In 2005, President Bush put his political capital where his mouth was, and lost. He went all-out to convince Congress and the American people that privatizing Social Security would be good and necessary. It’s neither — and his plan was justifiably and soundly rejected. ...
Mr. Bush is proving similarly tone-deaf when it comes to choosing members for the Social Security board of trustees.
There are six trustees, four of them administration officials and two outsiders. The job of the two outsiders — nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate — is to represent the public’s interest in decisions about the program. Last year Mr. Bush nominated the same two men who had served in his first term. That violated the rationale for having public trustees, which is to bring fresh perspectives. So Congress refused to consider the nominees, but Mr. Bush appointed them for another year while Congress was in recess. He has now renominated them for new four-year terms.
Mr. Bush won’t get his way. But he is alienating Congress and creating delays that will make it harder for the next two public trustees — whoever they are — to participate fully. ...
Feb 12, 2007
NY Times Editorial
Some excerpts from a New York Times editorial (registration required):