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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 25, 2012 at 6:00 AM

DelBene ad claim that Koster wants to privatize Social Security was called ‘half true’ in 2010

In Wednesday’s paper, I took a look at one of the claims in an ad being run by congressional candidate Suzan DelBene. On the Seattle Times Truth Needle scale, I said her claim about her Republican opponent’s position on birth control was mostly false.

It’s worth noting that, in 2010, reporter Lynn Thompson looked at one of the other claims in the ad — that John Koster wants to “privatize Social Security.” Koster’s 2010 opponent, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, ran a television ad saying Koster wanted to privatize Social Security, and the Times reported that claim was “half true.”

From Thompson’s story:

“Koster has never advocated completely replacing Social Security with investments in the stock market, and since Larsen started attacking his position, Koster has insisted that he’s against ‘privatizing’ the retirement program. But Koster has spoken about creating voluntary personal retirement accounts for younger workers who could invest a portion of their payroll taxes in stocks and bonds.

Critics say that amounts to a partial privatization of Social Security. Because Larsen’s ad implies that Koster wants to privatize the whole system, we find the ad is half true.”

Interestingly, in the fine print at the bottom of the screen, the DelBene campaign cites the Seattle Times story as proof that Koster wants to ban Social Security. But take a look at the story yourself. That claim is only half true.

Here is the 2012 ad.

Comments | More in homepage, Politics Northwest, U.S. House of Representatives | Topics: John Koster, Suzan DelBene


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