Friday, October 03, 2008

DCCC Releases Ad Hitting Walberg On Social Security

Social Security is an issue that people haven't been talking about much since about 2005 or so. With President Bush's failed attempt to push through a privatization plan, the system so many depend on has been left basically untouched by politicians.

When the Club for Growth attacked Mark Schauer earlier this week, they claimed he wanted to raise Social Security taxes-- which is a little misleading. However, aside from a few mentions every now and then by either Senator Schauer or Congressman Walberg, I haven't really seen or heard the issue brought up besides in that ad.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee changed that with a new ad, directly attacking Walberg on his support of privatizing Social Security:


Chris Gautz, who wrote about the ad this morning, says he doesn't remember the "socialism" quote, but I'm sure someone will come out with an article either confirming or explaining that.

But even if Walberg didn't actually say Social Security was "socialism," this ad could hurt him a lot. What Walberg supports is allowing younger workers to invest a portion of what they would get in benefits after retirement in the stock market-- ideally, to make more money. I was never exactly sure how that fit into the current system, where younger workers are paying for the benefits of retirees now... but that's policy. Right now, I want to talk about politics.

When privatization plans for Social Security were polled in 2005, most polls found that Americans were either split or slightly to moderately against the idea. When the headlines are things like "Dow Plunges 700," I suspect that the plan hasn't gotten any more popular recently. It's not an issue Republicans are eager to talk about right now.

But that's not even where it hurts Walberg. The conventional wisdom is that senior citizens are the most reliable voting bloc, and that they tend to be slightly more conservative-- slim advantage Walberg. But many of them rely on Social Security, as either a significant part or all of their income. Anything seen as potentially threatening that is going to play badly.

Will it cost Walberg the election? I doubt it. But it certainly won't help.

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