By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
How to shore up the Social Security system likely will be a hot campaign issue as three Republicans vie to be their party’s nominee for the 1st District U.S. House seat in June.
For now, two candidates – Angela McGlowan and Henry Ross – have specific ideas on what they would support as a member of Congress, while Alan Nunnelee isn’t making any details public yet.
McGlowan, Nunnelee and Ross will be on the June 1 ballot, seeking to face off against incumbent Rep. Travis Childers, D-Booneville, and seven non-mainstream party nominees and independents in November.
Last week, the Daily Journal asked the three Republicans for their campaign stands on the challenges facing Social Security, which is widely acknowledged to need financial repairs as the Baby Boom population enters retirement age.
Ross, a former Eupora mayor, says young workers should be allowed to invest part of their Social Security taxes in “government-advised long-term investments,” with the rest of their taxes to go into the traditional Social Security benefit system.
“Funding Social Security is dependent on job creation,” Ross said. “If Mississippi’s unemployment rate remains at 12 percent, proper funding of Social Security becomes less assured.”
McGlowan, an Oxford consultant and former Fox News commentator, takes a similar approach. She has pledged to support the strategy launched by then-President George W. Bush to give individuals a choice to stay in the current system or to invest part of their payroll taxes in government-managed funds.
“I share President Bush’s moral commitment to saving Social Security and, as such, refuse to stand silent while the good people of Mississippi contribute their hard earned money into a system that will soon be bankrupt,” McGlowan said.
At the same time, McGlowan criticized Nunnelee, saying he’s refused to say if he supports a choice, as she and Ross have.
Nunnelee, a state senator and Tupelo businessman, did not offer any specific ideas when asked, although he does express concern for the Social Security system’s problems.
“While we have this obligation, we must also be honest with ourselves and accept the reality that we face a very serious problem,” he said, “and that this problem will only get worse if we do nothing.”
He recommends assessing “our options” and making “common sense” decisions, as well as a halt to Congress’ raiding the system “for pet projects.”
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.