Sunday, January 16, 2005

Social Security employees unhappy

"Over the objections of many of its own employees, the Social Security Administration is gearing up for a major effort to publicize the financial problems of Social Security and to convince the public that private accounts are needed as part of any solution," reports Robert Pear of today's New York Times. He adds: "But agency employees have complained to Social Security officials that they are being conscripted into a political battle over the future of the program. They question the accuracy of recent statements by the agency, and they say that money from the Social Security trust fund should not be used for such advocacy."

Pear also quotes Robert M. Ball, who worked at the Social Security Administration for three decades and was commissioner under Democratic and Republican presidents from 1962 to 1973, who said: "It's fine for the agency to answer factual questions, but it's unusual to use the Civil Service organization to push a political agenda, especially because what they're saying is not true. The program is not going bankrupt."

Interesting that overturning our Social Security system has become such a high priority for the Bush administration after his re-election. I don't recall him saying much about it during the campaign -- maybe he was afraid of losing Florida? Now we see another case of questionable use of a government agency to promote a dubious ideological position.


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