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2005-01-16-Emanuel-Social Security

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2005 blog

Rep. Rahm Emanuel

Keeping up with Jewish officeholders

Emanuel says private retirement plans should supplement, not supplant, Social Security
,  Jan. 16, 2005

television file

Rather than restructuring the Social Security system as President Bush proposes, the United States should make it easier for individuals to have supplemental retirement savings plans, U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" today (Sunday, Jan. 16). 

"Democrats believe in individual retirement plans as a supplement to Social Security ; Republicans believe in individual retirement plans as a way to supplant social security," Emanuel told interviewer Tim Russert.

Emanuel parried Russert's attempts to have him agree that there is a "crisis" in Social Security, saying "crisis implies immediacy—what we have today: 80 percent of the workers in small businesses have no employer-based retirement plan; nearly 40 percent of the households (or 27 million households)  have no saving plans outside of Social Security."

He added: "We have a shortage of people saving for their retirement—we need to do that."  He contrasted this to what he suggested was the Bush administration's " notion that we are going to borrow an additional two trillion dollars on top of the seven trillion (of debt) the economy is carrying, the notion that we cut benefits by 40 percent and give to millionaires a permanent tax cut, the notion that we are going to privatize Social Security, and do a crap shoot on it that takes the 'security' out of 'Social Security.'"

Rahm said Democrats in Congress would work with President Bush on Social Security if they believe he is truly trying to reform the Social Security system and not using the issue for ideological or political purposes.

"We will not be a partner in the political process that rewards the special interests in this town," Rahm declared. "We will fight him on that.  But we are ready to work with him if it is true reform."

On the issue of voting more funds for U.S. operations in Iraq, Rahm said "we still don't have a point on the horizon as to what our exit strategy is."  Furthermore, he said, "if France and Germany won't go to Iraq and participate in the training—because what is essential is to turn the country over to Iraq—let's...maybe ask Jordan to do it, maybe go into a country there, but we've got to get that police and security force up and running."          Donald H. Harrison