SSA Privatization Fight

Warning about the dangers of "shyster consultants" who might cheat people out of their retirement benefits, several members of the Social Security Advisory Council yesterday put legislators on notice they will aggressively fight any move toward privatization. "We will begin today to form a powerful coalition to dispatch this twin-headed monster supported by Wall Street and its right-wing 'think tanks' so we can get on with the business of stabilizing Social Security with thoughtfulness and restraint," Gloria Johnson, the president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women and a member of the Social Security Advisory Council, told a news conference called by six of the 13 council members. "The coalition won't be hard to build because individual retirement accounts give everyone something to loathe ... We all get creamed." Although she provided no details of the effort, she vowed to organize "an all-out defense" of traditional Social Scurity and said that "as of now, our elected officials are on notice."

George Kourpias, president of the International Association of Machinists and a council member, argued average workers "don't have the time or the confidence they feel they would need to manage their own investment strategies" and are "leery about the high fees" required to hire a skilled investment adviser. "And they're very concerned about becoming the prey to hoards of shyster consultants that are sure to follow any substantial diversion of Social Security funds into individual retirement accounts," he said. Former Social Security Commissioner Robert Ball, also a council member, said "there simply is not a compelling argument for abandoning the traditional Social Security program for a system of individual private savings accounts, as proposed by some members of the council."

House Majority Leader Armey issued a statement saying the advisory council's call for more private sector involvement shows that "the vital center in the public policy debate has moved from a belief in greater government to a belief in market-based solutions." And in a speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation's national convention in Nashville, Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., said he does not expect entitlements to be a big issue in 1997 because congressional leaders and President Clinton will say there is "no crisis." In the speech, Kerrey proposed 0.1 percent of the current 12.4 percent Social Security payroll tax be used to open a $1,000 account with the Social Security Administration for every child born in the United States. Kerrey said the $1,000 account opened at birth by the SSA would accumulate to $250,000 over a lifetime and would show Americans the importance of saving and of compounding interest.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.