MR. RUSSERT: Private accounts for Social Security--the president has made that a priority of his domestic agenda. Will you work with him in privatizing part of Social Security?Give em hell Harry.
SEN. REID: Tim, I can remember as a little boy my widowed grandmother with eight children. She lived alone, but she felt independent because she got every month her old age pension check. That's what this is all about. The most successful social program in the history of the world is being hijacked by Wall Street. Yes, Social Security is a good program. And if the president has some ideas about trying to improve it, I'll talk to him, and we as Democrats will, but we are not going to let Wall Street hijack Social Security. It won't happen. They are trying to destroy Social Security.
MR. RUSSERT: No private accounts?
SEN. REID: They are trying to destroy Social Security by giving this money to the fat cats on Wall Street, and I think it's wrong.
MR. RUSSERT: But, Senator, there are now 40 million people on Social Security. In the next 20 years, there's going to be 80 million. Life expectancy used to be 65 years old. It's approaching 80. If you have twice as many people on these programs for 15 years, you've got to restructure them in some way, shape, or form. What is your solution?
SEN. REID: Tim.
MR. RUSSERT: What is your alternative?
SEN. REID: Tim, all experts say that Social Security beneficiaries will receive every penny of their benefits that they're entitled to--100 percent of them--until the year 2055. After that, if we still do nothing, they'll draw 80 percent of their benefits. I want those beneficiaries after year 2055 to draw 100 percent of their benefits. But this does not require dismantling the program. For heaven's sakes, they're crying wolf a little too regularly here. There is not an emergency on Social Security. We can do this. The president should not try to jam this private accounts in an effort to destroy Social Security.
In the early--when Social Security came before the Congress, who opposed it? The Republicans. And they have a long memory. They've been trying to destroy Social Security for a long time and now they think they have an opening to do it.
MR. RUSSERT: Would you look at increasing or raising the age of eligibility? Would you look at means testing? Would you look at any reform?
SEN. REID: Of course. There are reforms that probably can happen in Social Security, and we're not, you know, saying don't even touch it. Let's take a look at it. I said I want people after the year 2055 to be able to draw all of their benefits. And, sure, we'll take a look at it, but don't give the ball to Wall Street.
MR. RUSSERT: No private accounts of any kind?
SEN. REID: Not as far as I'm concerned.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Harry Reid on Social Security
A few days ago we discussed the fact that the Social Security "Crisis" is nothing but a White House Lie. The new Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, said on Meet the Press that "private accounts" aren't going to happen and that he knows what the real motive of the administration is.