Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Sky is Falling - More and Faster!

The new Social Security Trustees report was published today, and a few numbers changed. None current, but the ones we hear about are those the White House want to use to frighten people into destroying the system.

The first and worst of the stories comes from the Associated Press. In it the writer (Martin Krutsinger, the Economics writer for AP) misquoted Treasury Secretary John Snow by increasing the amount of tax increase that would be required to cover the shortfall according to Media Matters for America.

The blog of the Colombia Journalism Review has this to say about the distortions.

Sam Rosenfield gives this report of the inaccurate language used by the AP reporter at The American Prospect1. Matt Yglesias points out an unexplained change in one of the key assumptions used by the Social Security Actuaries to project the future performance of the Social Security System, also in the American Prospect2.

Kevin Drum has two entries today on the report. The first also looks at the assumptions used for the projections. Kevin's assumptin is that there were several small changes in assumptions intended to cause the one year drop in the year that the trust fund runs out. Recent improved economic growth doesn't seem to support that conclusion. The second shows a chart that indicates the system is actually projected to have a more favorable deficit in 2080 than was true in last years' report.

The SSA Trustees Report is found through this link, in either pdf or searchable form. Note the very pessimistic introduction that leads to the report. "Not sustainable" indeed! We are being scammed by the ideologues in the White House, folks!


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