One of the biggest issues in the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Brian Baird in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, is not Social Security privatization per se, but rather, where Republican nominee Jaime Herrera stands on it.
Like most Americans, the vast majority of WA-03 voters oppose Social Security privatization, because they understand the role this crucial program has played over the past 75 years in raising our nation’s elderly out of poverty, and they understand that, if Republican privatization proposals had prevailed, many retirees would have been wiped out by the Bush recession and its resulting stock market collapse. That’s not really up for debate.
But whether Herrera would be a reliable vote for privatization—or whatever Republicans choose to call it next time around—that’s an issue that should weigh heavily on WA-03 voters as they struggle to fill out their ballots during these tough economic times.
Of course, after being pounded on the issue by her Democratic opponent Denny Heck, Herrera now claims that she opposes “privatization.” But that wasn’t her position at a Republican candidate forum in Lewis County last May, when the moderator bluntly asked the panel: “Do you believe that Americans should be able to use all or a portion of their Social Security taxes to invest in individually owned retirement accounts, such as a 401-K or an IRA?”
As you can see in the video above, Herrera joins her fellow Republicans in answering “Yes.”
That’s the sorta answer Herrera needed to give to win a primary against an insurgent Tea Party challenger… though now her campaign claims that she merely “misunderstood” the question.
“Private accounts” and “privatization” are two ways of describing the same thing, and if Herrera doesn’t understand that, how can voters really trust her to protect Social Security from Wall Street backed “reforms?” Of course, they can’t, which perhaps explains why New York billionaire investor David Koch and his Social-Security-privatization-shilling Americans for Prosperity have already invested big in electing Jaime Herrera?