Lately ThinkProgress has been doing yeoman’s work in rooting through the various statements and the voting records of our congress members to find out just what their past record indicates about what they would do to important programs like Social Security. Among the 104 current congress members who are on the record for privatizing Social Security are – fanfare here – Roy Blunt (R-07) and Todd Akin (R-02).
The reason that it is worth remarking on this finding is because Missouri’s GOP candidates are so shy about discussing where they stand when Social Security comes up. They usually offer a rote (and often ambiguously worded) denial that they have any plans at all and then quickly turn the topic elsewhere. ThinkProgress lays out a familiar pattern of obfuscation:
… the GOP’s strategy on Social Security has been two-fold. First, Republicans deny they are interested in privatization. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently told the Wall Street Journal that “no one has a proposal up to cut Social Security,” (his own book proposes doing so), while conservatives in the media have tried to argue that Republicans don’t actually want to privatize Social Security.
The second tactic has been to obfuscate their privatization plans by sugarcoating them in flowery, palatable language. President Bush’s privatization plan is a prime example. In his 2005 State of the Union, President Bush said we needed to “save” Social Security and give younger workers a “better deal” by having “voluntary personal retirement accounts,” the poll-tested language for privatization.
So don’t be fooled. If you are ready to see Social Security go bye-bye, vote for Roy Blunt or Todd Akin this year (although I am willing to bet that if push comes to shove, the rest of our GOPers wouldn’t mind taking up a shovel to help bury one of our most successful government programs). Keep in mind that if the Republicans take over the Congress this election, as ThinkProgress observes, “it’s likely that a GOP-controlled Congress would have the necessary votes to revisit the issue.”