Biden’s Nominee for Social Security Board

The advocacy group Social Security Works is urging the Senate to block Andrew Biggs’ appointment by highlighting his role in the George W. Bush administration’s failed attempt to privatize the New Deal program in 2005.

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams

Defenders of Social Security on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to block President Joe Biden’s little-noticed nomination of Andrew Biggs — an American Enterprise Institute senior fellow with a history of supporting Social Security privatization — to serve on the independent and bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board.

Social Security Works, a progressive advocacy group, is leading the charge against Biggs, highlighting his role in the George W. Bush administration’s failed attempt to privatize the New Deal program in 2005. At the time, Biggs worked on Social Security as an associate director of Bush’s National Economic Council.

“Andrew Biggs has advocated for Social Security cuts throughout his career. And now, he’s been nominated to oversee Social Security,” Social Security Works tweeted on Tuesday.

The group, whose president currently serves on the Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB), is also sharing a sample call script for those who wish to contact their representatives about Biggs.

“The Senate can, and must, block this terrible nomination,” the organization wrote. “Please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote NO on Andrew Biggs.”

The White House announced Biggs’ nomination to the SSAB in May, a move that drew little notice at the time.

Last month, The Lever‘s Matthew Cunningham-Cook called attention to the president’s pick and warned it suggests “there could soon be a coordinated push in Washington to cut the Social Security program, which provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to 66 million Americans.”

While Biden vowed on the campaign trail to back an expansion of Social Security, he has previously supported cutting the program’s benefits. Biden was vice president when former President Barack Obama proposed a “grand bargain” with the GOP that would have entailed cuts to Social Security.

Biggs, too, has a long record of advocating Social Security cuts. As Cunningham-Cook wrote last month, “For years, Biggs has been a vocal critic of expanded Social Security and workers’ right to a secure, stable retirement free from the vagaries of the stock market.”

“He has dismissed the retirement crisis as a non-issue and as recently as 2020 blamed problems with the Social Security system on ‘older Americans’ game of chicken,'” he added. “While the seat on the bipartisan board is by tradition assigned to a Republican, Biden could have chosen a moderate candidate — or even leaned on precedent to avoid the nomination process altogether. Former President Donald Trump routinely refused to nominate Democrats for seats on boards and commissions.”

Simmering outrage over Biggs’ nomination to serve on the SSAB, which was formed in 1994 to advise the president and Congress on Social Security, comes as progressives are demanding an expansion of the program’s modest benefits — while Republican lawmakers, per usual, eye cuts.

Last month, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) led the introduction of the Social Security Expansion Act, which would lift the cap on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax and boost the program’s annual benefits by $2,400.

“At a time when half of older Americans have no retirement savings and millions of senior citizens are living in poverty, our job is not to cut Social Security,” Sanders said at the time. “Our job must be to expand Social Security so that every senior citizen in America can retire with the dignity they deserve and every person with a disability can live with the security they need.”

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

19 comments for “Biden’s Nominee for Social Security Board

  1. Vincent ANDERSON
    July 8, 2022 at 14:38

    Joe never did take the Dental care add to Medicare seriously. That has meant $3k for my lower denture, and a $3k estimate for an upper that I’ve delayed 2 years. Since my SS just ‘surpassed’ $1k per month, that’s 6 months’ worth of ‘work.’ Over half of which btw includes about $100 per minute for pulling teeth. (Calculated at average of $100, which is actually about 75% of what their oligopolistic ‘schedules’ actually charge. I timed lower teeth, minus a molar, at 15 mins.)
    But let’s get impersonal. For the price of a million fellow similarly situated seniors, or $6B, the US could have sent 20,000 Volks to dental school (at $300k total cost, per), all of whom could have filled the Medicare dental ranks at salaries larger than mine ever was. But 1M / 20k = 50. That is, each future dentist would have 1 Medicare client per week, to get the toothless backlog done in a year. And probably qualify for tuition forgiveness to boot, given such ‘public’ service. Happy smiles.

  2. Joe B
    July 7, 2022 at 06:45

    The DemReps are deliberately robbing Social Security recipients and taxpayers by inflating away their benefits, falsely declaring a 2 percent inflation rate when everyone knows it is over 200 percent, and privatizing Medicare/Medicaid to get private bribes to their political parties. They are crooks without exception, every one a traitor posing as a patriot.

  3. doris
    July 7, 2022 at 01:33

    Republicans are corporate wolves in wolves’ clothing. Democrats are corporate wolves in sheep’s clothing. Neither party gives a rat’s ass about We the People.

  4. Jeff Harrison
    July 6, 2022 at 23:16

    After St. Ronnie pushed the Republicans so far to the right they became indistinguishable from fascists, moderate Republicans infested the Democratic party. The old Democratic party no longer exists.

  5. cfmmax
    July 6, 2022 at 22:38

    Get Biden the hell out of there.

  6. Realist
    July 6, 2022 at 17:48

    I am retired on a state pension and medical insurance plan so I could turn a blind eye to this without being immediately affected–that will come later when the plan’s trust fund crashes with the economy and stock market. But this action, on the part of the holier than thou Democrats to destroy the last vestiges of FDR’s New Deal that kept American citizens alive through the last great depression (and the current incipient one!) is simply beyond the pale.

    If this does not clue the entire world in to who Joe Biden really is and what he and his party represent, it is surely impossible to get through to the American people about their elaborate victimhood by corporate America, the transnational globalists, and the rest of the pan-fascist 1% who intend on fleecing us and rewarding themselves until they have it ALL and we are a mere inconvenient memory.

    They already pay little or no taxes, though they harvest government lucre from all manner of defense, “foreign aid,” IMF “loans” and World Bank scams, with our money being squandered around the world rather than spent on our own desperate needs. As General Smedley Butler apprised us, “war is a racket.” Our own present day racketeers include Joe Biden (and apparently his whole family; famous mansion collector Obomber must have also benefitted handsomely cuz a presidential salary only goes so far!), the entire American military industrial complex, other transnational war profiteers and weapons merchants, Nato’s mentally defective hierarchy, their pompously groomed toady Zelensky, and the complete and thoroughly corrupt Ukrainian oligarchy. Their wants and needs are placed miles ahead of those of all the American workers throwing their own hard-earned money into the communal tax kitty every month from their meagre and always shrinking (in purchasing power) pay checks.

    When you objectively look at the facts, the facts demand more, larger and more inclusive social programs–the most fair and efficient use of the people’s own money to help meet their own needs, rather than being lavished on the destructive money-making schemes of the entrenched aristocracy and the slick foreign operators they try to cultivate and use to exploit, not just America, but as much of the entire planet as they possibly can. If the approved project is to lay waste to entire countries in endless wars, so be it. THAT is where your money goes, not to help yourself, your neighbors or even Americans of other backgrounds than your own whether you love them or hate them. I don’t like it, but I’d rather see all the deadbeats in America kept housed, clothed, fed, educated and treated for their illnesses with our tax dollars rather than the freaking madcap lethal carnival that now passes for foreign policy, which is (as deliberately planned) inexorably on a logarithmic expansion to infinity with billions daily squandered on death and destruction (as trillions accrue to the national debt) and now sitting, poised to strike Russia with nuclear weapons for daring to assert its independence from the American crazy train. Can the “think tank” numpties–jokers like Andrew Biggs–really not foresee any outcomes short of endless “happily ever after” slop-fests?

    One final note to Washington’s vile enablers in Europe. In the bellicose aftermath of 9-11, I complemented the European leaders in Nato who kept their countries out of America’s trumped up war of choice against Iraq, based on massive bald-faced lies to the entire world at the UN. On various liberal, Democratic and anti-war blogs of the day, I complemented presidents Chirac and Schroeder, imploring them to keep the light of true freedom and democracy lit whilst the United States took an unmistakable turn to the dark side. I directed the same message to Canada, which was still quite sane though it also was in the process of shifting to more Neanderthal policies and leaders across the board. All I can say today, in retrospect, is that all of you have failed miserably at protecting the rights of your own citizens from the depredations of world wide American corporatism. You have all sold out to it, betraying most of your citizens merely to satiate your privileged members in the “Big Club” of wealthy and powerful globalists who aspire to rule the world with their noses up Washington’s big fat anal sphincter.

  7. July 6, 2022 at 17:16

    Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! Biden leads the effort to undermine social security. If Biden could fiddle, that is what he’d be doing right now as the New Deal goes up in flames.

  8. renate
    July 6, 2022 at 17:08

    He is Republican and Manchin and Sinema will support the Biggs candidacy. The corporate elite, which made Biden president, expects nothing else.

    Does anyone remember how fast the party got rid of Al Franken and now the silencing of the mildly progressive young women?

    Why bother to vote, that is the real question. The electoral system is rigged against the working people, their votes simply don’t count, we do have a rigged Electoral College and a rigged Senate, and an army of well-paid lobbyists, what more does it take?
    Labor had to fight a bloody war, and so did the civil rights movement and the women. Yes, there was MLK, and many others, and MLK and others were killed as were JFK and RFK and Malcolm X. The government always sided against the masses, but LBJ and the Democrats invested political capital and now they are backtracking.

  9. robert e williamson jr
    July 6, 2022 at 16:42

    I encourage everyone to write to their congress people and ask one simple question. What is wrong with Joe Biden and the rest of you greedy PHUQs?

    I case no one seems to see through this B.S. here is why they want to defund Social

    #1 the boomers are dying off in droves. It does not matter to them that the stock market as now structured will never sufficiently provide a safety net to workers nation wide depending on their 401Ks and other market investments. The market is rigged simply ask any congress person “OFF THE RECORD”!

    #2 Absent that former majority to oppose such a plan this presents the “system of crooks and criminals” other wise known as the U.S. Congress , a method to divert the former funding to gloss over the absolutely horrific condition of the US economy. Something they screwed to tears fighting bullshit wars. More great resounding rhetoric to fool the “tax paying MARK!”. Those with no other redress available to them.

    #3 This diversion will undoubtedly be advertised as a method to cover their loses and simultaneously move to the next play of the “Slow Con” on the younger masses they need to calm to maintain some semblance of of peace and order in this otherwise war worshiping country.

    POTUS 46 is a member of the “DINO”, democrat in name only bunch, or the “POOPSIR” , Paid Opposition of the Right.

    But what do I know?

    Thanks CN

  10. Drew Hunkins
    July 6, 2022 at 16:28

    Biden’s been a Wall St bootlicker for 50 yrs in Washington. Anyone who didn’t see something like this coming from him had to be in coma or willfully blind.

  11. Nathan Mulcahy
    July 6, 2022 at 14:19

    Remind me please, what’s the different between Democratic and Republican administrations? Victoria Nuland was in both administrations. Both support all wars of aggression. Both are against the working class. Both support MICIMATT….

    I could go on and on but most Americans do not seem to understand that both “parties” are the two faces of the same Uniparty, financed by the same oligarchs….

    • renate
      July 6, 2022 at 16:48

      Democrats have always been ready to throw SS under the bus. They have cut benefits in step with all the Republicans. The SSTF was supported by the Democrats too. I would like to see an accounting of the SSTF. Not a single $$ has been used to prevent raising the retirement age, and increase COLA at least to cover inflation, instead, Reagan got his tax on SS benefit payments, and the SSTF funding the military national deficit due to huge tax cuts for the wealthy and more wars. The bellicose Biden administration is now working to manipulate public opinion against China. He got the nation involved in Ukraine when they could not even an organized retreat from Afghanistan, what a fiasco, and then the bizarre implementation of sanctions against the Afghan people, punishment because they won?
      In all my life I don’t know of so much incompetence, such stupid leadership. All Biden’s appointments are trash.
      We need a regime change if anyone needs it, and so do the UK, France, and Germany. Ukraine has no government to speak of, Zelensky will do as told, and the country is lost already.

  12. Carolyn L Zaremba
    July 6, 2022 at 14:18

    When are people going to acknowledge that the capitalists want to kill off the working class, the elderly, and the disabled? I am a senior who depends on social security benefits to survive. I also have to work, because social security is not enough to cover my monthy expenses. We need social security to be INCREASED so that we can actually live on it. I am 73, have worked all my life, and at this stage of my life should be working at nothing more strenuous than lifting a wine glass with my feet up. I’ve served my time. We older people have ALL served our time and should be rewarded, not starved to death. The capitalists are the enemies of humanity.

    • doris
      July 7, 2022 at 01:30

      Not only that, you’ve paid into the program they’re trying to rip you off for now.

  13. Dfnslblty
    July 6, 2022 at 13:00

    Potus46 is republican lite.

    Protest Loudly!

    • Patricia M.
      July 6, 2022 at 16:38

      POTUS46 is Republican. Period.

    • July 6, 2022 at 17:25

      Scratch the lite. Roe was just incinerated along with due process, any form of gun regulation, environmental protection, and Biden fiddles. Throughout his very long political career, he has been determined to burn to the ground everything associated with the New Deal. In my book, it all adds up to heavy right-wing uni-party.

    • Tim N
      July 7, 2022 at 07:23

      Biden is “Republican lite?” No. Cracker Joe is a right-wing Democrat. He’s naturally on the side of other right-wingers in the other Party, but let’s stop with the charade that a right-wing warmongering Social Security cutting Democrat is somehow not a Democrat. Biden’s type of Dem RUNS the Democratic Party, in fact OWNS the Party, despite the presence of alleged liberals and left-lite types like AOC.

    • tiredofitall
      July 7, 2022 at 10:35

      The scumbag is fascist, through and through, and the banker lover always has been. Why do the fasciocrats trot out such moronic clowns? Oh, wait, that’s exactly what fascists do!

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