Social Security Privatization Suffers Election Setback
Majority of Voters Back Current System
For Immediate Release: November 8, 2000
Contact: David Levy: (202) 293-5380
While it appears that Governor George W. Bush may win the presidency, he will lack a popular mandate to partially privatize the Social Security system, as he proposed during his campaign. On Tuesday, a clear majority of the nation's voters cast their ballots for presidential candidates who want to maintain the existing system. Vice-President Gore, together with Ralph Nader, who strongly rejected Social Security privatization, received nearly 3 million more votes than did Governor Bush.
In addition to the votes for Al Gore and Ralph Nader, most of the Democrats who were elected to Congress yesterday have already pledged their support for the existing system. This includes all of the new members of the Senate elected yesterday.
It would be difficult for a Bush Administration to pursue Social Security privatization in the absence of a clear mandate, since it is a program that plays a central role in the life of virtually every worker. In the past, significant changes to the program have generally been implemented after a bipartisan agreement has been reached. Given the votes in the presidential race, and the election of so many members of Congress who are explicitly opposed to privatizing Social Security, it is extremely unlikely that any sort of bipartisan agreement for privatizing Social Security could be brokered in the next session of Congress.