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Protecting Social Security and Strengthening Retirement Security (Conn. Dem. Candidate Jim Himes)


Location: Unknown

Social Security is a promise we make to each other as Americans that no one who has worked hard will be left out in the cold. Many of our seniors rely on their Social Security to maintain a decent standard of living. In Congress, I will fight to make sure that Social Security is always there to support retirees and to prevent it from being put at risk by reckless schemes like privatization. This is a critical difference between my opponent and me: Chris Shays supports privatizing social security.

As someone who spent 12 years on Wall Street, I know how risky the privatization of Social Security would be. Anyone who has watched the markets, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the last year would never want their retirement hostage to that sort of risk.

Advocates of privatization offer it as a way to save Social Security. In fact, we do need to address the substantial unfunded liabilities associated with Social Security, and more imminently, Medicare. But privatization is not the answer. The only sure results of privatization would be billions in fees paid to Wall Street, and an eventual taxpayer bailout of millions of troubled private accounts.

Make no mistake. Americans should save and invest more. A whole lot more. Indeed, I have proposed tax cuts that will create incentives for saving above and beyond the basic promise of Social Security. Saving, and wise investment, are critical to both the growth of our economy and the wealth of individual families. But these types of investments should be made in addition to, rather than instead of, the stable bedrock of Social Security income.

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