When U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) endorsed Dan Seals, the Democratic candidate in the 10th Congressional District race, yesterday's announcement of the decision quickly turned to the future of Social Security. Seals's GOP candidate Robert Dold has backed Social Security privatization in the past and more recently flirted with supporting Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan's radical "Roadmap" plan, which would cut Social Security benefits. Levin, who is chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and has fought against such proposals in Congress, said that although he hasn't met Dold, he has "met the positions that he proposes and that he believes in." Levin went on to explain why no plan for Social Security privatization would work:
There can always be slight differences in privatization plans, but if you tear them apart, they are all the same. At the heart of it, it would move younger people away from insured benefit plans and put poeple in a substanial way dependent upon the stock market. And we've learned these last years how much in jeopardy this places a trust fund and also how much it places in jeopardy the people who have to rely on it. If those who are now on social security all had, instead of social security, 401(k)s, they would be in, frankly, difficult straits.
Seals echoed that sentiment and voiced his concern about the impact Social Security privatization would have on the federal deficit:
If you were to privatize Social Security, you would actually add trillions of dollars to the debt - and outstanding debt already stands at $13 trillion, so the notion that we can add another two trillion or more to it is simply unacceptable. I support protecting Social Security and I'm happy to have the endorsement of a committee looking to protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare and I'll continue to work to make sure this is a program that's solvent for years to come.
Considering the fact that Republicans have been filibustering any and every bill that would add to the federal deficit, like the recently-passed state aid bill, does Dold's support of such an expensive and unproven initiative make any sense?