Granny Bird Award: The Washington Post
It didn't take long for a new Granny Bird Award, an award which is given from time to time to individuals or groups who adversely affect the rights and interests of the elders, especially if they go out of their way to do so. I guess it's a sign of the times.
This one goes to the Washington Post for its article on Social Security.
Now, Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury. This year, it will add a projected $46 billion to the nation’s budget problems, according to projections by system trustees. Replacing cash lost to a one-year payroll tax holiday will require an additional $105 billion. If the payroll tax break is expanded next year, as President Obama has proposed, Social Security will need an extra $267 billion to pay promised benefits.
But while talk about fixing the nation’s finances has grown more urgent, fixing Social Security has largely vanished from the conversation. [Emphasis added]
The article is wrong on so many bases it's hard for a mere mortal to know where to start. Fortunately, Paul Krugman, no mere mortal, rather gracefully pointed out the most basic flaws in his blog post:
In legal terms, the program is funded not just by today’s payroll taxes, but by accumulated past surpluses — the trust fund. If there’s a year when payroll receipts fall short of benefits, but there are still trillions of dollars in the trust fund, what happens is, precisely, nothing — the program has the funds it needs to operate, without need for any Congressional action.
Social Security is not sucking money out of the treasury. It is still solvent and will be for a good while. Why the Washington Post didn't mention that fact is pretty clear evidence of what's really afoot: the GOP wants to dismantle the program and push us all into the stock market by privatizing a safety net and the paper is only too willing to help catapult the propaganda.
Atrios got it right
And, no, sensible liberals, there is no way to make this "debate" go away with some "grand compromise." Fake news articles like this should make that clear. The rich want that Social Security money, it's how they guarantee themselves a lovely tax cut.
Morons. Evil, evil morons.