The Obameter

Oppose efforts to privatize Social Security

"And we will keep the promise of Social Security, strengthen it, but we won't turn it over to Wall Street."


Remarks at a campaign rally in Madison, Wis., Oct. 4, 2012

Subjects: Second Term Promise, Social Security


'Privatizers' aren't exactly on the warpath, but Obama reiterates pledge

Updated: Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | By Louis Jacobson

During the 2012 presidential campaign, President Barack Obama promised to "keep the promise of Social Security, strengthen it, but (not) turn it over to Wall Street."

This is something of an odd promise, since it's a promise to protect the status quo. We are left with a dilemma: At what point do we declare it a Promise Kept?

The reality is that, ever since President George W. Bush tried and failed to create personal investment accounts under Social Security in 2005, Congress hasn't moved seriously to create private accounts, even with the House in the hands of Republicans -- the party that has generally been more favorable toward this idea.

So it's not as if Obama has been valiantly protecting the Social Security status quo; the status quo hasn't really been under serious attack.

That said, the release of Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal does offer something small but tangible to address this promise: He reiterates this promise.

"The president is strongly opposed to privatizing Social Security and looks forward to working in a bipartisan way to strengthen the program for future generations," the budget proposal says.

This isn't much, but it does at least remind the American public that Obama is on the case. We'll defer judgment on making this a Promise Kept. For now, we'll label it In the Works.


Barack Obama, fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, March 4, 2014

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