It has been quite a time of crisis in recent years for Social Security. The program, its administrator announced last year, will lose the opportunity to pay full benefit after 2033, which is one year earlier than previously assumed. Social Security offices are right now beginning to open after the pandemic, and the agency’s customer service position has been heavily criticized. The agency also lacks a Senate-confirmed commissioner, with Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi remains acting commissioner.
In the midst of all this, a former social security commissioner who served under presidents of both parties has given an interview with advice to the next commissioner.
Michael J. Astrue was commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) between 2007 and 2013 – nominated in 2006 by President George W. Bush and remained in place in much of the Obama administration. Astrue served during the crucial period when the first of the baby boomer generation began to retire and collect from the program. He gave one interview this week to the Federal News Network on what the agency’s next commissioner can do to make things better.
“I think what’s disappointing is precisely this feeling of neglect. You know, 14, 15 months have passed now that they have had time to decide what they would do on Social Security,” he said. said Astrue in the program on the current state of the agency. “And they have not made a decision. And I think demoralizing for the agency tends to freeze decision-making. I think it is difficult to justify. “
“The last thing the agency needs, with underfunding and everything else going on, is uncertainty. So it would be a very useful thing to improve the White House service to … find the best person they can to run the agency. ”
Astrue also said the best person for the job is not necessarily someone who comes from a political background. After all, the law when it comes to social security has not changed since the Reagan era reforms in 1983.
“There’s a story, and once again, of both parties, but especially with the Democrats nominating candidates, without any management experience, and getting it into an agency where you have 60,000 to 70,000 employees to manage, and you have a huge budget. problems, you have workloads on the way through the roof, you have outdated technology, you have lots of problems, “he said. background is politics because they are not allowed to do politics. “
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and splice today . Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.