Annenberg FactCheck.org posts “Scaring Seniors” with a subhead that gets right to the point:
An Obama-Biden ad says McCain supports "cutting benefits in half" for Social Security recipients. False!FactCheck continues:
A new Obama ad characterizes the "Bush-McCain privatization plan" as "cutting Social Security Benefits in half." This is a falsehood sure to frighten seniors who rely on their Social Security checks. In truth, McCain does not propose to cut those checks at all.FactCheck follows that with an extensive analysis of the false Obama-Biden attack ad before ending with this, which is what Sen. Obama should be talking about to the American people instead of spreading falsehoods about Sen. McCain:
The ad refers to a Bush proposal from 2005 to hold down the growth of benefits for future retirees. Compared to the buying power of benefits paid to today's retirees, that would not have been a "cut" for anybody. It would have been a "cut" of half only in relation to benefits now promised to retirees who have yet to be born. And for average workers, that "cut" in 2075 was projected by one of Obama's own economic advisers to be 28 percent, not "half."
The ad also says McCain voted "in favor of privatizing Social Security." The term "privatizing" could give the wrong impression. McCain does support creating government-managed accounts that would allow individuals to invest some portion of their Social Security payroll taxes in widely diversified stock or bond funds. …
For the record, McCain has said that he would seek a bipartisan deal with Congress to fix Social Security's financial problems.You can read the entire FactCheck.org statement here.
During a Republican candidate debate last year in Orlando, Florida, he said:McCain, Oct. 21, 2007: Look, what Americans need is some straight talk. They need to know -- every man, woman and child in America needs to know that both of these are going broke. They're going broke and we've got to do the hard things. We've got to fix it for the future generations of Americans.The system isn't exactly "going broke." But the latest official projection is that the trust fund will be exhausted by the year 2041, after which current tax rates will finance only 78 percent of currently scheduled benefits.
Don't we owe that to young Americans today? I say we do. ...
It's got to be bipartisan. ... And you have to got to the American people and say we don't -- we won't raise your taxes. We need personal savings accounts, but we got to fix this system.
We agree that "straight talk" is needed and that finding solutions will be hard. Ads like this [Obama-Biden ad], however, misinform the public and make the job of fixing the system more difficult.
Paraphrasing President Reagan, there the Dems go again trying to scare voters with falsehoods about the GOP wanting to cut Social Security benefits.
The Dems do it so often it must be a reflex action for them
I don’t doubt the Dems’ Social Security lies and other scare tactics help keep uninformed voters in their column.
But Americans pay an enormous price as a result of the Dems’ politicizing Social Security reform, a matter that should be non-partisan.