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Public Statements

Stender Highlights Bush-Lance Agreement on Social Security

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Location: Woodbridge, NJ


Stender Highlights Bush-Lance Agreement on Social Security

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Stand with Stender Against Privatization

With the Dow Jones plunging another terrifying 733 points this week, 7th Congressional District candidate Linda Stender, along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Maria Freese of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, addressed a crowd of all ages at the Reo Diner in Woodbridge on Wednesday, October 14. Stender and the speakers spoke to rising anxiety among all New Jerseyans about their retirement security and contrasted her record of strong senior support with Leonard Lance's support of President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security

"The Wall Street crisis is the Bush Administration's grand finale after eight years of failure," said Stender. "Our economy is in shambles and everywhere I go, I hear how frightened people are about their future. With trillions lost in 401Ks and pensions in the past few weeks, we can see that President Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security would have put us in serious trouble had it passed. And when Leonard Lance had a chance to go on record opposing President Bush's disastrous plan, he did not."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, "When Bill Clinton managed the economy, the Dow Jones went up 226%. Under the last seven-and-a-half years of George Bush, the Dow has gone down now by 12%. That means a typical senior receiving $1000 a month in Social Security benefits would now be only getting $600 had we privatized Social Security into the hands of Wall Street. Think of the difference that makes to seniors struggling to make ends meet."

Hoyer also noted, "George Bush is the third generation in his family to serve in the government. His grandfather was a Senator, his dad was President. Leonard Lance is the third generation in his family to serve in New Jersey government. Maybe there's something about third generations that makes them unable to understand how real people live."

Stender accepted the endorsement of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, an advocacy group with more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide, including nearly 8,000 in New Jersey's 7th district. Maria Freese, the Director of Government Relations and Policy for NCPSSM, said, "As a bipartisan organization whose members are Democrats, Republicans and Independents, we take our endorsement process very seriously. We are proud to support Linda Stender for Congress. She is an advocate for seniors and has never faltered in her opposition to privatization." Freese said that NCPSSM carefully reviews a candidate's past and present positions on Medicare and Social Security.

An outside shadow group backed by Bush and Karl Rove fundraisers has been spending $500,000 on ads falsely smearing Linda Stender's position on Social Security. Freese stated, "You can always judge a candidate by the enemies they attract. These groups want to undermine candidates who will work to prevent privatization. We know that Linda Stender is truly committed to preserving Social Security for future generations and it's why we are supporting her bid for Congress."

BACKGROUND

October 2008: Lance Admits Supported Party Line in Opposing Democratic Resolution on Bush Privatization Proposal. Lance during an October debate tried to claim he did not support Bush's privatization proposal while acknowledging voting against the 2005 resolution opposing the President's plan. "The resolution did not say that we shouldn't raise taxes on Social Security or raise the retirement age. That is why the Republican members of the State Senate chose not to vote yes on the resolution." [News 12 Debate, 10/14/08]

2005: Lance Supported Bush's Privatization Proposal. In 2005, Lance voted against a Senate resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to reject privatizing Social Security. The act called on Congress to "reject the Social Security privatization proposals of the President's Social Security Commission that would create private accounts, require deep cuts in guaranteed Social Security benefits and lead to excessive federal borrowing." Lance voted against the resolution. [SR94, Seq. 1065, 6/23/05]

Lance Supported Privatizing Pensions into Risky 401(k)s. At the same time Bush proposed privatizing Social Security, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 also proposed a radical plan to privatize the state pension fund into 401(k) plans. Lance said at the time, Schwarzenegger's idea might be right for New Jersey. He noted that "401(k)s are becoming the norm in the private sector and the public sector should reflect that." [Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/25/05]

Schwarzenegger Plan Seen as "Kissing Sister" to Bush Social Security Privatization. Analysts said the plan to privatize pensions came from "some of the same antitax advocates, free-market enthusiasts and Wall Street interests pushing President Bush's Social Security Initiative" and that "although Social Security and the California pension plans have important differences and different long-term challenges, the proposed solution - private accounts managed by individual workers with a predetermined contribution by employers - is basically the same." "They certainly are kissing sisters," said Stephen Moore, the former director of the conservative Club for Growth." [New York Times, 1/23/05]


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