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NEW AD HIGHLIGHTS BERA'S RECORD OF PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY, OSE'S RECORD OF GAMBLING SOCIAL SECURITY ON WALL STREET

The Bera for Congress campaign released its third TV ad of the 2014 general election today, a 30-second commercial called "Security."
 
The ad highlights the clear difference between Dr. Bera, who has kept his promise to refuse his Congressional pension until Social Security and Medicare are secure for this and future generations, and his opponent, former Congressman Doug Ose, who voted to privatize Social Security and gamble seniors' retirements on Wall Street, helping his own bottom line.
 
"The contrast between Dr. Bera's and former Congressman Ose's records could not be clearer," said Bera spokesperson Allison Teixeira. "Dr. Bera honored his promise to Sacramento County seniors, but Congressman Ose went to Washington and sold our parents and grandparents out while he and his friends on Wall Street got rich."
 
Watch the ad here: "Security"
 
BACKGROUND AND SCRIPT
 
Narrator:
 
Dr. Ami Bera. In Congress for the right reasons... to protect seniors.
 
That's why Dr. Bera has refused his congressional pension until Social Security and Medicare are secure.
 
GFX: "Bera Returns Pension to Treasury" - Sacramento Bee, March 27, 2014
 
GFX: "...his support for reinforcing Medicare and Social Security..." – Sacramento Bee, March 27, 2014
 
Bee: Bera’s Pledge Underscored “His Support for Reinforcing Medicare and Social Security.” The Sacramento Bee reported in 2014 that Dr. Bera kept his promise “not to take a congressional pension until key entitlement programs were secured for years into the future.” Bera issued “a check for $4,915 to the U.S. Treasury Bureau of the Public Debt” which reflected “the amount he accrued in pension benefits last year.” The Bee added that this pledge underscored “his support for reinforcing Medicare and Social Security.” [Sacramento Bee, 3/27/2014]
 
Bee: “Bera Returns Pension to Treasury.” In a 2014 piece titled “Ami Bera returns pension to treasury,” the Sacramento Bee reported that Dr. Bera kept his promise “not to take a congressional pension until key entitlement programs were secured for years into the future.” Bera issued “a check for $4,915 to the U.S. Treasury Bureau of the Public Debt” which reflected “the amount he accrued in pension benefits last year.” [Sacramento Bee, 3/27/2014]
 
Bera Criticized Simpson-Bowles Budget Recommendation for Not Doing Enough to Protect Social Security. 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.” [Congressman Bera Press Release, 2/6/2013]
 
Narrator:

But Doug Ose’s greedy plan for Social Security?

He wanted to privatize it. Gamble our life savings on...you guessed it...Wall Street.

GFX: Doug Ose
Privatize Social Security

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.

[Doug Ose, 8/19/14]

Personal Retirement Accounts = Social Security Privatization. In an article titled “Personal Retirement Accounts = Social Security Privatization,” the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare clearly stated that individual, personal retirement accounts are the same as Social Security privatization. [National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, accessed 8/20/2014]

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]

AARP “Adamantly” Opposed Replacing Social Security with Individual Accounts, which 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]

2001: Ose Voted in Support of Bush Privatization Plan. 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. The amendment was defeated 188-238. [HR 2590, Vote #273,7/25/01; HR 2590, 7/25/01]

2001: Ose 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.”

The budget resolution conference report passed 221-207. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/2/2001; Congressional Record, Page 4849, 3/28/2001; HCR 83, Vote #104, 5/9/2001; H.Con.Res.83, 3/26/2001]

Bush Privatization Plan had “Massive Cuts in Defined Benefits.” Max Richtman, executive vice president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said of the proposals developed by President Bush’s commission on Social Security, “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.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare press release, 12/11/01]

Privatization Would Cut Benefits, “Dismantle Social Security.” 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.

Privatization diverts money out of Social Security into individual accounts leaving an even larger solvency problem. Privatizers fill this funding gap by dramatically cutting Social Security benefits. They cover the rest by borrowing money, thereby increasing the debt burden on all taxpayers by trillions of dollars over the next half century. With market-based accounts, the risk of an adequate retirement is placed entirely on the individual.

[National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, accessed 7/09/08]

Privatization Would Gamble Social Security on Wall Street. According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), “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.” NCPSSM President and CEO Barbara B. Kennelly specifically pointed out that “Investing on Wall Street has always been and continues to be a gamble.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, March 2005; National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, 9/17/2008]

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]

University of Chicago Study: Social Security Privatization Worth $940 Billion to Wall Street. The Los Angeles Times reported that “University of Chicago economics professor Austan Goolsbee asserted that the accounts could generate fees for the financial industry worth $940 billion, in current dollars, over 75 years.” According to Goolsbee, “The fees would be the largest windfall gain in American financial history.” He calculated that the fees would be worth about 25 percent of the net present value of the revenue of the entire financial sector over 75 years. [Los Angeles Times, 1/18/2005; University of Chicago, September 2004]

Security Industry Association Estimated at Least $39 Billion in Fees from Social Security Privatization. In 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported that “the Securities Industry Assn. last month said Wall Street firms could take in as little as $39 billion in fees from Social Security private accounts, in current dollars, over 75 years. That would amount to 1.2% of the estimated total revenue of the financial sector in that period, the group said.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/18/2005]

Merrill Lynch: Social Security Privatization Would Put $54 Billion Annually Into Stocks. According to a February 2005 NewsDay article, a Merrill Lynch survey estimated that, “if money poured into the stock and bond markets through private accounts” from Social Security, then “an estimated $54 billion a year would flow into stocks, and $16 billion into corporate bonds.” [NewsDay, 2/20/2005]

LA Times: Social Security Privatization would have Inflated Stocks, Worsened Crash. In 2002, a Los Angeles Times editorial noted in the aftermath of a stock bubble burst that, “had the U.S. government already been invested in stocks” via the privatization of Social Security, “the market could well have risen far higher - and the current crash would be even more severe.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/28/2002]

Narrator:

It's a plan where Ose makes millions off his stocks in big banks.

For Doug Ose, it pays to be in Congress.

GFX: Doug Ose

Makes Millions for Himself

Doug Ose Owns Between $362,000 and $830,000 in Wall Street Financial Service Firms and Banks. According to his most recent personal financial disclosure form filed in 2014 for calendar year 2013, Doug Ose owns between $362,000 and $830,000 in stocks and investment accounts with major Wall Street banks. These investments include holdings in Bank of America worth anywhere between $80,000 and $200,000. Below is a table detailing Ose’s holdings in Wall Street Banks:

Name of Asset Owner Lower Limit Upper Limit
Ameriprise Doug Ose $1,000 $15,000
Bank of America Doug Ose $50,000 $100,000
U.S. Bancorp Doug Ose $1,000 $15,000
Wells Fargo Doug Ose $15,000 $50,000
Bank of America Doug Ose $15,000 $50,000
Bank of America Doug Ose $15,000 $50,000
Charles Schwabb Doug Ose $250,000 $500,000
Goldman Sachs Doug Ose $15,000 $50,000
TOTAL   $362,000 $830,000

[Doug Ose, “Financial Disclosure Statement,” 05/22/2014]

2001: Ose Owned At Least $51,000 in Bank of America and State Street Bank Stock. In 2001, Ose owned at least $51,000 and as much as $115,000 of stock in Wall Street banks. At least $50,000 of that stock was in Bank of America with at least an additional $1,000 of stock in State Street Bank. [Doug Ose, “Financial Disclosure Statement” 05/15/2002]

2002: Ose Owned At Least $3,276,727 in Bank of America, State Street Bank, and Citigroup Stock. In 2002, Ose owned stocks in State Street Bank worth at least $1,000 and as much as $15,000. He owned at least $50,000 and as much as $100,000 in Bank of America stock at the same time. Ose Properties No. 6 owned $3,225,726.54 of Citigroup stock in 2002. [Doug Ose, “Financial Disclosure Statement” 08/12/2003]

2004: Ose Owned at Least $581,000 of Stock in Bank of America, State Street Bank, Citigroup, Bank One, and Goldman Sachs. In 2004, Ose owned stocks in State Street Bank worth at least $1,000 and as much as $15,000, Bank of America stock worth at least $50,000 and as much as $100,000, Citigroup stock worth between $500,000 and $1,000,000, Bank One stock worth at least $15,000 and as much as $50,000 and Goldman Sachs stock worth between $15,000 and $50,000. [Doug Ose, “Financial Disclosure Statement” 03/07/2005]

Doug Ose’s Wealth Increased by between $38 and $115 Million while in Congress. In March 2014, the Sacramento Bee reported that Doug Ose’s wealth “increased significantly” while he was there, “rising from between about $13.5 million and $60 million to between roughly $51.5 million and $175 million, according to financial disclosures.” [Sacramento Bee, 3/31/14]

Elk Grove Citizen: Ose’s Wealth “Increased by More than $103 million” in Office. According to a 2014 report from the Elk Grove Citizen, Ose’s personal wealth could have increased by more than $103 million while he was in office:

A document Ose filed with the Federal Election Commission when he entered Congress in 1999 indicated his personal wealth was $11.2 million. He filed a document after he left Congress six years later that showed his personal wealth was $46.4 million. There is a range for different investments, and figures at the high end of the range make it appear his wealth increased by more than $103 million during those six years in office.

[Elk Grove Citizen, 9/17/2014]