August 18th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama: Social Security won't be privatized


 President Obama told some residents of Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday that social security would not be privatized while he is in the White House. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Columbus, Ohio (CNN) - President Barack Obama pledged Wednesday that the Social Security system won't be privatized while he is in the White House.

In a town-hall style meeting with a few dozen residents of Columbus, Ohio, Obama said "modest" changes can keep the government pension system solvent for decades.

Republicans have called for transforming the government program to a private savings account as a way to help keep it going as America's aging population stresses its financial health.

"It will not be privatized as long as I'm president," Obama said to applause, noting that the economic recession and Wall Street collapse would have devastated the savings of retirees under a privatized Social Security system.

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Filed under: Ohio • President Obama • Social Security
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Lou

    TYPICAL. Wow thats a relief. With his hands on the controls we will be lucky if there is anything left but vacation photos of Michelle.

    August 18, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Once again, President Obama addresses Main Street here in my home state of Ohio. Once again, he has presented himself in a mannor that we should all be proud of and appears knowledgable and 'feeling' of the world around him. Now tell me, why do I NOT have this warm-fuzzy feeling when his critics speak?

    August 18, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Jerry

    Funny that this idea was floated in 2005 and the republicans said no way then, so what republicans is he talking about now???

    August 18, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. normajean

    Thank you Mr. President. Social Security is never going to be privatized if we the voters can fight hard enough. It is absurd the way so many of the Republican candidates want to change everything that works and won't help change the ones that don't. If they think this is the path to their future in Washington, I think they are in for a big surprise.!

    August 18, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    After the bad practices on Wall St. that caused the Great Recession, privaticizing SSI should be the last thing coming out of anyone's mouth, besides for Sharon Angle and her wingnuts. Do you really think we can trust Wall St.? These are the crooks that came up with the idea of "Subprime Mortgages." I can't even begin to imagine what they would do with a lifetime of investment savings.

    August 18, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Ben

    Obozo showing once again how clueless he really is. Why isn't he back at the White House doing his job?

    August 18, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. terry,va

    Who wants to do that Obummie? Even Bush didn't say that. What kind of BS are you trying to come up with to counter your stupid policies. Your motives have nothing to do with securing social security monies. You just want to keep a hold of all economic functions. Obummie = socialism

    August 18, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    There were 3 things that did Bush in and made him a failure in the eyes of the majority, and it wasn't Iraq.

    1. Trying to privatize Social Security
    2. Going along with selling the port security to people in the middle east
    3. Katrina

    Goes to show that you just can't go against the old people, so good for Obama

    August 18, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. annie s

    It won't be privatized (i.e. dismantled, with no guarantee it will be worth a plug nickel in your retirement years) as long as we keep the Republicans out of power. PLEASE Dems, get out and vote!

    August 18, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. blue

    You have more compassion than any republcians. Help us all if republicans take over.

    August 18, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. JonDie

    Social Security will be privatized (i.e., sold off to the lowest bidder) the next time Republicans take over.

    August 18, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Gia in Los Angeles

    Thank goodness for that! And, while we're on the subject, I support Obama in all of his decisions to date (of course, I retain the right to change that statement at any time, but so far it holds). I fully believe we have the right president for these times.

    August 18, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Dixie

    Hurrah! You go Mr. President.

    August 18, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. alex

    Privatizing Social Security is a bad idea. However, we should consider having part of its assets invested into AAA rated corporate bonds. We also need to take it out of the Federal Government revenue stream, put it into separate bucket and manage it separately from the rest of the Government.

    August 18, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Travis In Colorado

    Why does OBumbles have a microphone for a crowd of 5?

    August 18, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. Don Wuerl

    SSA sure as hell better be left alone-never privatized! Penochet did something similar; that was destructive!

    August 18, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. katiec

    The republicans do not care about Social Security or us. As usual, they are looking out for their Wall St, rich friends. In trying to destroy social security, obstructing finance reform, voting against anything to help middle class America, they are well on the path to becoming our country's most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    August 18, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. REG in AZ

    Following are a couple of quotes from a recent article on China addressing their impressive progress: "And while the United States and the European Union are struggling to grow in the wake of the worst economic crisis in decades, China has continued to climb up the economic league tables by investing heavily in infrastructure and backing a $586 billion stimulus plan.", a statement that would seem to indicate their 'liberal' programs are working; and the following statement "While the country is still relatively poor per capita, it has an authoritarian government that is capable of taking decisive action — to stimulate the economy, build new projects and invest in specific industries." points out their apparent ability to easily control and contain the negative pressures of unchecked capitalism (such as run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence) that other governments can literally be stalemated and even corrupted by.

    In contrast to China is America actually rapidly declining, facilitated by an unchecked 'more for me for nothing' mentality, and heading quickly towards 2nd class status? Without ever advocating the dismantling of Democracy or the acceptance of a totalitarian government but instead conscientiously asking whether America is actually loosing ground – like in the 'fall of the Roman Empire' – with it being the natural result of excessive self-indulgence? If that is the case then the people, the voters, have to be co-responsible for blindly following where self-interests are being promoted, for not holding their representatives to a higher standard of honesty and responsibility, for self-servingly accepting the subterfuge offered to rationalize the irresponsibility and for being naive in thinking ‘the piper doesn’t have to be paid’. In 2001-2008 we saw and suffered the drastic affects of government being totally focused on the few while giving the majority only apathy, the costs and an abundance of subterfuge to justify and manipulate – we can’t allow ourselves to now be conned into returning to ‘more of the same’. The people/voters have to first be responsible in order to then make government responsible.

    August 18, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Marcus

    '"It will not be privatized as long as I'm president," Obama said to applause, noting that the economic recession and Wall Street collapse would have devastated the savings of retirees under a privatized Social Security system.'

    OK, can anyone show me were he's wrong with that?
    Henry Miller?
    He's not denying that Social Security DO needs some changes and perhaps even a reform, he's just saying the obvious: to put money spared for retirement in the hands of irresponsible 'investors' is to ask for people who worked hard all their lives to lose everything sooner or later.
    So, besides the nonexistant alternative of privatizing the SS, what's your proposition GOP?

    August 18, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Facts are not fair to the GOP

    But the vast majority of the Fox republican party candidates want that money to go to their friends in wall street. It is good to know Obama is looking out for Americans.

    August 18, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Uncle Sam

    Interesting after 2 years of "Accomplishments" he and his comrades in the liberal congress can tout. Obama on the stump touts "not changing things" and blame Bush. Well, Mr. President what have you done for me lately? Tout your stimulus plan and all its accomplishments, brag about health care takeover, share your thoughts on how you delivered on changing the war in the Middle East and closing Gitmo.

    August 18, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Ed

    Only to keep fools from betting it on wallstreet.

    August 18, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Dave

    Devastated it??????????? IT is already a farce. There IS NOT social security pot of gold, they spend it every year.

    It is MY MONEY, let me spend it or invest it as I see fit. I do not need the government telling me how to do things.

    August 18, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Yeah, let the Republicans privatize social security which would allow CEO's of those private companies to walk away with your money and then turn around and ask for a "bail out". Just make sure you are one of those CEOs.

    August 18, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Minnesotan

    Privatizing Social Security is like urinating on an electric fence and expecting NOT to get zapped.

    August 18, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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