Although she was criticized for inaccuracies and mostly for false implications in her last ad attacking Michele Bachmann on Social Security, Tarryl Clark is up with a new one with a similar message.
Here’s the ad:
If you watch carefully, you’ll notice one tricky thing. In rehashing Bachmann’s statements and positions on Social Security, the ad uses quotation remarks around “complete fraud” (which, as I mentioned in a recent post, Bachmann did say about Social Security) and around “wean” which is a word Bachmann used to describe her desire to get younger workers out of Social Security in its present form, but in the middle statement, that Bachmann wants to privatize Social Security, there are no quotes. Apparently, they cannot find an instance in which Bachmann provably used the word “privatize” to describe her idea for changing the program.
But, as I mentioned in the same post, if, by “privatize,” one means the idea that has been described by that word for several decades — namely allowing some portion of Social Security to be converted into a system of individual investments in private stock, bonds and mutual funds, in exchange for which those participants would not receive as much from the program in guaranteed, inflation-adjusted retirement benefits — that does appear to be what Bachmann favors. She just won’t say the word “private,” and, recently, she won’t clarify that this is what she favors, although she has made it clear in the past.
The other bit of business hanging over from the previous ad is that Bachmann did indeed say she advocates “wean[ing] everybody off” of Social Security, but that in full context, that statement made clear that she believes those at or near retirement should receive the benefits that have been promised to them. Younger workers would be “weaned off,” if Bachmann has her way.
Because of the emotional nature of any suggestion that seniors’ benefits will be taken away, it’s important to clarify that Bachmann would grandfather in current recipients. Clark implied otherwise in the previous ad and you decide for yourself whether she implies it again here. I would say she sorta does.
Bashing Republicans for wanting to privatize Social Security is one of the oldest tricks in the Democratic playbook, but that doesn’t make it untrue. In Bachmann’s case, it is true, compounded by her unwillingness to clarify her Social Security position.
Clark also takes no clear position on how to change Social Security to address its long-term projected shortfall. She argues that helping the economy is the best medicine for Social Security.