WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are eagerly renewing their fight against privatizing Social Security now that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. It was a fight that didn't go well for the GOP when President George W. Bush pushed the idea in 2005.
In his 2010 "Road Map for America's Future," the Wisconsin congressman proposed a plan to allow younger workers to divert more than one-third of their Social Security taxes into personal accounts that they would own and could will to their heirs.
Ryan wrote that the accounts would provide workers an opportunity "to build a significant nest egg for retirement that far exceeds what the current program can provide." Workers 55 and older would stay in the current system.
Romney hasn't embraced the proposal and Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, didn't include it in either of the federal budgets passed by House Republicans the past two years. But now that Ryan is running for vice president, Democrats hope to capitalize on the issue
Bush's proposal for private accounts received a chilly reception from members in both parties in Congress, though Ryan embraced it. Democrats used the issue against GOP congressional candidates in the 2006 election, when they regained control of the House and Senate.
"The very last thing we ought to be doing is putting at risk the retirement security of millions of America's seniors," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who heads the Democratic National Committee.
How do you feel about having your Social Security 'privatized" This is what Romney and Ryan would like to do, among others things like take away your Medicare.