Campaign 2010

Oct 21, 2010

Former President George W. Bush Says His Greatest Failure Was Not Privatizing Social Security

Today, in Chicago, former President George W. Bush said that his greatest failure as president was not privatizing Social Security.  Had the Republicans successfully privatized Social Security, when the market crashed retirees could have lost 40 percent of their investments.

“Republicans’ agenda is what it always was – turn the Social Security seniors worked hard to earn over to Wall Street,” said Ryan Rudominer, National Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “If Republicans has their way, seniors could have lost 40 percent of their retirement investments when the market crashed.  America’s seniors deserve better.”

“The former president [George W. Bush] said his greatest failure in office was not passing Social Security reform.” [Chicago Tribune/WGN, 10/21/10]

BACKGROUND

  • This comes just a day following news that the  Chief Actuary of Social Security  reported that Republican proposals – Budget Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Ryan – would result in Social Security benefits cuts of 10 percent to 50 percent, with average workers losing nearly 30 percent of their Social Security benefits.
  • 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 investments 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]
  • On Meet the Press, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said "We need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminishing it." [Meet the Press, 7/18/10]
  • In September, Minority Leader John Boehner said, “We are not going to be any different than we’ve been.”  [9/23/10, YouTube Video]

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