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What did liberal House Democrats think of the President's proposal to create personal retirement accounts in Social Security?

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Create Personal Retirement Accounts?

What did liberal House Democrats think of the President’s proposal to create personal retirement accounts in Social Security?

In the Capitol, after the State of the Union address, HUMAN EVENTS Assistant Editor David Freddoso probed the views of liberal House Democrats on the President’s proposal to create personal retirement accounts in Social Security. Here is a sampling of their unfortunately predictable responses:

Do you support President Bush’s initiative that he talked about to create personal accounts in Social Security?

REP. GENE GREEN (D.-TEX.): Oh, heavens no. We shouldn’t privatize Social Security. We have lots of options today for people to put away money-there’s IRAs, 401 plans, everything else. Taking money away from Social Security will not only hurt the seniors who receive it now, but also the people who are getting close to retirement.

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Do you support President Bush’s initiative that he talked about to create personal accounts in Social Security?

REP. ALBERT WYNN (D.-MD.): No, I don’t. I think that is really very dangerous. You just have to look at Enron, look at MCI and all the scandals and on and on and on. The instability of the stock market is such that it is not suitable to support a safety net program. . . .

You think that raising the retirement age and lowering benefits is something that has to be considered?

WYNN: All those things will be on the table. I’m not advocating any of them, but I think they’re all going to be on the table.

But you wouldn’t rule them out.

WYNN: Right. And if someone were to say that for a certain segment of earners you would consider privatization-that may be an option. I think there’s some young, upscale folks making a lot of money, you know, it’s not a problem. But for your basic blue-collar workers, your average working class American, it becomes a very risky proposition.

So you would say that people who were wealthier should have the ability to have the personal accounts, and not people who are-

WYNN: No, no. What I would say is, we ought to put a lot of things on the table. One of the things we ought to put on the table is a bifurcation of privatization. But as a general matter, to say everybody’s going to be in a privatized system with private accounts, I’d say no. Should we consider possible bifurcation? I think that’s possible.

Written By

Mr. Freddoso is the senior political reporter for the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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