privatize Social Security, we can expect 111,000 Mississippians to be thrust into poverty.”

The financial burden of health care, nutrition and housing for retirees and other beneficiaries will fall to our state and to our families. As the report from the Institute for America’s Future explains, McCain’s privatization plan would endanger the $6 billion in annual funds from Social Security recipients upon which local businesses and state government rely.

“Sen. McCain has been quite clear, offering more of the same failed Bush economic policies and saying personally that he believes that the way Social Security works is a ‘disgrace,’” Blackmon said. “But the people of Mississippi disagree. We say ‘No’ to the same old politics that put Wall Street profits ahead of our families.

“We can work together to ensure that Social Security will continue to be a strong and vital component of American life. But privatization is the wrong thing to do and would only serve to destroy the most effective anti-poverty program in our history.

“In this election, the choice is clear: Sen. McCain, who wants to privatize Social Security, or Sen. Obama who will work with Congress and the American people to ensure we honor America’s promise to us all, and that we can someday retire in dignity.”

MS Democratic Party Release
8/7/8