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August 17, 2018

Administration Nominates a Social Security Privatizer as a Trustee

The administration announced the nomination of James Lockhart to be one of the two public trustees for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. If confirmed by the Senate, he would serve for four years.

Lockhart served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration under President George W. Bush. During that time, he advocated for privatizing Social Security benefits into personal accounts, and suggested investing Social Security in the stock market during a congressional hearing. He also served as the Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) under President Ronald Reagan.

In addition to his long history of support for privatization of earned benefits, Lockhart has also proposed raising the retirement age and making cuts by slowing the growth of benefits. He is now co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which promoted “back door privatization” in the form of benefit cuts and expanding subsidies for private savings. The commission’s latest report suggests creating retirement savings accounts through a third-party for employers who don’t want to offer pension plans, raising the age of eligibility for receiving benefits, and shifting responsibility from the government and employers to individuals.

“It is crucial that we fight to protect Social Security and its beneficiaries,” said Joseph Peters Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “James Lockhart’s nomination is another step in the misguided strategy by many of our leaders to raise the Social Security retirement age, privatize it and take away earned benefits for which retirees worked their entire lives.”

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