August 18th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
12 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. Sue

    This is one main reason to keep the democrats and Obama in office......because all the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to take your Social Security and Medicare away.......

    August 18, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Tony on the River

    It will if this election season's Republicans gain control, Social Security will be privitized.

    August 18, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. charlie from the North

    I can't believe the GOP still wants to privatize Social Security after what happened to everyone's 401k's. Maybe P.T. Barnum was right there is one born every minute.

    August 18, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Limbaugh is a liberal

    People are already allowed to VOLUNTARILY dump their savings into retirement savings and investments. Guess what happened to all of that in 2008! It crashed! LOTS of people lost a lot of money they were hoping would be their retirement! I think by now most elderly are glad that privatized retirement investment wasn't made mandatory, as Bush planned.

    August 18, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Not on his watch at least. The Neo-Confederates however keep trying to rewrite the Constitution and destroy institutions that has been in this country for over 70 years. How dare Angle and the right-wing lunatics advocate privatization of SS.

    August 18, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. aunt Bea and Opie

    I want Rush to be the first one to turn his check back,since he hates social programs so much,hahaha

    August 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Enough

    That's because if it was privatized and out the hands of these politicians, it would be more successful and the Democrats couldn't keep robbing it blind. Problem is the Democrats and their constant spending and robbing Peter to support Paul.

    August 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Take America Back: from Texas

    "Not while Obambi in in the White House"........well it seems that can and will be easily fixed.........but what confuses me is this; if SS is not allowed to be privatized, then will the Dems pass a law barring them from dipping into, if one has not paid into it then they cannot collect from it unless it is one of their offsprings or spouse (opposite sex too)

    I'm just saying.....

    August 18, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Of course he is counting on his NEA educated constituents not being able to add and figure out that if they had taken the money that SSA had taken from them and invested it wisely (that again would take something better than a union education) they would be much better off. Liberals are dedicated to the dumbing down of America, that way an inept, incompetent, lying, corrupt, union toady president like Obama can say things like that about Social Security.

    August 18, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Joey

    I would rather have my own social security money than let this bunch manage it!

    August 18, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. cph9680

    But in two years, it's fair game...

    August 18, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Kenneth Krieger

    Another straw man for Obama. I believe I remeber Obama saying we had to cut Medicare.

    August 18, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. BobH

    Ah, yes, privatize social security: the one big idea to come out of the Republican Party in recent years. An idea that, had it been enacted, would now have bankrupted every senior citizen in America.

    Any more great ideas?

    August 18, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. OHVillager

    When was the last time someone purposed privatizing Social Security? Is it on the agenda? Congress voting on it?

    August 18, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Veteran

    Privatization of Social security would be the greatest error this nation has made to date and would be the death of any type of public supplemental retirement program. We only need to look at England that privatized their national retirement program where today people simple state they are going to work until they die or are unable to work because they can not afford to retire. But rember Social Security was never ment to be a primary retirement program it is supplemental.

    To all that say I can make more money investing my money myself, sure you can, go right along beleiving that and then ask yourself if that is so why is there anyone in the nation that is not a millionaire. Ask those that got cought up in retirement maximazation schemes being pushed in the mid to late 80's that rolled their retirement money into the variable market only to see their retirement dreams go up in smoke with black Friday. Had they maintained their fixed retirement plans and invested a little for a rainy day they would have been okay, a little short but they would have weathered the storm.

    Social Security money is a federal program to assure you of a fixed amount of money at retirement time. Is it a nest egg you can retire on, no its a fixed amount you can be assured will be there, you stil;l need additional retirement and if you wish you can invest your very own money any way you want and lose as much of it as you want, but the is not the purpose of the Federal supplemental retirement program known as Social Security. Learn your history, learn why Social Security was created and what its intentions are, and stop being greedy thinking you know better.

    August 18, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. SuperD


    But when the good people throw you out on your butt, it will be.

    August 18, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Michael

    How anyone could believe that a private company will prioritize the public good is a mystery to me. Don't they always argue that corporations should never be held responsible for anything because their only purpose is to make money?
    If we had privatized police and fire stations, only the rich would now be able to afford protection from crime and fire destruction.
    American students may not be getting the best education possible, but it is far better than educating only the wealthiest 5% of children.
    Public services will outperform private ones at everything except concentrating wealth for the top 2%.

    August 18, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Chuck

    What the devil is this guy talking about? No one's even talking about privatizing Social Insecurity.

    Still fighting that George Bush fight, eh Mr. Knucklehead President. You are a true duffus.

    August 18, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Cindy, PA

    Democrats always used social security as their slush fund; of course Obama won’t privatize social security. Privatizing social security helps the middle class, working Americans and Obama can’t have that.

    August 18, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. barry

    Nobody is trying to privatize Social Security. This is a scare tactic from a desperate man who is beginning to realize he will make history twice. The first African-American President and, if he doesn't change quickly, a President that is actually worse than Jimmy Carter. He had great possibilities but his Elitist attitude of Government knows best, to include Socialism,is out of touch with American people. He is desperate because Country is worse than it was when he took over. It wasn't good to begin with but instead of working to improve he worked on policies that took us backwards. He waded in on the Mosque at Ground Zero. He tried to get out of that by word games that didn't work for him either. Now he is trying a fear tactic with no truth in it. Shame on you Mr. President. Our only hope unless he gets a plan quickly is Hillary or we will lose everything to the Republicans. We can't afford that.


    August 18, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. Marry

    Privatization would be a disaster and is a typical Republican idea. Take from the poor and the middle class so their friends can get rich! That is always the result of Republican ideas! Trickle up…! I am so glad the President (Democrats) will protect the American people against such GOP nonsense!

    August 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. joe mett

    So this far-right conservatives do not learn from history. We were all here in 2007 and 2008 and saw the pathetic collapse of Wall Street and the financial markets and yet still these far-right ideoloques think we should still trust and worship the financial markets!

    We need to have their heads examined. It is about time for people to realize that the financial markets are all about gambling on risk taking. You do not want your social security account to be managed by these reckless risk takers on Wall Street.

    August 18, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Owhiner

    WHy would anybody listen to anything a community agitator says, he hates business because he cant compete. Wish we could send this punk back to kenya before he turns us into that third world country

    August 18, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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