Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 10, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

MAN ON THE STREET?....NOT QUITE....CBS just can't seem to get anything right these days. Tonight they ran a segment on the evening news called "Social Security Changes" that featured an interview with a young man who could be "the poster child for Social Security reform." And indeed he could: 28 years old, 6 years of employment, planning to retire in 2042, and about to get married. "I don't expect to get anything from Social Security," said Tad DeHaven. "I don't consider it in terms of my long term planning. It's not going to be there." Needless to say, young Tad is all for private accounts.

Unfortunately, there's one crucial thing the segment doesn't mention: who Tad DeHaven is. A brief supertitle IDs him as a "National Taxpayers Union Employee," but that's it. Just an ordinary white collar working stiff like you and me, apparently.

Not quite. His website is here. It seems that DeHaven worked for the Heritage Foundation in 1998 and for Cato from 2001-2004 both big supporters of Social Security privatization. For Cato he was a fiscal policy research assistant and was the author of "War Between the Generations: Federal Spending on the Elderly Set to Explode."

At NTU also a supporter of Social Security privatization DeHaven is an economic policy analyst who "uses his extensive experience to amplify our pro-taxpayer message to lawmakers and the public." Indeed he does!

So just some random guy off the street? Not quite. More like a lobbyist for the very program the CBS segment was about. Don't they think their viewers might have appreciated that teensy weensy piece of information?

NOTE: The CBS News segment might be available here (under "Top Stories") if you click through before it scrolls away.

Kevin Drum 1:41 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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