Republican Senate hopeful Pat Toomey appeared to be trying a little revisionist history this week when he claimed he never called for privatizing Social Security.It's always enlightening to flesh out stories like these to see more clearly what, in fact, is going on. According to thinkprogress, when asked "Do you continue to favor privatizing Social Security?" Mr Wallstreet answered:
Toomey made the statement at the end of his appearance at the Pennsylvania Press Club Monday, only to see a wave of critics calling him out. That included the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which dug up a 2003 headline from Toomey’s hometown newspaper, The Morning Call, which read: “Toomey: Privatize Social Security.”
The former Club for Growth president said he does favor allowing younger workers to deposit savings into private accounts, a position he has held since his first congressional term in 1999. He recently touted it in his book, “The Road to Prosperity,” which is now selling for $3.03 on Amazon.
The key to understanding this semantic subterfuge is, well, semantics. The word Toomey uses is “personalized” Social Security accounts.
I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security. It’s a very misleading — it’s an intentionally misleading term. And it is used by those who try to use it as a pejorative to scare people…[T]hat doesn’t mean that we must perpetuate exactly this structure for future workers and for very young workers. So I’ve advocated that we consider offering young workers an alternative — a reform within Social Security that would give them the opportunity to take a portion of their payroll tax and actually save that and own that and allow that to accumulate over the course of their working years and for that to provide a portion of their retirement benefit. I think that’d be a very constructive reform, and that’s what I’m going to advocate.Unfortunately, what he described is exactly "privatizing" Social Security. Whether it's "a portion" or all of someone's payroll tax, "owning" it makes it privatization.
Calling it something else in the hopes that no one will notices the flim-flam, is just dishonest.
But we've already seen that Pat is so devoted to the Club For Growth speak, he has trouble speaking truthfully.