Recently in the Colorado Democratic Primary, Senator Michael Bennet accused former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff of voting to "privatize Social Security."
Upon further review of the record, it seems that Senator Bennet is taking a page from the Karl Rove playbook. Rove was infamous for attacking a rival's strength and where his own candidate was vulnerable.
Case in point - let's take a trip back to the fall of 2009, when I first wrote about the letter Senator Bennet signed that would have gone a lot farther towards privatizing Social Security:
Is fiscal responsibility good if it creates a filibuster proof commission with the final say on cuts to Medicare and Social Security?
(Senator Michael Bennet) signed a letter supporting the creation of a fiscal responsibility board....it would create budget legislation, including deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. As Conrad has written the proposal, the Senate could only have simple majority (upperdown) votes on this legislation--no filibusters. It would hand over a huge amount of Congressional authority to an unelected, unaccountable commission, all in the name of "fiscal responsibility." Sadly, a dozen Democrats signed onto a letter to Harry Reid yesterday, stressing their concern over deficits.(Courtesy of mcjoan)
Now, I don't know about you, but signing onto this commission can only be considered an early Christmas gift to the Republicans. Remember all those attempts to privatize Social Security by Bush and all the talk of how it will be bankrupt by 2020?
Well, this commission will go a long way towards helping that happen even faster.
And it will be done through a process similar to reconciliation - only a simple majority - 51 votes and no filibuster. Mind you, if Reid even thinks about using reconciliation to pass a strong health care bill, the Republicans will start screaming 'nuclear option' and about how undemocratic the Democrats are.
Now let's compare that to Michael Bennet's charge that Andrew Romanoff wanted to privatize Social Security.
Senator Bennet says Mr. Romanoff voted for a resolution to partially privatize Social Security."
Upon further review of the record and the truth, we see that the Bennet campaign is pulling the old Karl Rove tactic of saying the opposite of the truth.
The bill actually states the following:
Privatization will worsen Social Security's funding needs by draining resources from the trust fund into private accounts, increasing the federal deficit by $2 trillion over the first decade alone, which will put the nation in deeper debt to foreign creditors
And the bill is titled:
MEMORIALIZING CONGRESS TO OPPOSE PRIVATIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY
But the Bennet Campaign distortions don't stop there. Don't forget, Bennet voted against giving seniors a $250 check to offset the recession.
S.Amdt. 3353 to S.Amdt. 3336 to H.R. 4213 (Tax Extenders Act of 2009) Statement of Purpose: To provide an emergency benefit of $250 to seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities in 2010 to compensate for the lack of cost-of-living adjustment for such year, and for other purposes.
How about that? Senator Bennet both signed off onto a letter for a commission that would have led the way towards Social Security Privatization, and voted to block a Social Security increase.
It seems Senator Bennet found out some tricks of the Republican playbook. Working for a billionaire Republican like Phillip Anschutz must have its advantages; he must have gotten some personal tutorials from Karl Rove himself.
Colorado voters know the truth - and who has stood with Colorado and Seniors for this past decade - Andrew Romanoff.
Follow Wade Norris on Twitter: www.twitter.com/wadenorris