FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
NRCC Chair’s Legislation Diverts Workers’ Wages into Wall Street Accounts
(Washington, DC) – National Republican Congressional Committee Chair (NRCC), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), and several other Republicans have once again signaled their party’s desire to privatize Social Security. They have introduced legislation to divert employee Social Security contributions into private accounts. The new legislation arrives on the heels of a bipartisan nationwide backlash against Republican attempts to privatize Medicare.
“After trying to end Medicare as we know it, House Republicans are doubling down by proposing to turn Social Security into a piggy bank for Wall Street,” said Eric Kingson, Co-Director of Social Security Works. “The public doesn’t want to gamble with its retirement on Wall Street. They want to keep it safe and secure.”
If passed, Sessions’ irresponsible Savings Account for Every American (SAFE) Act could reduce Social Security’s income immediately by over 40 percent, by diverting the full 6.2 percent of employee Social Security contributions to private accounts. After 15 years, the employer contributions could be diverted as well, reducing Social Security’s income by around 85 percent. In that way, this legislation would totally undermine Social Security’s financing and put at risk the benefits of millions of seniors, women, disabled beneficiaries and others. At the same time, the legislation would create immediate windfalls in the form of billions of dollars of administrative fees for Wall Street.
In 2005 President Bush proposed a more modest plan, which would have allowed a much smaller diversion of Social Security’s income than Sessions' bill. The proposal met with widespread bipartisan public anger. The introduction of Rep. Sessions' SAFE Act signals Republican willingness to embrace a plan that would end Social Security even quicker than Bush's plan would have. As chair of the NRCC, Sessions will be responsible for spending millions of dollars on election campaigns for Republicans who support ideas like privatizing Social Security.
“This plan is a safe bet for Wall Street but not the American people,” said Nancy Altman, Co-Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign. “Americans have already rejected privatizing Social Security, and they will do so again.”
The Strengthen Social Security Campaign is comprised of more than 300 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.