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Kaptur, Area Citizens React to President Bush's Social Security Proposal

Location: Washington, DC

Apr 15, 2005

Bush Discussed Privatizing Benefits During Campaign Stop in Ohio Today

TOLEDO, OHIO-Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) joined area citizens to discuss President Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security following his visit to the state today. President Bush held a roundtable in Lake County, Ohio on his campaign across the country to convince the American people to support private accounts.

"The President has come to Ohio on a public relations campaign to sell his unpopular idea to privatize Social Security," said Kaptur. "Yet the people in my district are against privatization and cuts to their benefits and want to protect their earned Social Security benefits. What he does not mention is that establishing private accounts will force benefit cuts and will require trillions in borrowing from foreign countries, leading to higher taxes in the future."

In Ohio, the President's privatization proposal will reduce future benefits by $152,000 over the lifetime of the average 20 year-old Ohio resident paying into Social Security. "Our Nation's largest retirement insurance program is supposed to be one leg of a three-legged stool of retirement security for all Americans," continued Kaptur. "The other two legs are private savings, like certificates of deposit and private pensions like IRAs and 401(k)s."

"Yet in an age when personal savings are virtually nonexistent, and company pensions are being scaled back or often stripped away, Social Security has become the basic retirement insurance plan for most Americans," Kaptur added. "Social Security is an American success story that safeguards Americans' independence and economic security when they get older. It assures real retirement benefits and provides income for people whose pension funds have taken a dive and provides disability insurance in the event of an illness."

Earlier today in Cleveland, concerned Ohioans gathered with Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) near the President's event. Neal, a senior member of the House panel that oversees Social Security, joined the gathering because he knows from experience how crucial Social Security can be for families; he received survivor benefits as a child. "My family was just one of the millions that Social Security has helped," said Neal. "Despite the fact that Social Security is the greatest anti-poverty program in American history, President Bush is on a full-scale offensive to privatize it."

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