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Contest Backfires on Social Security Privatizer

Oh, the sweet irony.

Pete Peterson is the conservative billionaire who is a major financier in the effort to dismantle, cut and privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Recently he and his foundation held a contest asking folks to submit videos on why it is important to “fix” the national debt of which, he and his foundation falsely claim, Social Security is a major contributor.  

Sometimes the best-laid plans for a propaganda campaign can go awry. The winner of the $500 grand prize determined by popular vote on the website came from the completely opposite side of Peterson’s cut Social Security argument.

The “Just Scrap the Cap” winning video features rapping seniors rhyming their way to the conclusion that the way to shore up Social Security’s long-term finances isn’t through cuts or privatization but by scrapping the payroll tax cap on Social Security. That means billionaires like Peterson and rich CEOs would pay the same Social Security tax that low- to upper-middle-income workers do. Currently, any income above the $113,700 cap is exempt from the Social Security tax.   

Peterson’s check went to Robby Stern of Social Security Works, the group that produced the video. Stern signed it over to Social Security Works and said:

We will use the $500 to finance our education efforts and our Scrap the Cap campaign. We want to save Social Security from Peterson and his band of wealthy supporters.  

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