Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We Couldn't Have Said It Better

Kudos to columnist Marie Cocco for doing her homework and some good old fashioned digging in her coverage of the recess appointment of Andrew Biggs to the number two position at the Social Security Administration. Until Cocco's story, most reporters seemed content to provide only simplistic "Biggs is against private accounts" stories on his appointment. Unfortunately, Biggs' recess appointment is more meaningful than that and as Cocco correctly summarizes, could have far greater implications than much-discussed Swift boat nominee turned ambassador, Sam Fox:

"But the Fox appointment doesn’t have nearly the insidious potential to harm average Americans as the recess appointment of Andrew Biggs to be deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration. Biggs is more than just a proponent of Bush’s failed proposal to change Social Security from a system of guaranteed government insurance to an investment vehicle dependent on individual savings. He is an architect of the libertarian project to undermine public confidence in Social Security to clear the way for dismantling it."

And what better place to do that than from the inside? Cocco continues...

"It’s awfully hard to imagine that a Congress now controlled by Democrats—who resurrected their political fortunes in part by blocking Social Security privatization—would go along with a new private accounts scheme. But that doesn’t make Biggs harmless. “You’re putting a guy in as policy director who does not believe in social insurance,” says Barbara Kennelly, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and a former counsel to the Social Security commissioner during the Clinton administration. “He can undermine the program from within.”

We consider this story a must-read, especially if you thought the fight against Social Security private accounts was over.

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