Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chicago Tribune Hits Dan Seals on Misrepresentations and His Social Security Reform Stance in IL-10

In what may be a bit of a harbinger of the Trib's leanings for its coming endorsement in Illinois's 10th Congressional District, the Tribune editorial board took a bit of a one-two whack at third-time candidate Democrat Dan Seals for misrepresenting his opponent, Republican Bob Dold's position on social security reform, and also dissed Seals' class-warfare approach to the issue.

First, the Trib called out Seals for using it as a source to claim that Dold wants to "privatize" social security, which is not accurate:

Seals is out with a new attack ad in their race for the 10th Congressional District. In the ad, the announcer gravely intones that Dold wants to "privatize Social Security."

Not so, says Dold campaign spokesman Kelly Klopp. "They're trying to make this into a really scary concept to claim that Bob wants to end Social Security as we know it," Klopp told us.

So where'd Seals get his information? The ad credits … the Tribune. [snip]

Dold answered [in his Tribune candidate questionnaire] that beneficiaries younger than 55 should have a different Social Security plan. As part of that plan, he wrote, "I would propose allowing a portion of Social Security payments (not more that 25 percent) to be put into Government authorized individual retirement accounts that would be able to be passed to heirs if not used."

No, Dold didn't use the word "privatization," as Seals' ad says. It's unfortunate that talk about letting people direct the investment of part of their Social Security contributions often gets tarred as "privatization." Unfortunate, but common.

As to the candidates' plans themselves, the Tribune said:

On the campaign trail and in a subsequent Tribune questionnaire, Dold has elaborated on his position. He said that he envisions such private accounts would be run by the government and invested in government securities, such as Treasury bonds.

That's not scary … or particularly new.

So what is Seals' solution? In his response to our questionnaire, Seals said he wants to reduce benefits for wealthier seniors in the future. "Wealthier individuals simply don't need the money as much as poorer individuals, and Social Security payments should reflect that." That's a fairly gutsy position for someone running in the North Shore congressional district. [snip]

Dold's proposal, though, sounds much safer and conservative in approach. He's not talking about dabbling in the stock market with your Social Security funds. [my emphasis, both times]

You will recall that the Trib endorsed Bob Dold but not Dan Seals in their respective primaries last February. The Trib had this to say about Seals at the time:

Wilmette business consultant Dan Seals is making his third run for the seat. We endorsed Seals in his two previous primary campaigns (but supported Kirk in the general elections). We like Seals, but we also hear 10th District residents asking why he hasn't been more involved in community efforts in the district. His primary focus seems to have been on asking for their votes. Our endorsement goes to state Rep. Julie Hamos of Wilmette. She has a fine record on ethics reform, domestic violence laws and early childhood education. She patiently and quite skillfully engineered new law that shored up the finances and instituted critical pension reforms for Chicago-area mass transit. [my emphasis]

So far this race, Seals hasn't come up with much more than traditional Democratic talking points and "soak the rich" schemes to commend him to voters; that is, when he's not busy emulating his opponent, Bob Dold, on issues such as extending the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone regardless of income level.

It's not hard to predict where the Tribune is headed on this race, and hopefully the voters of the 10th District will take notice, and send Seals packing to his home in Jan Schakowsky's 9th District for good.


Anonymous said...

One thing that really concerns me about Seals' proposal to deny earned social security benefits to people based on wealth is that it will necessarily require people to disclose to the federal government their net worth in order to obtain social security. Right now, the Federal government doesn't really know your net assets, it just knows your annual income.

So what, you might ask, if the Feds know my new assets? Well, I think this is serious because once the feds know your wealth, it won't be too much longer until the Obama-like figure determines that people with assets over $1million can afford a little more to fund out-of-control government spending.

If you own your home, have saved a nest egg, own some cars and perhaps have a nice job, we are not too far away (if Seals has his way) until you are taxed on your income, taxed on your wealth, denied social security benefits and then taxed on all that is left after you die. For what? Record out of control spending. It is time to stop this madness before it is too late.

Don't be fooled by Seals' seemingly innocuous claim that the wealthy can afford to go without social security benefits. Think of the implications of the (un?)intended consequences.

Anonymous said...

Dan Seals is for income redistribution and means testing plain and simple.

Lets be clear, Seals has never had material income and has long benefitted from redistribution, first from his Trust fund, and then from his wife.

Since he has no means, he wants to test and confiscate the hard earned income of folks who actually work for a living. Dan, get a job, pay some taxes.

Anonymous said...

Seriously Dan, get a job and live in the district so you can know how the rest of us feel. When you financially support your family and work hard to pay taxes you will have something of right to talk about this issue.

Good God, what HAVE you done these last years?

Anonymous said...

<a href="http://ellenofthetenth.blogspot.com/2010/09/bob-dold-lifelong-resident-of-il-10.html>We need a candidate that lived in the 10th District!</a>

Anonymous said...

We need a candidate that lived in the 10th District!

Anonymous said...

We need a candidate that lived in the 10th District!

Team America said...

You know, I'm so amused by the multiple attempts of the troll who wants desperately to leave a link to Ellen's Blog in comments, that I'm going to just let all three attempts sit there as a testament to their IQ. As if any fan of Team America Blog is going to be influenced by Ellen Beth Gill/Carl Nyberg propaganda. Nice try, though, I 'spose.

Anonymous said...

Take the Meds Carl.....take the Meds.

Anonymous said...

hamilton chang got a big endorsement tonight as the chicago tribune backed his campaign. They aren't backing the pup, and are probably sick of seeing him as he's been to 6 endorsement sessions with them in the last 40 months.

catlady continues to show how stupid she is taking dold to task for not living in the district even though pup is a 9th districter. Even more hilarious is the fact that she now calls herself e10. In baseball an error is scored e and then the players number so e5 is error on the thirdbasemen. E10 is therefore error 10 and I for once agree with her that she is the 10th district error.


Anonymous said...

TA, Ellen might not be 100% wrong... Dolt can't do anything right:


I'm starting to feel bad for the guy, this is just pathetic.

Carl Nyberg said...

I post under my own name.

What does it mean to "privatize" Social Security?

How is creating private accounts not privatizing Social Security?

Social Security works as a program. The Republicans want to dismantle the program.

Creating individual accounts is simply a step toward dismantling Social Security.

The supposed "crisis" in Social Security is made worse by Dold's plan, not better.

Team America said...

Thanks for stopping by, Carl. I guess you and the Tribune will simply have to agree to disagree over the meaning of "privatize" in the ss context. I thought they explained the issue and Dold's stance pretty well. You're just sour that Mother Tribune whacked your guy.

Anonymous said...

Hey TA why don't you do a post on Dold's residency issues since you seemed to care so much about it when it came to Seals?

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Bob had a Right Nation 2010PAC / Tea Party resources support posting on his Facebook page last night. It has since been removed. Love the guy...but, some of his staffers are making this more difficult than it should be.

Carl Nyberg said...

The Tribune is scum.

They are a Republican (albeit pro-business, anti-social conservative) paper.

The Trib's journalism on politics is consistently bad.

The paper has held no one accountable for the BS is was peddling to sell Bush's excellent adventure in Iraq.

And don't get me started on the ethics of the Tribune company.

Larry, I read your blog less than once per week. I read the Tribune even less.

I look forward to the day the Tribune has shrunk and is sold off to management that runs it like a credible newspaper.

Carl Nyberg said...

Anon 8:33 AM, have you considered the possibility that the GOP thinks the activists in the Tea Party movement are rubes to be manipulated?

Anonymous said...

Award for funniest comment of the week goes to Carl Nyberg:

Social Security works as a program.

Congrats, Carl!!

Anonymous said...

"Lifelong resident" of IL-10. Ha!

All in all, it's just another brick in the wall...

Badge of Honor said...

Hey Carl -

Not to change the subject but....

When did Alexi lie? When he told voters he stopped working at Broadway bank in 2005? Or when he told the IRS he worked there in 2006?

Anonymous said...

Dold was born here, grew up here, and has returned to raise his family here...The fact that he went away to college (the horror!) and moved away for a while because of his jobs (double the horror!) is something most of us lifelong residents can relate to. It's called living in the real world.

The fact that the Seals Drones are attacking Dold for this is just proof that they are trying to obscure the fact that SEALS DOESN'T LIVE HERE AND CAN'T EVEN VOTE FOR HIMSELF!!!!

The louder the Seals Drones rant, the more desperate they are to cover Seals' serial carpetbagging congressional runs.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out...Your average Seals voter could probably even connect the dots.