ABC News’ Mary Compton and John Parkinson report:
While he’s buried deep in the polls and not even invited to participate in tonight’s Republican Presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., today laid out a bill he says “will help save social security for future generations” by creating personal savings accounts for the endangered entitlement program.
McCotter told reporters his plan “will not rely upon privatization, it will not rely upon raising the benefit age, it will not rely upon raising the payroll tax, and it will not rely upon cutting benefits.”
“The key to this proposal is to think of it as individuals refinance their houses,” McCotter continued. “What you do in a family budget — if you find existing savings and you use it to leverage a reduction in long-term debt and spending. That is the logic behind this bill.”
McCotter, whose support for the Republican nomination sits around 1 percent, says his plan achieves solvency through the “voluntary” creation of personal savings accounts for workers 50 or younger. He says his proposals differ from a plan proposed by then-President George W. Bush because his legislation does not divert the payroll tax.
“What’s good about this is that as the benefit goes in every month you’re still reducing the long-term liability regardless of whether the market performs,” he said.
When asked about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s description of Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme, McCotter said that regardless of the label, it’s evident the entitlement program is headed for trouble and in need of a makeover.
“The question is whether you’re bickering about what to term it or working to solve it,” McCotter said. “This is an attempt to solve it.”
While he has not spoken to House Speaker John Boehner or House Majority Leader Eric Cantor about his newly introduced legislation, McCotter said he is confident his colleagues will be open to it, and he welcomed support and input from anyone who has it.
“I think they’ll be very receptive to it — I haven’t bothered with them until we had it ready for them. They’re very busy people. I think that they’ll be for it,” McCotter said. “In the final analysis, I work with them. I do not work for them.”
McCotter’s campaign for the GOP nomination has not gained much momentum since he launched his bid following two other higher profile House Republicans – Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.
“The highly centralized, bureaucratic welfare state is imploding, this is an attempt to ensure that we have sustainable and strengthened safety nets in this country for those who are less fortunate,” McCotter said of his vision for the future. “It also moves forward into restructuring big government into citizen driven government for the 21st century.”