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September 21, 2008

Fearmonger in Florida: Obama Lies About Social Security

Lemme tell you the one about the lawyer who lies. What? You've heard it?

Obama is in big trouble in Florida. Over the summer he spent $8 million on advertising there. McCain spent nothing, but always managed to stay on top in the polls.

Democrats are talking about turning out new voters and rarely-voters. That sounds good and feeds the Obama Change motif. The problem is that these voters are not reliable, something Democrats learned in 2002 when they made a nation-wide push to defeat Jeb Bush. People are more than happy to tell a chirpy phone-bank volunteer that they are fired up. But no one knows how many actual votes that will be on Election Day. So a change in tactics is in order.

Last week Obama claimed that McCain is running a dishonest, dishonorable campaign built on "lies and spin." This weekend, Obama embraced that strategy. He decided the best way to grab votes is to scare the bejeebus out of grandma.

A new Obama ad characterizes the "Bush-McCain privatization plan" as "cutting Social Security Benefits in half." This is a falsehood sure to frighten seniors who rely on their Social Security checks. In truth, McCain does not propose to cut those checks at all.

This is the same argument that derailed the President's social security reform plan. No matter how many times it was pointed out that this is a blatant, provable lie, Democrats would tell seniors that Republicans were trying to slash their benefits. Grandma and grandpa would freak out and once their paranoiac buttons have been pushed you can never quite erase their suspicion that someone is trying to take something from them.

The ad is airing in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Obama is also scaring seniors on the campaign trail, lying to them about privatization.

In Daytona Beach, Obama said that "if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would've had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week." He referred to "elderly women" at risk of poverty, and said families would be scrambling to support "grandmothers and grandfathers."

That's not true. The plan proposed by President Bush and supported by McCain in 2005 would not have allowed anyone born before 1950 to invest any part of their Social Security taxes in private accounts. All current retirees would be covered by the same benefits they are now.

And for those who are young enough to participate, privatization as proposed by the President would be a voluntary.

That last quoted sentence is the most important one. All current retirees will be covered by the same benefits they are now. Unless Republicans hammer this point in the same breath in which they mention Social Security, Obama and the Democrats will continue to lie about it...and get away with their lies.

It's also worth mentioning (again) that long-term investments in the stock market do better than "investment" in Social Security. As Drudge had it yesterday, "DOW UP 40 POINTS IN PAST MONTH - UP 18% PAST 5 YEARS - UP 44% PAST 10 YEARS." Properly diversified investments are not nearly the gamble Obama makes them out to be.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:27 PM

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