Speaker John Boehner arrives in Sacramento today to wine, dine, and raise money with former Congressman Doug Ose, who supports Republicans’ radical plan to privatize Social Security. Following a poor second quarter which saw Ose trailing Bera by $1.8 million in cash on hand, Speaker Boehner becomes the latest fixture of the Republican establishment trying to prop up the Ose campaign. Boehner and Ose had nearly identical records while they were in Congress together, with both supporting a 2001 effort to privatize Social Security and both earning a zero percent rating from senior advocacy group the Alliance for Retired Americans between 2001-2004. In his last term in Congress, Ose voted with his party 94 percent of the time, clearly showing he is a another reliable vote for the extreme Republican plan to privatize Social Security.
“Speaker Boehner jetting in to fundraise for his friend former Congressman Doug Ose is the clearest indication yet that the Republican establishment is counting on Ose to support their radical agenda to privatize Social Security,” said Bera spokesperson Allison Teixeira. “Congressman Ose and Speaker Boehner both want to gamble seniors’ hard earned retirement security on Wall Street and put the interests of Washington insiders ahead of Sacramento County families.’’
Boehner and Ose Voted to Privatize Social Security
2001: Ose and Boehner Voted for Republican Budget That Would Take $600 Billion from Social Security to Pay for Privatization. In 2001, Ose voted in favor of the Republican 10 year budget plan that allocated $600 billion from budget surpluses to pay for private Social Security accounts.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “[President Bush’s] proposed budget would allocate about $600 billion over the next 10 years from projected budget surpluses to maintain current benefits, as taxes are diverted to fund his new private accounts.”
In arguing against adoption of the conference report, Rep. Lloyd Bentsen said, “…the Republicans’ budget assumes this would take about $600 billion of the projected Social Security surplus and would use that for some form of privatization of the Social Security system… [B]y taking the $600 billion out of the Social Security trust fund and using it for privatization, we shorten the life span of Social Security as we know it today.”
… And Claimed that the Plan was “Responsible” and “Protect[ed] Social Security.” In 2001, Ose called the Bush budget a “responsible budget” that “protect[ed] Social Security… and preserve[d] Medicare.” … “This is a blueprint of a ‘New Beginning’ for this country and I look forward to working with President Bush on delivering these priorities,” Ose said. [The Reporter, 3/01/01]
Voted Against Amendment that Would have Stopped Social Security Privatization. In 2001, Ose and Boehner voted against an amendment that would have stopped the White House from implementing the Social Security privatization plan being developed by President Bush’s Social Security Commission. A vote in favor of the amendment was to deny fiscal 2002 funding to advance the commission report. The Bush Commission recommended three possible plans, all of which privatized Social Security. Privatizing Social Security would require an increase in Social Security taxes or a return to the days of deficit spending, or a reduction in guaranteed benefits to pay for transition costs in the trillions. The amendment was defeated 188–238. [HR 2590, Vote #273, 7/25/01; USA Today, 5/15/01; Dallas Morning News, 5/07/01]
2002: Supported Allowing Workers to Invest Payroll Taxes in Private Accounts. In 2002, Ose supported “allow[ing] workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts” managed by “private firms contracted by the government” or “themselves.” [Project Vote Smart, 2002 National Political Awareness Test]
The Alliance for Retired Americans gave Doug Ose and John Boehner a 0% rating between 2001-2004. [Alliance for Retired Americans Congressional Scorecards]
Doug Ose Admits Support for Privatizing Social Security in 2014
Ose Claimed he “Voted to Protect Social Security” But Continued to Support Private Accounts. During an August 2014 campaign event, in response to a question about his views on Social Security privatization, Doug Ose both assured attendees that he did not vote to privatize Social Securities and supported alternatives to Social Security. He said:
I voted to protect Social Security and give individuals additional options for adding to the Social Security benefits they were going to get. Like increased benefits under IRA’s, and SEPs, and 401k’s and what have you. So I thought, I think today as I did then, that Social Security and Medicare serve a very important safety net purpose, but I don’t think that’s the only thing Americans should be allowed to invest in. I don’t think they should be punished for adding to that menu, or those options that are available to support you when you retire, where you get to where you are eligible for Social Security or Medicare. So. I have NOT voted to privatize Social Security, I have in fact voted to supplement and buttress Social Security from its historically abysmal rate of return of 1.2 percent.
[Ose event, Carmichael Rotary Speech, 28:44, 8/19/14]
Personal Accounts and Privatization Are The Same Thing
Associated Press Fact Check: Personal Accounts and Privatization Are the “Same Thing.” In 2008, the Associated Press wrote a fact check on Sen. John McCain’s attempt to distance himself from his support for Social Security privatization. The Associated Press wrote, “McCain and other Republicans once spoke more openly of ‘privatization’ but realized people didn’t like to hear that. Now they talk of ‘personal accounts.’ It’s the same thing.” [Associated Press, 6/14/08]
PolitiFact: Pollsters Created “Personal Accounts” Buzzword to Avoid Using Term “Privatization.” According to a 2008 PolitiFact review of John McCain’s attempt to distance himself from his support for Social Security privatization, “personal accounts” and “privatization” are the same plan. PolitiFact reported that: “pollsters found that if you didn’t call Bush’s plan ‘privatization’ but instead called it ‘personal accounts,’ you could increase support for the plan significantly — even though it was the same plan.” [PolitiFact, 6/13/2008]
AARP “Adamantly” Opposed Replacing Social Security With Individual Accounts, which Boehner and Ose Supported. In November 2004, in a New York Times article about President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, AARP President Marie Smith described the AARP’s opposition to individual investment accounts. She stated: “AARP adamantly opposes replacing any part of Social Security with individual accounts.” Congressman Robert Matsui also opposed the Bush Administration proposal and said: “Privatizing Social Security will divert trillions of dollars from the trust funds and force significant benefit cuts.” [New York Times, 11/12/2004]
AARP: “Call It What You Will,” but “Personal Accounts” is “Privatization.” According to AARP, “privatization” or “personalization” are used as shorthand to describe diverting the money workers currently contribute to Social Security into individual private accounts. The AARP stated that:
These accounts would be “carved-out” of Social Security, and the money would no longer be available to pay Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, the debate over this idea often focuses on language rather than the two things that really matter-how would such proposals impact both an individual’s actual Social Security benefit and the overall financial health of the Social Security system.
Call it what you want - “privatization,” “personalization,” “carve-outs,” “private accounts,” or “personal accounts” - the fact is that this would hurt the financial health of Social Security and poses a threat to the retirement security of millions of Americans and their families.
[AARP via Way Back Machine]
Ose and Boehner’s Party Believes Deeply in Privatization (But They Don’t Like to Say it)
2012 GOP Platform Backed Personal Investment Accounts For Social Security. In September 2012, the New York Times reported that:
While the Democratic platform opposes any privatization of Social Security, the Republican platform says younger workers should be given the option of “creating their own personal investment accounts as supplements to the system.”
The RNC’s April 2013 Meeting Reaffirmed the Core Values of the 2012 Republican Platform. [RNC Meeting Resolutions, April 2013]
Doug Ose Supported the Party of Privatization in 2012 with $16,000 in Campaign Cash for Republican Candidates. Doug Ose gave $16,000 to Republicans during the 2012 election cycle. These donations included $2,500 to John Boehner and a total of $5,000 to Mitt Romney. [Influence Explorer, accessed 09/25/2014]
Hyper-Partisan Ose Voted with Bush GOP 94 Percent of Votes in 2004
WaPo: Ose Voted with Party on 91 Percent of Votes in 1999-2000. The Washington Post reported that Doug Ose voted with the Republican Party on 91 percent of votes during the 106th Congress, from 1999-2000. [Washington Post, accessed 9/23/2014]
WaPo: Ose Voted with Party on 94 Percent of Votes in 2001-2002. The Washington Post reported that Doug Ose voted with the Republican Party on 94 percent of votes during the 107th Congress, from 1999-2000. [Washington Post, accessed 9/23/2014]
WaPo: Ose Voted with Party on 94 Percent of Votes in 2003-2004. The Washington Post reported that Doug Ose voted with the Republican Party on 94 percent of votes during the 108th Congress, from 2003-2004. [Washington Post, accessed 9/23/2014]