Social Security Privatization: a Crapo Proposal

Mike Crapo has joined James DeMint, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, and Tom Coburn with another spin on Social Security privatization that Phil Kerpen endorses:

The DeMint-Crapo amendment puts the possibility of meaningful, pro-worker Social Security reform back into play. If the Democrats are smart they will latch onto it before the train leaves the station. The amendment starts off with the obvious: Social Security funds should be used only for Social Security. Many Americans are surprised to learn that billions of dollars are taken out of Social Security each year in a congressional raid that funds everything under the sun – except worker retirement – and in the process masks the true size of the federal deficit. That practice could end under this new amendment. The DeMint-Crapo amendment creates a reserve fund in the budget that could be used to fund legislation protecting Social Security.

Social Security contributions are already placed fund into a Trust Fund. If these Republican Senators wanted to make sure that the Federal government stops raiding the piggy bank, they would do something about reducing the General Fund deficit – such as paying for the Iraq debacle with tax increases. If you suspect that Mr. Kerpen forgot to tell you the real story behind this proposal, check out this review:

Republicans Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Jim DeMint, Mike Crapo and Tom Coburn are scheduled to hold a press conference this morning announcing their plan to privatize Social Security by raiding the Social Security surplus. Not only would this plan reduce benefits, but would also make Social Security’s financial problems worse and add billions to our nation’s deficits. Rather than working to protect Social Security, these Republicans are up to their same old tricks: trying to privatize Social Security while making the long term health of Social Security worse.

The discussion continues with the following headings:

Create New Budget Problems: Taxes Would Have to Be Increased, or Programs Slashed

Make Social Security’s Financing Problems Worse: Accelerate Insolvency, Add $64 Billion to Deficit, $600 Billion in Debt

Reduce Guaranteed Benefits

Simply put – more dishonesty from the GOP and the National Review.

Update: Even Lawrence Kudlow understands that the Republicans in Congress can’t stop themselves from raiding themselves from raiding our retirement benefits:

After all the GOP Congressional talk about newfound budget-cutting religion, including earmark transparency and reform, so far they have produced nothing. People like Arlen Specter, and many others, are still trying to get their pet projects funded. So, what else is new? Gregg has thrown in the towel on mandatory spending cuts because he says he doesn’t have the votes. Well then, I don’t think that the American people should “have the votes” to keep the Republicans in charge of the Senate–or the House for that matter. This is a pathetic state of affairs.

Larry – well said!

Update II: The Spokesman-Review reports on how Senator Crapo gets his campaign funds:

BOISE – U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, received more than twice as much money in donations from people in the U.S. Virgin Islands than from his home state last year, according to the Federal Elections Commission. That prompted the Senate Majority Project, a Democratic interest group, to question Crapo’s involvement in the islands, which have a population of 110,000 people. Crapo had received $39,000 from Virgin Islands residents by the end of the 2005-06 election cycle, compared with just under $20,000 from Idaho residents. Lobbyists for the islands are trying to reduce the number of days a person must remain on the islands to be considered a resident, an issue that could have tax benefits. Currently, under a 2004 act of Congress, individuals must spend at least half the year in the Virgin Islands to be considered a resident for tax purposes. Lobbyists would like to see that reduced to an average of 122 days per year over a three-year period. Crapo, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is looking into the issue.