Halter says, "Social Security has lifted Arkansans out of poverty" in a press release yesterday to which the media asked Senator Holt to respond. Has Halter been in California so long that he has forgotten that Arkansas is still 49th in per capita income? Somehow I just believe economic growth is more than Social Security and minimum wage increases that Halter has used for his last two press releases and that it takes more than Social Security to lift a state out of poverty. Halter's response is typical of the Democrats though. They seem to believe the government can take care of everything.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from Halter's press release. Below that are some excerpts from Holt's response, some of which were used in a newspaper article today. "Social Security has lifted Arkansans out of poverty and has been a safety-net for millions of Americans,” said Bill Halter.
“On the anniversary of its creation, it is important for voters to note that I, unlike my opponent, am opposed to the privatization of Social Security. Social Security is not a typical issue in a race for Lt. Governor, but this major difference in opinion is one that voters should understand when casting their ballots.”
"Further, Jim Holt was the 2003 keynote speaker at the Arkansas Constitution Party convention and Holt’s former campaign manager, Mark Moore, and his 2004 campaign manager, Jason Sheppard, have both served as chair of the Arkansas Constitution Party, [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/22/03, 10/26/04; Springdale Morning News, 10/28/05]Senator Jim Holt's Resposne:
It's unfortunate that my opponent has been obviously misinformed.
We are applying for Lt. Governor which doesn't ordinarily deal with Social Security. He should be focused on real state solutions that will put more money back in the hands of Arkansans. Arkansas has the 4th highest tax burden in the Nation. We must reduce the tax burden in this state so the elderly can have more buying power and we each can save for our own retirement - in addition to Social Security, not feed an ever growing, bloated bureaucracy. Unfortunately for our people that is all my opponent has advocated - more spending and more taxes.
Now, in relation to Social Security: this has been my position on this issue all along and the people of Arkansas know this, for I have lived here my whole life (other than my nine years in the military intelligence field).
1. Social Security MUST remain rock solid. If the Government makes a promise they should keep it. I wonder what my opponent did in his short time as acting interim? Because Social Security has been suffering more and more after each decade.
2. To do this, I have advocated STRONGLY from the beginning that we must put ALL government elected officials and bureaucrats on ONLY Social Security Retirement - no more of their excessive, cushy retirement plans. That way we will know they will finally start doing what's right by we the people - the servant should never be better than those he/she serves. By the way, I wonder if my opponent's millionaire retirement plan is ONLY from Social security like mine and so many millions of other Arkansans?
3. We must not allow the politicians: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, to dip into the budget for Social Security any longer. This puts a huge strain on the system year after year. If business owners raided their employees' retirement accounts, they would be thrown into jail for stealing. This practice must stop.
4. I am for making sure that we will protect social security since we have made that promise to our people. 79% of the people of this nation, do not believe Social Security will be around when they retire. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It is WE the people's money in the first place and if we can get a better return on our money with greater security for our Social Security supplemental retirement plan being rock solid, then I'm all for it.
As far as the Constitution Party, I did speak with them in 2003 and would do so again - they are mainly disenfranchised Democrats and Republicans. I also speak with Democrats, Independents, Liberals, Libertarians, Union members and others as well. I want to represent ALL Arkansans (where does he get most of his money from?) I receive help from all and am not ashamed of my friends. We have people who are members of the Democrat party that are involved at extremely high levels of our campaign. We are trying to bring all the people of Arkansas together and the diversity of our campaign is proof of that. Of course my opponents will try to say ridiculous statements when they are trying to win an election. When I disagree with my own party and side with the Democrats on an issue does that mean I'm an extremist as well?