Campaign 2010

May 11, 2010

Privatization Advocates Spend Thousands to Boost Republican Millionaire Tim Burns

Republican millionaire Tim Burns' supporters are now spending thousands in false attack ads to support their reckless scheme to gamble on Wall Street the Social Security benefits that Seniors have earned.  Today it was reported that Americans for Prosperity, a group that wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare, is running thousands of dollars worth of ads in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district.

"Another day provides another reminder: millionaire Republican Tim Burns and his supporters stand for an out of touch agenda that is wrong for Western Pennsylvania," said Shripal Shah, Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "The Republican plan that Tim Burns and his backers are pushing to gamble on Wall Street the Social Security benefits that seniors have earned, would be devastating for Western Pennsylvania.  The tens of thousands of dollars that Social Security privatization advocates are spending for Republican millionaire Tim Burns only reinforce the fact that he symbolizes exactly what seniors can’t afford right now."

BACKGROUND:

Americans for Prosperity is spending thousands on attack ads in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/11/10; Washington Post, 5/11/10

Americans for Prosperity Supports Privatization of Medicare. In 2008, Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin endorsed the Paul Ryan’s plan which would replace Medicare with a voucher system, forcing seniors to buy insurance on their own. According to Americans for Prosperity, "Ryan’s bill, which was introduced on Wednesday, would provide tax credits for families to buy health insurance, establish Medicare payments to pay for private insurance, allow workers younger than 55 to invest up to a third of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, and give taxpayers a choice between using the current income tax code or using a simplified tax system." [Americans for Prosperity, 5/23/08; Americans for Prosperity]

Americans for Prosperity Advocates for Privatization of Social Security. Americans for Prosperity has long advocated privatization of Social Security. According to Americans for Prosperity, "Personal accounts would allow millions of younger workers to have part of their Social Security taxes automatically invested in secure, diversified bond funds and stock funds, similar to what many workers already do with 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)." [Americans for Prosperity, 6/6/05]

Congressman Mike Pence campaigned for Burns in Johnstown.  [Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, 5/10/10]

Pence is a privatization advocate. In May 2001, Rep. Mike Pence co-signed a letter to the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security urging for privatization. The letter read, "Social Security reform must offer younger workers the opportunity to improve their rates of return using personal retirement accounts." [Rep. Jim DeMint Letter to The Social Security Reform Commission, 5/24/01]

In 2002, Pence spoke on the House floor in favor of privatizing Social Security. [Congressional Record, 3/6/02]

In 2002, Pence said that for Social Security he favored "what is called privatization, but which I prefer to call individual savings accounts." [Palladium-Item, 4/3/02]

When asked about Social Security last week, Burns said “we need to have all options on the table.” That includes the risky Republican scheme that would gamble on Wall Street the Social Security benefits that Seniors have earned. [WJAC/Tribune-Democrat forum, 4/28/10]

Burns repeated this call in an interview with the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. [Tribune-Democrat, 5/6/10]

George Pataki is campaigned for Tim Burns. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/5/10]

Pataki is a privatization advocate. [Buffalo News, 2/3/05]

Tim Burns was endorsed by the House Conservative Fund. In order to receive their endorsement and receive their contribution, Burns had to sign on to support their agenda. [House Conservative Fund Press Release, 4/21/10

In order to be considered for a contribution from the House Conservatives Fund, candidates must fill out a questionnaire and support values consistent with those espoused by the conservative Republican Study Committee. [CQ-Roll Call, 3/10/10]

Republican Study Committee Supports Social Security Privatization. The Republican Study Committee supports the privatization of Social Security and has been praised by right-wing political groups for their pro-privatization stance. [Freedom Works Release, 3/1/06]

Republican Study Committee Supports Medicare Privatization. The Republican Study Committee favors an approach similar to Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial plan to privatize Medicare by replacing it with private vouchers. [New York Observer, 2/6/10]

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich campaigned for Republican Tim Burns. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 4/20/10]

            Gingrich is a privatization advocate. [Fox News Sunday, 1/10/05]

FreedomWorks endorsed Burns’ candidacy. [CNN.com, 4/21/10]

Congressional candidates are required to fill out a questionnaire that supports privatization of Social Security. FreedomWorks requires candidates who they support to fill out a questionnaire that supports privatization of Social Security. [FreedomWorks Congressional Questionnaire]

According to the FreedomWorks website, privatizing Social Security is one of their biggest priorities. [Freedom Works website, accessed 4/21/10]

Burns campaigned with Congressman Bill Shuster.  Just over two weeks ago Burns did events with Congressman Bill Shuster. [Daily American, 4/2/10]

Shuster has long been a vocal supporter for the risky Republican plan to privatize Social Security. [Patriot News, 3/06/05; Associated Press, 4/28/01; Associated Press, 4/20/01; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/08/01; USA Today, 5/15/01; Dallas Morning News, 5/7/01]

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