MADISON (WKOW) -- Sen. Russ Feingold dropped by a Madison senior center on Friday to accuse Republican Ron Johnson of being an enemy to social security.
Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of social security, which was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935. In a coordinated attack Democrats all across the country have taken the occasion to blast Republicans, including one skirmish right here in Wisconsin.
"Mr. Johnson has said on multiple occasions that social security is a Ponzi scheme and he compares it to Bernie Madoff," Feingold said.
Republican Ron Johnson hasn't won the primary yet, but Feingold isn't waiting to attack the Oshkosh millionaire. He told a small audience at the Madison Senior Center that Johnson's plans for social security would destroy the current system.
"And he's gone farther," Feingold said. "He's specifically says he supports the idea of privatization. He specifically supports turning this program over to Wall Street."
"Sen. Feingold is making up all kinds of things," Johnson countered.
Johnson says he understands that social security is an important promise made to the American people and if elected he intends to honor it. And he called privatization just one option for fixing social security, and then only for younger workers.
"This is something Sen. Feingold loves to demagogue, and all the Democrats love to demagogue, to scare seniors and play politics," Johnson said.
But Johnson refused to back away from his comparison of social security to a Ponzi scheme, and he said Feingold and others in Washington were indeed behaving the same way as convicted schemer Bernie Madoff.
"The political class, people like Russ Feingold, have been collecting money from all of us, they've been paying out current retirees as they should but then they spent the rest of the money, $2.5 trillion, and now the money's gone," Johnson said. "And that's the comparison in terms of Ponzi scheme."
Feingold said he'll be in Menominee Falls this Monday to greet President Obama as he tours a local factory. We'll have live coverage of the event on WKOW.com.