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This morning on Capitol Hill, a coalition composed of FreedomWorks and Students for Saving Social Security supported voluntary Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs) by counter-protesting the AARP's assertion that voluntary PRAs are risky and should not be included in Social Security reform legislation.
The AARP hit Capitol Hill with their members and hundreds of Left-leaning Washington lobbyists to protest the idea of strengthening Social Security through voluntary PRAs. FreedomWorks and Students for Saving Social Security countered the AARP with signs and literature of their own.
FreedomWorks Policy Director, Max Pappas, engaged the AARP Social Security Policy Director, John Rother, in an informal policy debate. Max Pappas told Mr. Rother, "The AARP's recent ads represent an erroneous analogy by asking if we'd knock down a house because it has a leaky faucet. Of course we wouldn't. But, if our house was built in the year Social Security was built, 1935, and still had asbestos insulation, peeling plaster walls, no electricity, no TV or phone, and no plumbing, we'd modernize it while maintaining the structure we like. That's what personal accounts are for Social Security, a modernization. No one creating a retirement system from scratch today would create something like Social Security, where no money is saved and the government spends whatever is left over on pork projects."
Jonathan Swanson of Students for Saving Social Security commented on the rally, "We showed up today to start a dialogue with the AARP on personal accounts, something which they should support wholeheartedly, since AARP staff actually sells mutual funds to their members."
Nick Bouknight, a spokesman for FreedomWorks, stated that "FreedomWorks has been leading the fight for personal accounts. The long term health of Social Security is troublesome and the only way to truly make it solvent for all Americans is to create personal retirement accounts that workers can own, control, and pass on to their loved ones. The larger the account, the more we will allow younger workers to save and invest for their future."
The two groups decided to attend the AARP rally today to "show the media and Americans that the system must be fixed, and that there are alternative voices to the AARP’s misleading scare tactics," according to Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks.
Kibbe further commented: "FreedomWorks is mobilized for this tough Social Security debate. In August, our activists are attending congressional town halls throughout the country and voice their support for voluntary personal retirement accounts. In addition, this September, FreedomWorks is flying its top activists to Washington, D.C. to personally lobby their Members of Congress for voluntary Personal Retirement Accounts."