At another town hall in Pemberton, NJ today, McCain tried to push back against criticism of his position on the issue by telling the crowd, “I will not privatize Social Security and it’s not true when I’m accused of that.” He then described the kind of private accounts he supports:
MCCAIN: I would like for younger workers, younger workers only, to have an opportunity to take a few of their tax dollars, a few of theirs, and maybe put it into an account with their name on it. That’s their money. That’s their money. So. So when I say that. So when I say that, please don’t let them twist that as they have others. It’s their money, it’s their money. And we will make sure that present day retirees, I will commit, have the benefits that they have earned. And nothing, any proposal would change that.
The problem for McCain is that his current stance means he was either lying in March when he told the Wall Street Journal’s Bob Davis that he supported private accounts “along the lines that President Bush proposed” or he doesn’t understand the nature of the private accounts he campaigned for in 2005.
In ’05, Bush proposed an overhaul of Social Security that would have allowed workers to “divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to fund private accounts,” which would have then resulted in “reduced Social Security payments from the government.” In other words, he would be “carving up of Social Security to create privatization accounts.”