Sep 4, 2011

Michael Astrue And His Religious Faith

The Washington Examiner has a question and answer piece with Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue, focusing on his Roman Catholic faith. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Is there one person that most influenced your faith? 
This is sort of a hard thing. I was about 10 when Vatican II came in, and everything changed very dramatically. I had a priest growing up who was very influential in guiding me and some of my friends through all that. So it was very hard many years later to discover he was one of the worst abusers in the scandals in Boston, and not just sexually, but the single most violent. The church's struggle in Boston has been something that I've taken very personally. ...
Do you think your faith improves your leadership?
Yes. Again, if you're motivated by trying to make the world a better place, you're probably more balanced, you treat people better, you try to help them be leaders too and bring out the most in them. I think if you're in government for other reasons you might not behave the same way. And I think a lot of people don't behave that way. For me it's not about the money and it's not about power. It really is for me primarily about the satisfaction of knowing that if I go in and do my job well, life will be better for a lot of people.


Anonymous said...

Must be a different Mike Astrue. While he's done some positive things at SSA, he surely doesn't treat people well or bring out the best in them. The agency's culture mirrors the fear and dysfunction that we experienced with Joanne Barnhart.

One can only wonder what might have been possible during Astrue's tenure if he were as idealistic as he claims to be.

Anonymous said...

He is plenty idealistic -- unfortunately, it all focuses on his desired legacy as the Commissioner that reduced the backlog (by any means necessary -- i.e, paying down the backlog)