Imagine if the Clinton administration, at the beginning of the fight for the
Clinton health plan, had directed the Health and Human Services department to
start publishing material on how poor medical conditions were for the millions
of uninsured Americans.
Imagine the uproar that would follow from the Republicans.
Imagine the uproar in the establishment press.
Then read this:
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.
The agency's plans are set forth in internal documents, including a "tactical plan" for communications and marketing of the idea that Social Security faces dire financial problems requiring immediate action.
Social Security officials say the agency is carrying out its mission to educate the public, including more than 47 million beneficiaries, and to support President Bush's agenda [...]
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.
"Trust fund dollars should not be used to promote a political agenda," said Dana C. Duggins, a vice president of the Social Security Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents more than 50,000 of the agency's 64,000 workers and has opposed private accounts.