Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), one of the cosponsors to the radical budget proposal authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), went on Fox News yesterday to float one of the budget’s key components. Heralding “personal [Social Security] accounts” for “younger earners,” Blackburn touted Social Security privatization as the only way “you could get some of this under control”:
BLACKBURN: You know, people forget Medicare is a program that individuals have paid into every single year with their Medicare and their Social Security beneifts the federal government has first right of refusal on that paycheck. And this is one of the reasons we need to make sure individuals get the money out that they have placed in. This is one of the reasons we have had the discussion over and over for our younger earners of having accounts that have their Social Security number and their information on that — personal accounts.
VARNEY: You’re right, but it was roundly rejected when President Bush suggested doing just that. Didn’t fly. […]
BLACKBURN: I was just going to say, and it’s interesting to me the number of people now that are coming to town hall meetings and are saying ‘you know what, if you were to scale back some of this bureaucracy and you began to look at some options for younger workers, you could get some of this under control.’
While Varney seemed supportive of the idea of subjecting the retirement safety net to the whims of the stock market, he rightly noted that President Bush’s attempt was “roundly rejected.” Indeed, if Bush were successful at his push to do what Ryan and Blackburn are proposing now, seniors would have lost tens of thousands of dollars in the 2008–2009 market plunge.