Sunday, September 21, 2008

Social Security: Trauner vs. Lummis

In an Associated Press article that appeared in the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, the Billings Gazette and a host of others, Cynthia Lummis is quoted as saying she wants to extend the income tax to the poorest Americans and, if elected, will advocate the privatization of the Social Security System. Cheyenne's Lummis is the Republican candidate for Wyoming's lone U.S. House seat. To her credit, she seems to have done a good job as the Wyoming State Treasurer. She demonstrated her money management skills by increasing the state's investment portfolio. I always admire anyone who can increase any investment portfolio, as I'm so lousy at it.

But privatizing the national safety net for retirees? Puts her on the same page with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain.

Lummis's Democratic opponent, businessman Gary Trauner, had this response in the AP story:

Gary Trauner, Lummis's Democratic proponent, criticized Lummis's proposal to extend income taxes to people who aren't currently paying them.

"One in every five kids in this country is born and raised in poverty," Trauner said. "A large number of those people are living below the poverty line, and she wants to raise taxes on the people who can least afford it in this country?"

Trauner also opposes privatizing Social Security. He pointed to the tumult on Wall Street over the past week as one reason why.

"I would just ask how all of our millions of Americans that look forward to having Social Security as a safety net would feel today if we had privatized Social Security, and they had been in the marketplace, investing in the market for the last 10 or 15 years," Trauner said.

"They would have lost billions and billions worth of money just in the last week alone."

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