Friday, September 18, 2009

CNN on Social Security

Jimmy Carter says those who oppose the president are racists. Nancy Pelosi says those who oppose the president are assassins.

CNN says they're bad at math.

CNN Money has an article that initially appears to be about preparing for retirement. But it starts out trying to refute the notion that Social Security will soon be out of money, and it seems the only explanation for that is health care reform.


Really. What do we keep hearing about health care reform? "Medicare's broke, Medicaid's broke, and Social Security's broke, so why ..."

So here comes CNN:
"'Can I count on Social Security to be there?'

You can. Despite what you may hear about the system going broke, the funds from workers' payroll taxes will cover all retirees' payments until 2016 even if no changes are made to the current program. After that the Social Security Administration can cover full benefits until 2037 by cashing in its Treasury bonds from the Social Security trust fund. And when the bonds run out, income from payroll taxes would be enough to cover about 75% of payments for decades."
This is supposed to reassure us?

1) 2016 is 7 years away. That's really not that long, folks.

2) Cashing in Treasury bonds? We're broke! We can't pay our bills now, and we've been stealing borrowing from Social Security for years.

3) 75% of payments? For 100% of retirees? Something's not adding up. You mean we're going to have to cut benefits or cut beneficiaries? That sounds like another conversation we've been having -- rationing health care.

I don't think the fiscal strength of Social Security is something any retiree should count on, and it's certainly no defense for federalizing our health care system.

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