New negative Reid ad hits Angle on Social Security again

In case people didn't get it the first time, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has a second TV ad attacking Sharron Angle on Social Security.

In the new campaign commercial, a narrator suggests the Republican nominee in the Senate race wants to "wipe out" Social Security.

And, the narrator adds, "Now she says it's like welfare."

Well, not exactly.

During a May radio interview used in the ad, Angle says her grandfather -- not Angle -- called Social Security welfare and he refused benefits because he had his own retirement plan.

"My grandfather wouldn't even take his Social Security check because he said he was not up for welfare," Angle says on the KNPR program a month ago.

Reid, in the new 30-second spot and in a previous negative ad, has been trying to scare seniors into thinking Angle would cut off their Social Security checks.

But it's clear from the full radio interview that Angle says she wants to preserve seniors' benefits while phasing out Social Security for younger workers.

In the interview, Angle says FDR started the program "as an insurance policy for those who were needy," but it has since become an "entitlement" program that's going bankrupt.

As for older folks who now rely on Social Security, Angle says the program must "fulfill our obligations to our seniors. They paid into the system. They're counting on that."

But Angle proposes letting middle-aged wage earners "opt out" of Social Security in favor of opening their own private-market retirement accounts, which many people have now.

New workers just coming into the workforce, however, would have to set up their own private retirement accounts while the government phases out Social Security, she says.

The problem with Angle's proposal is that she doesn't give details on exactly how any transition would work.

She doesn't say how long it would take to phase out Social Security, or how all the owed benefits would be paid since the system is supported by current payroll taxes collected.

Angle says in the interview that those details would be worked out in Congress as lawmakers consider her general proposal.

The other problem is that similar Social Security privatization plans have been tried and failed by Republicans in the past.

Just the idea of phasing out Social Security is the kind of thing that scares senior citizens who vote.

And that usually scares any politician who wants to keep his or her job in Washington -- or win public office.

As a seniors advocate in the Reid ad says, "Sharron Angle would end Medicare and Social Security. This is crazy."

Angle's campaign didn't immediately put out a response to the ad.

But the Republican National Committee, which is working to defeat Reid, slammed the Democratic leader of the Senate for passing the new health care law that has some negative implications for senior Medicare recipients.

"While Harry Reid attempts to 'vaporize' Sharron Angle by scaring seniors with manipulated political rhetoric, it’s Reid’s record that is truly frightening," said Jahan Wilcox, RNC spokesman. "It was Harry Reid who personally crafted a $2.5 trillion government-run health care experiment that slashed Medicare by $575 billion, including $120 billion alone in Medicare Advantage. The truth is nobody has turned their back on seniors like Harry Reid."