Friday, January 15, 2010

Krasting, Biggs, AEI

In the previous installment I all but accused Bruce Krasting for being a sock-puppet for Andrew Biggs and Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute something Krasting denies. Well okay perhaps they came upon what I see as the same fallacious argument on their own. Andrew Biggs and I have jousted quite a bit in times past maybe with me punching a little above my own weight. Biggs along with his day job at AEI maintains a blog called Notes on Social Security Reform. Andrew is a heavy hitter, and in many ways maybe THE heavy hitter among the opposition to traditional Social Security. From 'Notes'
Andrew G. Biggs I am a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, where my work focuses on Social Security policy. Previously I held several positions within the Social Security Administration, including Deputy Commissioner for Policy and principal Deputy Commissioner. Prior to that I was a Social Security Analyst at the Cato Institute. In 2005 I worked on Social Security reform at the White House National Economic Council, and in 2001 I was on the staff of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. My Bachelor's degree is from the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have Master's degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. I can be contacted at andrew.biggs @
Biggs doesn't do full justice to his role at Cato. He was instead deputy director of Cato's Project on Social Security Choice previously known under a more open name of Project on Social Security Privatization

Biggs is a paid career advocate for eliminating Social Security as it currently exists in favor of a private system based on something based on an IRA model. And there is nothing fundamentally wrong with that, its a free country and anyone is free to push market based solutions in preference to government ones. But equally I am free to point out the policy bias, Andrew is not a neutral analyst here, by training, inclinaton and paycheck he is pushing a specific argumentative line. I think of Biggs as a particularly skilled lawyer one who is not going to throw up his hands and say "Your Honor, my client is guilty as hell. You know it , I know it, the jury knows it. lets send him to jail and go out for a drink". Nope Biggs will argue his case to the very end. Admirable enough but meaning don't drop your guard, this is not neutral ground, not a level playing field, the other team is out to win.

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