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BERA GETS SUPPORT OF ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS

ARA CITES OSE'S ZERO PERCENT RATING, BERA'S RECORD OF FIGHTING FOR SENIORS IN ENDORSEMENT
 
In his second endorsement from a seniors group just this week, Dr. Ami Bera today received the support of the Alliance for Retired Americans for his record of fighting cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

"The Alliance for Retired Americans is proud to endorse Dr. Ami Bera, a committed ally to America's seniors, who has been a leader in the fight to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare from privatization and benefit cuts," said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. "On the other hand, former Congressman Doug Ose, who is running against Dr. Bera, voted to privatize Social Security when he was in Congress, knowing it would make Wall Street banks billions and take away guaranteed benefits from America's seniors. That's why he earned a 0 percent rating from the Alliance three years in a row."

“It's my honor and my duty to stand up for American's seniors, and as a doctor, I know how much they depend on Medicare and Social Security," said Bera. "The last thing our seniors need is to have their retirement security gambled away on the stock market.That’s why I kept my oath to refuse a Congressional pension until Medicare and Social Security are secure for today’s seniors and for future generations. "

The Alliance for retired Americans represent more than 4.3 million retirees, older Americans, and community activists including more than 333,586 members in California.

Dr. Bera has a clear record of standing up for seniors in Sacramento County:
  • In 2012, Congressman Bera made an oath that he would not take a Congressional pension until Medicare and Social Security were secure. He's kept his promise and gave his 2012 pension back to the U.S. Treasury.
  • Dr. Bera has also stood up against the irresponsible Republican budget that would end the Medicare guarantee and Social Security.
  • Bera was endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare earlier this week.
  • He urged President Obama to oppose any cuts to, "Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits in any final bill to replace sequestration."
  • Bera is a member of the Seniors Task Force, which focuses on finding ways to help seniors achieve financial security, access affordable, reliable healthcare, and improve quality of life as they age.
  • Dr. Bera said in a statement, “The Simpson-Bowles report is far from perfect—it doesn’t do enough to safeguard Medicare and to protect Social Security benefits for current and future retirees.”
Dr. Ami Bera represents Sacramento County in Congress. He’s working to make Congress a place for service and fighting to rebuild an economy that works for middle class families. As a leader of the No Labels' Problem Solvers, Bera is leading the charge to find bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges, and worked to pass the No Budget No Pay Act, which says if members of Congress don’t pass a budget, they don’t get paid. He and his wife Janine live in Elk Grove with their daughter Sydra.
 
BACKGROUND

Ose Supported Bush Scheme to Privatize Social Security, Gamble it on Wall Street

Ose supported President Bush’s Social Security privatization plan, which would necessarily require massive cuts in defined benefits, according to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. Furthermore, Ose supported gambling Social Security benefits on Wall Street, putting seniors’ retirement investments at risk. [Newsday, 2/20/05] In 2001, Ose supported President Bush’s privatization scheme when he voted against an amendment that would have stopped the White House from implementing the Social Security privatization plan being developed by Bush’s Social Security Commission. A vote in favor of the amendment was to deny fiscal 2002 funding to advance the commission report. [HR 2590, Vote #273, 7/25/01]

Max Richtman, executive vice president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said of the Commission’s proposals, “Each of the proposals put forward by the commission require specific, massive cuts in defined benefits - even for those who do not opt for the voluntary accounts.” [USA Today, 5/15/01; Dallas Morning News, 5/07/01; HR 2590; Vote #273, 07/25/01; National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare press release, 12/11/01]

Ose Supported Allowing Workers to Invest Payroll Tax Into Private Accounts. In 2002, Ose supported allowing workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax into private accounts which they manage themselves or have managed by private firms. [Project Vote Smart Political Courage Test, accessed 11/01/13]

… Though Privatization Puts Seniors’ Retirement Investments at Risk. If Ose’s plan had been in place five years ago when the stock market crashed, individuals could have lost nearly 40 percent of their retirement investments. And his plan could create a windfall of up to $279 billion in fees for his friends on Wall Street.

Privatization Would Cut Benefits… According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, “privatization is not a plan to save Social Security; it is a plan to dismantle Social Security. Privatization means increased retirement risks, severe cuts in Social Security benefits, and a multi-trillion dollar increase in the federal debt. [National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare website, accessed 7/09/08]

… And Gamble Social Security on Wall Street. According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, “Privatization will replace Social Security’s guaranteed defined benefits with individual investment accounts. In other words, privatization would take money out of Social Security and have workers invest instead in Wall Street.” [www.ncpssm.org/news/archive/vp_ssprivatization]

DJIA Lost Nearly 40 Percent In One Year. Had seniors been relying on private social security accounts in the Stock Market during the 2008 collapse, they might have lost nearly 40 percent of their retirement savings in the 12 months leading up to the collapse. On October 9, 2007 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14,164.53. On October 9, 2008 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,579.19. [Yahoo Finance]

Wall Street Would Make $279 Billion in Fees from Social Security Privatization. In February 2005, Newsday wrote, “No one knows whether workers would prosper in private Social Security accounts, but financial firms would likely pull in big bucks… The Securities Industry Association calculated that the plan would generate at most $279 billion in fees, or about 8.6 percent of the $3.3 trillion in the financial sector’s total revenues, over 75 years.” [Newsday, 2/20/05]

 
Ose Received F Ratings from Seniors Groups

Ose Received a Zero Rating from the Alliance for Retired Americans Three Years in a Row, Among Other Bad Ratings from Seniors Groups.

 
Year Group Rating
2003 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0%
2002 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0%
2001-2002 National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare - Positions 31%
2001 Alliance for Retired Americans - Positions 0%
2000 National Council of Senior Citizens - Positions 0%
1999-2000 National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare - Positions 33%
1999 National Council of Senior Citizens - Positions 20%
 
[Project Vote Smart, Doug Ose Ratings]