Home 2019 Elections Kaine Campaign Graphic Shows (Dire) Consequences of Allen’s Social Security Privatization Proposal

Kaine Campaign Graphic Shows (Dire) Consequences of Allen’s Social Security Privatization Proposal


From the Kaine campaign:

August 14, 2012 

Kaine for Virginia Press Office
(804) 359-7106



Richmond, VA – On the 77th anniversary of the enactment of Social Security, the Kaine for Virginia campaign unveiled a new social media graphic demonstrating the risks of George Allen's push to partially privatize Social Security.  As a senator, George Allen voted to shift Social Security dollars to private accounts and called for those secure funds to be invested in the housing market. 
The graphic released today demonstrates the steep drop in home values following the 2008 housing market crash – a drop that would have hit seniors and future retirees even harder had their Social Security funds also been invested in home values.  Had George Allen's privatization proposal gone into action, the average senior who invested Social Security savings into the housing market would have lost nearly 30 percent of their investment.

His risky privatization scheme isn't the first time George Allen's put retirement security in jeopardy.  As a candidate for Senate in 2000, Allen promised to put Social Security funds in a lockbox to “keep the politicians’ hands off of it,” but once in office, Allen voted at least 7 times to raid the Social Security trust fund to finance government spending and tax cuts. 

“Virginians deserve to know what could have happened if George Allen’s privatization plan had been successful,” said Brandi Hoffine, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director. “George Allen has continually demonstrated through his praise of the Ryan budget and his vote to shift Social Security dollars to private accounts that he can’t be trusted with the retirement security of Virginians. In contrast, Tim Kaine’s balanced approach would strengthen Social Security for future generations and ensure a stable retirement security for all Virginians.”

Tim Kaine marked today's anniversary in an op-ed entitled Strengthening Social Security for Future Generations. “This week, we celebrate the anniversary of one of the most successful programs to ever be enacted, recommit ourselves to strengthening Social Security for future generations, and renew the promise of generations before us that no American should slip into poverty after a life-time of hard-work,” Kaine wrote.  

2005: Allen Said That If Personal Accounts Are Added To Social Security, Citizens Should Be Able To Invest In The Housing Market, In Addition To Stocks And Bonds. In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Allen said he was open to raising the retirement age or adjusting cost-of-living increases to reform Social Security. Allen then added, “But then you also need to look at a package that also ought to be looking at making sure that investments in stocks or bonds or others are – the taxes are low so that people of, let's say, middle or lower income can avail themselves of these investments. And moreover, in the event that a personal savings account approach is taken, allowing them to invest in a home in addition to right now it's stocks, bonds and other financial instruments.” [NBC, Meet The Press, 5/1/05]

CQ: “Senate Turns Back ‘Lockbox’ Efforts, Protecting Tax Cuts.” In 2004, Allen voted against reviving the Social Security “lockbox,” opting to protect the Bush tax cuts instead. In an article headlined, “Senate Turns Back ‘Lockbox Efforts, Protecting Tax Cuts,” CQ Today reported, “The Senate rejected a bid to revive the Social Security ‘lockbox’ on Tuesday. . . . Lockbox Broken. In the first of two votes during the Senate debate Tuesday, Republicans killed an amendment by Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, that would require 60 votes before considering tax cuts or increases in mandatory spending whenever surplus Social Security revenue is being used to cover other spending. Conrad’s amendment was a variation of the Social Security lockbox concept that was the rage in the battles over taxes in 1999 and 2000. But, despite the emergence of record deficits, the lockbox slogan seemed to lose its punch, since its revival would require allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.” [Vote #33, 3/9/04; CQ Today, 3/9/04]
2003: Allen Voted To Raid The Social Security Trust Fund On The Same Day He Voted To Increase Debt Limit And Pass The Second Round Of The Bush Tax Cuts. In 2003, Allen voted against an amendment to protect the Social Security Trust Fund. On the same day that Allen voted to increase the debt limit and pass the second round of Bush tax cuts, he voted against Senator Hollings measure on Social Security. On the floor, Hollings said, “Mr. President, this merely stops the Secretary of the Treasury from looting the Social Security trust fund in order to make the national debt appear smaller than it actually is. On Sixth Avenue in New York, they have a debt clock showing, day to day, the increase of the national debt. On March 5 of this year, that debt clock stopped, courtesy of the Secretary of the Treasury, who immediately started using trust funds, particularly Social Security trust funds—Enron accounting—to make the debt appear smaller.” [Vote 201, 5/23/03; Congressional Record, 5/23/03]

  • Allen Voted to Raise the Debt Limit Four Times. [Vote 148, 6/11/02; Vote 202, 5/23/03; Vote 213,11/17/04; Vote 54, 3/16/06]
  • Allen Cast Crucial Vote For Bush’s 2003 Tax Cut Package. On May 23rd, 2003, Allen cast a crucial vote to approve the final version of President Bush’s $330 billion tax cut plan, which passed 50-50 with Vice President Cheney breaking the tie. [Pioneer Press, 5/24/03; Vote 196, 5/23/03; AP, 5/23/03] 

Allen Voted To Use Social Security Funds To Help Finance The 2003 Round Of The Bush Tax Cuts. In 2003, Allen voted against an amendment “to ensure that Social Security surpluses are not raided in order to fund tax cuts on corporate dividends.” As National Journal’s CongressDaily reported it: “This afternoon the Senate rejected, 53-44, an amendment by Minority Whip Reid to prohibit Social Security funds from being used to fund the dividend tax cut.” [Vote 147, 5/14/03; National Journal’s CongressDaily, 5/14/03]
Allen Voted Against Bipartisan Measure To Shore Up Social Security Trust Fund; Instead, He Would Have Doubled The Size Of The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts. In 2003, Allen voted against a bipartisan measure to reduce Bush’s proposed tax cut from $726 billion to $350 billion and use the savings to shore up the social security trust fund. The amendment came out of a bipartisan deal between Democratic Senator Breaux and Republican Senators Voinovich, Snowe, and Chafee. The measure passed 51-48. Allen voted no. [Vote 93, 3/25/03; CBS MarketWatch, 3/26/03]

  • Bipartisan Group Of Senators Sponsored Measure To Shore Up The Social Security Trust Fund. CBS MarketWatch reported that the measure to reduce the Bush tax cuts and divert the savings to short up Social Security “was sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senate centrists — Republicans Olympia Snowe and George Voinovich and Democrats John Breaux and Max Baucus. . . . On Tuesday, the centrists prevailed, attracting South Carolina Democrat Ernest Hollings and other tax-cut opponents to the ‘yea’ column after revising the measure to divert $396 billion to a reserve fund designed to shore up the so-called Social Security Trust Fund.” [CBS MarketWatch, 3/26/03]

During A Time Of Deficits, Allen Voted Against More Money For The Social Security Trust Fund In Favor Of The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts.  In 2003, Allen voted against a measure “To redirect $1.214 trillion in revenues that would have been lost by implementing the President's entire tax cut agenda into a reserve fund to strengthen the Social Security trust funds over the long-term.” [Vote 58, 3/18/03]
2001: Allen Voted Against Establishing “An Off-Budget Lockbox To Strengthen Social Security And Medicare.” In March 2001, Allen voted against a measure “that would create a Medicare and Social Security ‘lockbox.’” It would take the Medicare Insurance Trust Fund off-budget and create a 60-vote point of order against any legislation that put Social Security back on-budget. The measure received a majority vote — 53-47 — but needed 3/5 to pass. Allen voted no. All Democrats and three Republicans voted yes. No Democrats voted no. [Vote 22, 3/13/01; CQ Floor Votes]
2001: Allen Voted Against Creating A “Lockbox To Strengthen Social Security And Medicare.” In July 2001, Allen voted against an amendment “to establish an off-budget lockbox to strengthen Social Security and Medicare.” The amendment would take the Medicare Insurance Trust Fund off-budget and create a 60-vote point of order against any legislation that put Social Security back on-budget. [Vote 221, 7/10/01; CQ Floor Votes]