Action #1: Why is Andrew Biggs, a confirmed enemy of Social Security and all that it stands for, now a nominee for a seat on the advisory council to oversee it?
Andrew Biggs, a huge advocate for cutting Social Security throughout his career, has been nominated for the “Republican” seat on the Social Security Advisory Board. Biggs was instrumental in the Bush administration’s 2005 attempt to privatize this vital safety net program. He advocated for raising the retirement age in 2013, supported means-tested Social Security and dismissed our looming retirement income crisis as a “non-issue.”
The Senate can, and must, block this terrible nominee and pass a bill that protects Social Security by making the wealthy begin paying their fair share into the program! (Separate post on that bill here.) Please call your Senators and tell them to vote “NO” on libertarian extremist Andrew G. Biggs.
Minimal script for senators: I’m calling from (zip code) and I want Senator [___] to vote “NO” on confirming Andrew Biggs to the Social Security Advisory Board. In addition, I want [him/her/them] to prioritize passing S.3071 “Social Security 2100 Act – A Sacred Trust.” Why hasn’t this fundamental bill protecting the retirement and dignity of millions of Americans against the predations of Biggs and the GOP been passed yet?
Action #2: Ask Biden to withdraw his nomination of Andrew Biggs
CONTACT INFO.: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
On June 2, you issued a statement that the Security and Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Funds, would be solvent for longer than projected due to the American Rescue Plan. You also called out Sen. Rick Scott for spilling the GOP’s plan to put these programs on the chopping block every five years.
Why are you helping them by adding expert spinmeister and committed social security foe Andrew Biggs to the Social Security Advisory Board? He may pretend he no longer favors privatizing it, but his new line is nothing but dupliciousness – that these programs should be “more focused on guaranteeing against poverty in old age while middle and high-income individuals take on greater responsibility for saving for retirement on their own, such as by the government establishing universal retirement savings accounts for every worker.”
The first part of his statement transforms what is a PAID-FOR retirement benefit that is the due of every worker in this country into a form of welfare, stripping the dignity from those who worked hard their entire lives and forcing them to beg for what would devolve into a means-tested benefit. The second part tells us that, if the GOP retakes power, they would force Americans to self-privatize their Social Security benefits into stock market-based accounts for the profit of Wall Street – the dark-money wetdream of every GOP legislator. We remember what happened to our 401(k) accounts in 2008.
We know that you too advocated for means-testing and higher age-limits in your long career. However, your election platform proposed raising payroll taxes on those earning more than $400,000, similar to the “Social Security 2100 Act – A Sacred Trust” Act. We saw a man who would be president rising to the responsibility of being the caretaker of these funds for all Americans.
Trump and McConnell already set that precedent. Rescind extremist Andrew Biggs‘ nomination and leave the seat open.
Deeper dive on Andrew Biggs
The GOP is ready and willing to cut Social Security and Medicare if they win control of Congress during the midterms and would love to have an already-seated Mr. Biggs ready and willing to help them.
“(thelever) A sample of Biggs’ writings on Social Security over the years shows that he:
- Hand-waved away retirement insecurity for millions of Americans, saying that “only” 23 percent of seniors will have retirement incomes equal to or less than 75 percent of their average pre-retirement earnings.
- Was concerned by Social Security taxes being raised on “upper-middle class Americans making as little as $140,000,” even though such a tax hike would massively increase long-term Social Security funding.
- Endorsed cuts to Social Security, saying: “Most middle and upper-income retirees could survive just fine with slightly lower initial Social Security benefits and lower Cost of Living Adjustments after retirement.”
- Argued that Social Security privatization would make Americans “not only richer, but also happier, healthier, more familial, smarter, and more active citizens.”
- In 2013, Biggs justified the idea of raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits by saying that Americans’ “biggest on the job risk is, you know, carpal tunnel syndrome from your mouse or something like that.”.
In response to questions from The Lever, Biggs suggested he no longer favors privatizing Social Security. Instead, he said he now believes that nations’ Social Security-like programs should be “more focused on guaranteeing against poverty in old age while middle and high-income individuals take on greater responsibility for saving for retirement on their own, such as by the government establishing universal retirement savings accounts for every worker.” (This is another term for privatizing social security, while turning what’s left into a “welfare” benefit, which can be easily adjusted.)
Establishing such savings accounts would be a solution in search of a problem. Social Security is incredibly successful at delivering retirement benefits, and raising taxes on the wealthy would be a straightforward way to expand the program. Alternatively, creating retirement accounts invested in the stock market would involve a much more unwieldy and risky expansion of government programs — and would be a huge boon to Wall Street.”
(Graphic quote in header from this article.)