Politics & Elections
Braley Fighting to Save Social Security from Joni Ernst PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Braley for Iowa   
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 11:38
Ernst would privatize Social Security, putting an end to guaranteed benefits and risking Iowans’ retirement on Wall Street
Des Moines, IA – Braley for Iowa responded today to state Sen. Joni Ernst’s latest effort to hide from her plan to privatize Social Security:

Braley for Iowa Communications Director Jeff Giertz said, “Bruce Braley is fighting to save Social Security from Joni Ernst, who would privatize the program, end guaranteed benefits, and put Iowans’ retirement savings in the hands of the Wall Street billionaires supporting her campaign. Even Ernst admitted her plan would cost taxpayers more, increasing the Social Security shortfall by $2.2 trillion. When it comes to protecting Iowans’ retirement security, Bruce Braley fights for working families and Joni Ernst puts her extreme ideology before Iowans.”

Braley for Iowa released a report yesterday highlighting the devastating impact of Joni Ernst’s plan to privatize Social Security for Iowa seniors. Among the findings: privatization plans like the one supported by Ernst could reduce traditional benefits by as much as half for future retirees, and if this plan were in place during the economic downturn, an average earner retiring in 2008 could have lost $26,000.

Rep. Bruce Braley is traveling across Iowa this week on his Protect Social Security and Medicare Tour, listening to Iowans discuss the importance of the programs to their retirement security and discussing his efforts to save Social Security from risky privatizations schemes that end guaranteed benefits and put Iowa seniors’ retirement in the hands of Wall Street.

Braley has also opposed efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called “chained CPI” calculation. Last month, Braley earned the endorsement of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare PAC for his strong record of fighting for Social Security and Medicare. And just last week, Braley introduced legislation to block planned service reductions at 19 Social Security offices in Iowa.

In contrast, State Sen. Joni Ernst has called for privatization of Social Security, a position that would undermine benefits for current retirees. Sen. Ernst has also supported plans that would transform Medicare as we know it and pave the way for Medicare vouchers, increasing costs for retirees.

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Braley for Iowa Releases County-by-County Report Detailing Devastating Impact of Ernst’s Plan to Privatize Social Security for Iowa Seniors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Braley for Iowa   
Monday, 30 June 2014 16:04
Her proposal would cut benefits in half while adding to program’s long-term costs

Des Moines, IA – Today Braley For Iowa released a new county-by-county report detailing the devastating impact of State Senator Joni Ernst’s plan to privatize Social Security and replace guaranteed benefits with personal savings accounts for Iowa seniors.

According to the report, Ernst’s proposal would require “radical reductions in benefits”—cutting future retirees’ benefits nearly in half and severely threatening the retirement security Iowans have earned through a lifetime of work. The average benefit for an Iowa senior is less than $14,000 a year. Ernst’s plan would also be particularly risky for seniors during an economic downturn--if Ernst’s private savings system had been in place in 2008, seniors retiring that year would have seen an average $26,000 loss on their investment.

Furthermore, as Ernst herself has admitted, her proposal to privatize Social Security would actually cost taxpayers more, increasing the Social Security shortfall by an additional $2.2 trillion over the next 75 years and forcing lawmakers to potentially raise taxes, decrease benefits or increase borrowing to keep the program solvent.

“Social Security is a promise--pay into the program during your working life, and the benefits you’ve earned will be there for you when you retire,” said Jan Laue, President of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans. “But privatization puts the guaranteed benefit of Social Security at risk, jeopardizing retirement security for workers approaching retirement and future generations.  Rather than putting our retirement security in jeopardy, Iowans need a Senator who will fight to protect Social Security and ensure we keep our promises to our seniors.”

Bruce Braley believes we need to honor our promises to our seniors and ensure Social Security is available for our current and future generations. He has strongly opposed efforts to privatize Social Security, and also opposes any efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called “chained CPI” calculation.

The report also breaks down the importance of Social Security to seniors in all 99 counties across Iowa. In Polk County alone, more than 67,000 seniors rely on the promise of Social Security. More than 38,000 Iowa seniors count on Social Security in Linn County, in addition to more than 18,000 in Woodbury County.

In total, more than 600,000 Iowans currently depend on the promise of Social Security, including over 400,000 retirees, 76,000 disabled workers, 48,000 widows/widowers, and almost 39,000 children.


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Braley Advocates for Strong Renewable Fuel Standard PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Braley for Iowa   
Monday, 30 June 2014 09:38
During visit to Mason City’s Renewable Energy Group, Braley says strong Renewable Fuel Standard
is critical to Iowa economy, job growth

Des Moines, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley visited Renewable Energy Group’s Mason City location today to tour the facility and discuss the importance of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard to the Iowa economy and job growth in our state.

Braley said, “The Renewable Fuel Standard is critically important to the renewable fuels industry, which supports more than 70,000 Iowa jobs. Any threat to the RFS is a threat to Iowa’s economy, and that’s why I’ve fought so hard to protect it. Iowans deserve a Senator who will work to expand Iowa’s renewable fuel industry and the benefits it provides to agriculture producers, not one who would undermine it.”

REG’s Mason City location is a commercial-scale, state-of-the-art biodiesel production facility that can produce approximately 30 million gallons of high-quality biodiesel each year from vegetable oils like soybean oil. According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Iowa biofuels industry supports more than 70,000 jobs and $5 billion in wages annually throughout the entire Iowa economy.

For months, Braley has fought the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed reduction in the Renewable Fuel Standard. In December, Braley was the only member of Iowa’s congressional delegation to testify with Gov. Terry Branstad at an EPA hearing against the proposed reduction.

In contrast, State Sen. Joni Ernst cannot be trusted to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard. She has said that she is “philosophically opposed” to the RFS, putting her position in line with the oil billionaire backers trying to roll back the Renewable Fuel Standard and out of step with Iowa agriculture.

 
League of Conservation Voters' Latest Ad Draws "True" Rating from Politifact PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Braley for Iowa   
Monday, 30 June 2014 09:21

"True": Politifact.com just issued a fact-check calling assertions that State Sen. Joni Ernst wants to abolish the federal Department of Education and the EPA “right on track.”

In addition, since the Education Department administers federal student loan programs, Politifact "asked the Ernst campaign what her plan for Pell Grants is, but we didn’t get a response."

Full fact-check: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jun/27/league-conservation-voters/does-joni-ernst-want-abolish-education-department-/

Key passages:

Does Joni Ernst want to abolish the Education Department and the EPA?
Politifact.com
June 27, 2014
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jun/27/league-conservation-voters/does-joni-ernst-want-abolish-education-department-/

[…]

"I do believe that we can make the cuts necessary within our federal government," Ernst said. She called for "closing the doors to the Department of Education at the federal level. And not just because it would save taxpayer dollars, but because I do believe our children are better educated when it’s coming from the state."

[…]

The ad says that if Ernst is elected, 213,000 Iowa students would lose their federal Pell Grants. According to federal numbers, that is the number of Iowans who received Pell Grants in 2011-12. We asked the Ernst campaign what her plan for Pell Grants is, but we didn’t get a response.

While answering the same question that prompted her Education Department response, Ernst also mentioned the EPA. "Let’s shut down the EPA," she said. Ernst gave the same rationale for this slash in government, saying, "The state knows best how to protect resources."

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Bruce Rauner Continues to Oppose Minimum Wage Hike PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Neal Waltmire   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:33

The multimillionaire’s cutthroat ethics haven’t changed, he just chooses slightly different rhetoric

The following is a statement from Neal Waltmire, Communications Director for Illinois Freedom PAC, in response to Bruce Rauner’s comments yesterday showing the multimillionaire's continued opposition to raising the state’s minimum wage:

Bruce Rauner thought that we’d forget his multiple statements supporting LOWERING the minimum wage and his “adamant” opposition to raising it.

 

We didn't.

 

He thought that if he talked about his opposition to the minimum wage in a different way, that we might mistakenly think he would do right by workers.

 

We didn't.

 

He thought we’d forget his business record shows a greedy multimillionaire who only cares about his own power and profit.

 

We didn't.

 

He thought we’d forget that his business holdings show companies with a pattern of putting profit before people’s well-being, even if regular people – those who can’t afford a $2.5 million donation – die as a result.

 

We didn't.

 

He thought we wouldn't notice that his ‘support’ for upping the national rate to ours wouldn't raise wages here in Illinois and that his blessing for a minimum wage referendum came only after a bill was signed placing one on the November ballot.

 

We did.

 

His record shows Rauner can’t be trusted to help Illinois’ working families.

 

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