Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fact-Checking Reid Ribble on Social Security today posted an analysis of Steve Kagen's recent attack ad, which claimed that GOP candidate Reid Ribble wanted to end Social Security. They note that Kagen's claim rests on selective editing of Ribble's statements and the video included in the ad is truncated so as to render the ad "misleading."


Ribble does say he wants to eventually "establish a phase out of the current Social Security system into a new system," but the words "into a new system" were edited out in the ad. Ribble also goes on to make it clear in his response that current retirees should not be part of the new plan — whatever it may be. He doesn’t propose any solutions.

Ribble: There’s been a promise made and for those of you in 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. It could happen in a single generation, it will probably require a fair amount of change in retirement age. … I envision a shift in how that system works so that by the time you get there you are not only responsible for your own, but we’ve made tax law available to help you be responsible for your own, and that the government can’t take that money from you and give it to somebody else. That is in fact, a Ponzi scheme.

In a statement to us, Ribble writes that “Congressman Kagen’s commercial completely distorts my view on Social Security. His highly selective editing implies that I want to end Social Security when nothing could be further from the truth.“

We don’t agree that it "completely distorts" Ribble’s view. 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.

I have to admit that I'm a little baffled by that last paragraph. FactCheck disagrees that the ad completely distorts Ribble's view and in the next sentence they say that the claim in the ad is misleading. If the ad is misleading, is that not essentially the same thing as giving voters a distorted view of the truth?

For me, this just underscores the point that voters need to make the time and effort to get informed about candidates and their positions. Operations like FactCheck are one more tool for people to use, but there simply is no substitute for being informed.

Addendum Try2Focus comments here.


Ed said...

Last year, shortly after Mr. Ribble announced his candidacy I met with him personally to get his views on a number of issues, one of which was social security. What he told me privately and what he has since said publicly has been totally consistent. He says he supports keeping the promises made to those who have contributed to and are now receiving social security. No discrepancies. I believe him to be a man of his word.

Dale said...

So when does Mr. Ribble foresee moving from the current system to a new system? Does he support employers paying SS tax for thier employees?

I also have concerns about Mr. Riible's plan to break the relationship (linkage, decoupling) between employee and employer health coverage. Even after talking to him I don't understand how, even with tort reform and the ability to purchase across state lines, can you make up the $7,000difference between what an employer can purchase coverage for and what an individual would have to pay for that same coverage...and if the individual or one of their family members has a preexisting condition such as diabetes, which is easy to to treat but expensive...

Also, he never answered my question, would he as an employer then increase staff salary to make up the difference of an insurance benifitif he no longer provided it?

Geting back to SS....the trust fund will run out in the next 30 years for those on SS and those 50 and above who have paid into it for 30 plus years. What is his plan to stabilize it...reduce benifits, increase age requirement or increase tax or a combination of two or more?