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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Democrats are ramping up their attacks against Senate candidate Joni Ernst, with a new ad campaign that accuses the Iowa Republican of trying to privatize Social Security.

“What does Joni Ernst stand for? She’s proposed privatizing Social Security. Gambling our savings in the stock market,” the ad’s narrator says. “Experts say that could be a windfall for Wall Street, but a wipeout for us.”

The ad concludes by warning voters that “Her ideas are just too extreme for Iowa.”

The ad, which is reportedly backed by a more than $500,000 buy, is the second time this week that Democrats have targeted Ernst on Social Security. Throughout the campaign, Ernst has repeatedly suggested transitioning younger workers into a “personal savings account,” which could be tied to the market. According to the Economic Policy Institute, such a plan could result in “considerably lower” benefits depending on market fluctuations, and introduce fees and management costs that are significantly higher than the administrative costs on traditional benefits.

The Ernst campaign has pushed back against the narrative; in a statement, Ernst spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel said that “Joni will protect Social Security for seniors like her parents, and ensure it’s there for generations to come, like her daughters and grandchildren.”

The ad is just the latest volley in what has become one of the most negative campaigns in the country. Since Ernst burst onto the scene with a threat to castrate Congress, Democrats have labeled her as the “Sarah Palin of Iowa,” and accused her of extremism for pushing discredited United Nations conspiracy theories, and referring to President Obama as a “dictator,” among other charges.

Ernst has fired back by accusing her Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, of sexism, and has received extensive support from outside groups such as the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity, and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads.

According to the Huffington Post’s poll average of the race, the crucial race is currently a pure toss-up.

Screenshot: dscclive/YouTube

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  • charles king

    Iowains, check out your Joni ernst cause she sounds like a Plutocracts these are peoples Who? take the Peoples assets and privatize them. I am a (85yrs old, Koreanwar VET) and I am here to tell you that Social Securty works and do not need any help from greedy Capitalistic Pigs or Plutocracts of the same breed. Just do some Critical Thinking about those people in our States and Federal government and ask the questions of them”are they What? your Democracy about” Democracy is about All Americans Not some But All. The VOTE is still Supreme so if they are about something that is not Democracy then VOTE their sorry A**** OUT OUT OUT. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING

    • Robert Burns

      I think you’ve bought into the Democratic talking points and propaganda without knowing the actual facts. You are taking this add at face value. It just makes statements, but does not actually have any actual quotes or video of her stating ANYTHING about Social Security….and we all know that political adds are completely honest, don’t we? By no means. Most of them completely stretch the truth and tell bald face lies…both Democrats and Republicans lie all the time in their adds. All they have in this add is Democrats stating things without any verification. I would wait until there is an actual quote or video before making any voting determination on Ernst. Thank you for your service. My dad was also a service member during Korea.

      • gmccpa

        Bull. The 2012 Republican Platform specifically said, and I quote…”Born in an old industrial era beyond the memory of most Americans, it is long overdue for major change” And that change included EXACTLY what the ad says. Private Accounts. So, are we to believe its a Democratic talking point that connects Ms Ernst to her Party’s platform. Or is she some kind of renegade….opposing SS changes and simultaneously receiving financial support from the Koch bros and Karl Rove’s group?
        This is the very problem with the Republican agenda. They want to change Soc Sec into a private enterprise. But when someone like Charles King here proclaims its working just fine….Republicans quickly back away from their own agenda of overhauling SS. Face it. Its their stated plan. No plan for additional funding (ie increase cap or rate). Just ‘overhaul’. We are fully aware of what that means…and fully aware we will be screwed. You tell us. You’re defending them. What do they mean by major change?

        • GREG SIMPSON

          I agree gmccpa,great comment.The GOP has been trying to get rid of Social Security almost from its inception.If any of the naysayers read any history they would know this.Just think if Bush Jr,would have gotten his way in 2004,when he wanted to turn S.S over to wall street. The bottom line is this,Republicans thing anyone that receives S.S. is receiving welfare.

  • Bill

    The GOP has been trying to get rid of Social Security for a long time. Once its gone we can return to the country they long for, one where the rich rule and the rest of the people can return to being slaves of starve. The slaves will also starve only not as fast.

    • TZToronto

      The right have been trying to undo the New Deal for 80 years. I guess they are in favor of seeing more people begging at the Interstate off-ramps and more people begging–and living–on the streets. Social Security is a program that’s been working well for a long, long time. It is funded for quite a while into the future. Privatizing it makes almost no sense. The only way privatizing could work would be to put all the contributions into investments where the principal is guaranteed to increase over time (or at least not decrease). However, the way the right want Social Security to be structured, if I have this correct, it that you pay money into it, it’s invested for you, and you collect–but only as much as you have contributed–unless what you’ve contributed has vanished in a stock market collapse. The big winners will be the investment people who grab a commission out of every dollar you put into the plan and make money whether the stock market goes up or down.

      • Allan Richardson

        If the $128K (approximately) cap were removed and all personal income subjected to the FICA rate, or EVEN if the cap became the bottom of a “donut hole,” with income between that line and, say, $1M or even $5M, with FICA resuming for income above the donut hole, there would be MORE THAN ENOUGH to fund Social Security at a higher benefit payout than today, for many years longer.

  • Robert Burns

    It doesn’t matter what is done with SS! It will exist for those currently retired but will be completely BANKRUPT by the time I retire. All the money I’ve put into it will completely disappear into a bloated government. You KNOW in your heart but won’t say it out loud that this WILL happen. So if we don’t do something with it right now, I’m sunk, unless I can invest just a tiny portion of it into the market(which has a proven track record of 8% over the last 100 years, or so, including the Great Depression) it will just sit there losing value every year. The Republicans wanted to only divert less than 5% of SS money into the market. How will such a miniscule amount matter?

    • gmccpa

      Nice try there. First you stated that is was a Democratic talking point. Now, instead, you are defending her position.
      There are so many things that can be done to extend the life of social security before we change the structure. A structure, that’s worked for generations now. A person earning $500K contributes exactly 1.4508% percent of their wages to SS. Most of us contribute 6.2%. There is PLENTY of room for tweaking. Besides..where in their platform does it say ‘less than 5%’?
      And this is all irrelevant to the post. If Joni Ernst, or any of the GOP, would stand up and say what they intend….they will lose votes. Period. They know it. That’s why she backed away from it…and that’s why you called it a Dem talking point.

    • ralphkr

      Well, Robert, there is absolutely no law prohibiting you from investing in the market in addition investing in the guaranteed SS plan. I do believe that was the idea behind IRAs (No, not the Irish but the US Individual Retirement Accounts) with their ability to play the market with tax advantaged funds. SS was not designed to be the ONLY retirement plan for an individual but intended to be a stable guaranteed factor in sensible planning. By the way, if money in SS disappears because of government management then ALL pension plans will disappear BEFORE SS because SS is the most efficiently run plan with the lowest administrative costs of ANY pension plan in the US.

      • Robert Burns

        I’m sorry I can’t argue against the deaf and blind. SS is the most efficiently run plan? Then why is it going bankrupt? Where have you been for the last 20 years?

        • ralphkr

          Well, Robert, I must admit that all I have heard for the last 60 years is that SS shall be bankrupt within 2 to 5 years and at this time the projected bankruptcy is the farthest in the future of any prediction I’ve ever seen (over 20 years from now) and the problem could be put off to infinity merely by taking the cap off wages subjected to SS. By the way, I paid into SS for years but I shall never collect because of all the years I held SS exempt jobs.

          • Robert Burns

            If they took the cap off of the income, that would go a long way toward helping to save insolvency. Unfortunately, If it does go bankrupt in the 20 years that you say, that doesn’t help me since I’m probably at least 25 years from retirement, that is if I can EVER retire.

          • ralphkr

            Actually, Robert, it is impossible for SS to go bankrupt unless the entire US government shuts down in which case nothing in the US shall be worth a copper.

  • charles king

    Mr. Burns, I believe in Democracy and that is the grounds “I” stand on. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING