Why Would John Walsh Consider Privatizing Social Security?

by lizard

How will the Walsh campaign respond to John’s apparent willingness to consider privatizing Social Security? Here’s the video clip being used by the Dirk Adams campaign:

Dirk Adams has given John Walsh a great opportunity to come out and say, after taking a closer look, privatizing Social Security is a terrible idea. I mean, why would Walsh even consider trying to accomplish what George Bush failed to do nearly 10 years ago? (that’s a rhetorical question, he will consider it for campaign cash from Wall Street).

4 years ago, George Bush said failing to privatize Social Security was one of his biggest regrets:

Former President George W. Bush said Thursday that his biggest failure in office was not reforming Social Security:

Speaking to a trade association in Chicago, Bush said that he “would like to be remembered as a guy who had a set of priorities and was willing to live by those priorities,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

The president aggressively pushed a plan in 2005 that would have allowed younger workers to invest part of their Social Security tax payment in private accounts that would make money off stocks, bonds and other investments. But his proposal never gained traction even in his own party, with Congress never bringing his plan to the floor for a vote.

The plan has haunted Republicans ever since. The financial crisis in 2008 cast a shadow of doubt over the proposal, since seniors’ savings tied to the stock market would have lost on average 40 percent of their value. Republicans campaigning across the country have sought to distance themselves from Bush’s approach. Even Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, whose budget reform plan includes private accounts, goes out of his way to say his plan shouldn’t be called privatization.

Maybe the Walsh campaign needs a reminder that privatizing Social Security is not popular. This is a political reality that even Republicans seem to understand.

There is a more dominant political reality, though, and that’s the constant need for campaign cash. While no one needs a reminder that money=viability, Don Pogreba likes to repeatedly point this out:

According to KRTV, neither Bohlinger nor Adams managed to get their first quarter FEC reports in on time. In fact, both are facing fines from the FEC for their failure to report in a timely fashion. While both offered excuses for their missing reports, the truth is that late campaign reports either suggest incompetence or having raised no money. I can’t speak to the first, but neither campaign raised enough money to be considered remotely competitive, with Adams claiming $18,000 raised and Bohlinger not even answering the question.

We’ve certainly discussed the negative influence of money in politics, but it’s also a measure of support. That Walsh’s opponents have raised almost no cash suggests that they’re not attracting supporters or spreading a message that resonates.

Is John Walsh trying to “attract supporters” by spreading a message “that resonates” with Wall Street? Seems like it.

If the media picks up Walsh entertaining the reckless idea of prying open the Social Security vault for the wolves of Wall Street, that could hurt his virtually non-existent campaign.

Wall Street has already decimated the savings of millions of Americans with their shameless greed, and they continue obscenely enriching themselves by gaming the system. The Walsh campaign should be more concerned about the Americans Wall Street has impoverished than attracting the support of un-indicted criminals.


  1. Turner

    I couldn’t quite make out what Walsh was saying (poor sound system in my computer). Is there a printed version of it? The excerpt is pretty short. Was there more that he said that didn’t get recorded?

    • lizard19

      I haven’t seen a printed version, and I’m not sure what more was said. like I said in the post, this is an opportunity for John Walsh to clarify his position.

  2. JC

    Walsh is going to go down in history as another failed reagan democrat. He’ll be forgotten in a few years as the new incumbents (Daines and Tester) work on protecting their seats (read: “kissing wall streets ass”) till they’re too old to provide that function, or get better offers — like peddling TPP to the chinese. Just another dem sacrificial lamb without a prayer of hope.

  3. He seemed to be saying that for those now receiving Social Security he would keep the program, but would look at a private sector alternative for younger people.

  4. This is what Walsh says on his website:

    “Our seniors have spent their lifetimes working and paying into Social Security & Medicare. They deserve to have the benefits and services they have earned and are counting on in their retirements. I will fight to protect these crucial benefits against Washington special interests that seek to balance our budget on the backs of Montana’s seniors.”

    • lizard19

      …but for you younger folks, who have only paid into the system your working life up till now, I’ll consider breaking open the SS piggy bank for Wall Street.

      thanks John Walsh!

  5. steve kelly

    Wasn’t age descrimination illegal not that long ago?

    Hard to think of anything publicly owned or operated that isn’t being privatized these days. It’s definitely a “bipartisan” affair. If it’s bipartisan, it’s probably a horribly bad idea with lots of K Street money driving the puppet train to Crazytown.

    • So, vote for Dirk Adams (D)!

  6. Mike Garrity

    Instead of turning Social Security over to Wall Street as John Walsh is considering, we should eliminate the income cap on social security taxes. Social Security is a regressive tax. Workers and their employers pay Social Security payroll taxes only on earnings up to $117,000.00. People and employers pay Medicare payroll taxes on all earned income since 1993. This is a better way of improving the Social Security system’s financing than letting Wall Street gamble away our retirement.

    • Big Swede

      Wall Street gamblers or federal shell game accounting practices.

      Pick your poison.


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