Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News

Tanner Holds Town Hall Meeting at Union

Mar 30, 2005 -

U. S. Representative John Tanner (D-Tenn.), on March 29, 2005, led a town hall meeting at Union University to discuss Social Security. The meeting, which the Department of History and Political Science sponsored, was coordinated by Dr. Sean Evans, Assistant Professor of Political Science.

Tanner, a member of the Congressional “Blue Dog” Coalition, spoke about his concerns with President George Bush’s plan to introduce private accounts into the Social Security system. These accounts would allow younger workers to put a portion of their payroll taxes into stock and bond funds, which could earn a higher rate of return than the current system. Bush has said he also plans to borrow $2 trillion to help preserve the Social Security program.

“(Bush has) proposed to put Social Security dollars into bonds or stocks,” Tanner said. However, he warned, “Don’t play the stock market with money you can’t afford to lose.”

Tanner called for a reform of foreign borrowing policies, noting the government has borrowed $1.2 trillion over the Bush administration’s last four years. Tanner said the United States borrows about $13,000 a second.

“We are borrowing money from countries like China who may not see the world as we do,” Tanner said, “but that means we’re also sending them interest checks every month. We can’t continue to borrow from the rest of the world to support our consumption.”

More than 200 people attended the meeting, and several took advantage of an open microphone to ask questions of the Congressman after his presentation.

Original article prepared by Amanda Herron; revised by S. D. Carls