Author’s notes – I do have to thank Jeremy Shown for twigging onto this ad that has been running in northeast Wisconsin and Jo Egelhoff for including that twigging in Wednesday morning’s FoxPolitics.net roundup. Since I’ve picked up Social Security’s future as sort of a “hobby”, I decided to make that my initial contribution to PolitiCrap.
Also, since this is mine, I will post the entire thing here.
The ad and claim:
U.S. Representative Steve Kagen’s (D-8th District) Social Security ad claims that his Republican opponent, Reid Ribble, wants to “…phase out Social Security, forcing Wisconsin’s seniors to fend for themselves”. It goes on to use a partial-sentence quote from Ribble made at a candidate forum: “…(S)omehow we have to establish a phase out of the current Social Security system…”.
That partial-sentence quote came from a candidate forum hosted by the Fox Valley Initiative on 11/3/2009, and does not include either the end of that sentence or the preceding sentence. The parts that were omitted by the Kagen campaign prove the lie. The fuller quote, taken from the Appleton Post-Crescent taping of the forum, with Ribble’s answer beginning at the 1:33:00 mark and the question being answered at the 1:30:40 mark, is, “There’s been a promise made and for those of you that are in their retirement years, you lived and planned your life based on a promise by your government. And so somehow we have to establish a phase out of the current Social Security system to a new system, and that will have to happen over time.”
Scott Crevier, who recorded that commercial, also provided a more-recent video of Ribble on Social Security, taken at a candidate forum in Appleton on 9/7/2010. At that forum, Ribble said, “”Well, I never said I would privatize Social Security. I think its okay for them to make their accusations. They’re going to make those accusations anyway because honesty has never been part of the political spectrum in this country. We need to have is to have some people begin to speak honestly. I’ve not come out publicly in support of privatization, but I have come out publicly in support of personalization, and they are quite a bit different. Privatization is where you’re allowed to take some of that money and invest it outside the system. Now that’s okay unless you’re the guy that retires when the stock market crashes 4000 points and now the taxpayers on the hook for it anyway. And so, what I do believe is in personalization, and by allowing your investment in Social Security be yours, and invest it through the current system, we can now protect our seniors, and we can now protect our grandchildren. And that’s at the end of the day, our objective, is that we have to protect both, and there is a way of getting that done.”
FactCheck.org, as part of its look at the nationwide Democrat attack on Republicans on Social Security, said this about the ad, “But it is misleading to say Ribble would force ‘Wisconsin seniors to fend for themselves,’ and to suggest that Ribble would phase out the program without replacing it with a new plan.”
Revisions/extensions (1:06 pm 9/27/2010) –Two updates: First, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Charlie for making this the on-air PolitiCrap on Friday. I didn’t quite anticipate that.
Next, PolitiFact Wisconsin took a look at this commercial, including an element I hadn’t explored – Kagen’s attempt to call Ribble a “politician”. They came to the same conclusion and lit Kagen’s lying pants on fire.