June 9, 2011

Bill to Privatize Social Security Pushed by GOP

NRCC Chairman Rep. Sessions' bill would divert money out of Social Security and into SAFE Accounts

capital buildingRep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, is leading a group of GOP lawmakers to privatize Social Security.

Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), introduced a bill on June 3, H.R. 2109, the Savings Account for Every American Act, which would allow workers to opt out of Social Security and opt in to a private SAFE account--a move critics say is a revival of President George W. Bush’s failed attempts to privatize Social Security through private accounts.

Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works, said in a statement that if passed, Sessions’ bill “could reduce Social Security’s income immediately by over 40% by diverting the full 6.2% of employee Social Security contributions to private accounts.”

After 15 years, he said, “the employer contributions could be diverted as well, reducing Social Security’s income by around 85%.” Session’s legislation, he continued, would “totally undermine Social Security’s financing and put at risk the benefits of millions of seniors, women, disabled beneficiaries and others,” while creating “immediate windfalls in the form of billions of dollars of administrative fees for Wall Street.”

Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, said in the same statement that the Savings Account for Every American Act “is a safe bet for Wall Street but not the American people.” Americans, she said, “have already rejected privatizing Social Security, and they will do so again.”

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