March 4, 2005

by Reb Yudel
How the Bush Administration turned a government agency into another tool of the Republican Party

The Stakeholder :: Pelosi, Waxman: SSA Politicized

WASHINGTON - Today Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, and Rep. Sander M. Levin, along with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and Reps. Obey, Miller, and DeLauro, released a new report that shows how the Social Security Administration has modified its communications strategy to undermine public confidence in Social Security.

The report, based on a review of over 4,000 pages of Social Security documents from 1995 to 2005, reveals that the agency has systematically altered agency publications, press releases, PowerPoint presentations, website content, and even its annual statements to foster the impression that Social Security is "unsustainable" and "must change." The agency's new pessimistic tone and emphasis echo President Bush's warnings about the future of Social Security.

"The job of the Social Security Administration is to run the Social Security program, not to provide political cover for President Bush," said Rep. Waxman. "The agency has sacrificed its independence and abandoned its tradition of nonpartisan administration of Social Security."

"This blatant change in message and tactics is shameless politicization," said Rep. Levin.

"The Bush Administration must stop using the SSA as it tries to scare up support for privatizing Social Security. The agency must reassert its independence and promote its goal - professional, nonpartisan administration of the Social Security programs."

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