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Republicans Accuse Democrat Of 'Scaring' Hispanic Seniors

By Susan Jones Morning Editor

February 11, 2005
Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved.

The Republican Party says a Hispanic lawmaker is using his Spanish language skills to scare senior citizens away from President Bush's Social Security reform plan.

In an op-ed published in a Spanish-language newspaper, Democrat Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez of New Jersey wrote, "A nation that wants to take away the retirement money of its seniors to give it away to large corporations on 'Wall Street' is not a nation of justice."

Menendez said Democrats "continue protect today's seniors and future retirees from a scheme that threatens Social Security and puts it at risk in the stock market."

He said Democrats would stop President Bush "from playing the lottery with our grandparents' retirement money."

The National Republican Congressional Committee said Menendez' comments show why Democrats are struggling to connect with Hispanic voters.

"He has nothing constructive to contribute to this debate and has chosen to rely on the same old, tired rhetoric that has kept Democrats in the minority for over a decade," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Alex Burgos.

"In any language, people across America are tired of hearing Democrats oppose every idea to strengthen Social Security simply because it's not their own," added Burgos.

Republicans want to make sure Americans understand that under President Bush's plan, there will be no benefit cuts for current retirees or people age 55 and over.

"President Bush stated this in his State of the Union address and Republican leaders are committed to upholding this principle," the NRCC said in a press release. "The grandparents Menendez is trying to scare have nothing to worry about."

'Wall Street' factor

Other liberals also portray President Bush's reform plan as nothing more than a favor for "Wall Street."

In a message to supporters, the anti-Bush group is urging American to reject "the Bush-led effort to privatize Social Security and cut benefits."

Who benefits? the message asks. "George Bush's base. Giant financial services firms have been salivating for decades over the prospect of taking over Social Security. They'd make billions in new fees -- essentially a new tax -- off of our Social Security payments." says more than 360,000 people have signed its "save Social Security" petition, and it has set a new goal of 500,000 petition signers in the next ten days. The group plans to present the petition to Members of Congress before they head home to their constituents at the end of the month. and other liberals favor an alternative Social Security proposal that includes "modest" payroll tax increases to solve the program's looming financial problems.

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