MainLine Peace Action/DelMont PDA

August 20, 2010

Jack Cafferty On Social Security

Filed under: Social Security — Tags: , , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 7:05 am

This video is almost two years old, and the time it was made makes it even more trenchant now.  Where is Jack Cafferty now that we really need him?

August 18, 2010

Social Security Fearmongering

Filed under: Social Security — Tags: , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 5:11 am

By Tula Connell
August 17, 2010


When the report by the Social Security Board of Trustees came out last week, it found Social Security is strong for the long term. But that’s not what you’d hear from some corporate media outlets. Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) points out that CNN coverage has been especially egregious, with Wolf Blitzer asserting that Social Security has reached “the financial tipping point.”    <!– [more] –>

Other CNN talking heads painted a similar dire picture. We know they have cushy retirement pensions—why do they want to kill retirement funding for the more than 64 percent of America’s retirees who depend upon Social Security as their sole source of income? FAIR is urging people to contact CNN’s Situation Room and tell them what we think about their coverage:

No less than the grandson of President Franklin Roosevelt has weighed in on the future of Social Security. Writing today at Huffington Post, James Roosevelt tackles the fear-mongering about Social Security head on:

Understanding that the public will not succumb to a frontal assault on Social Security, Tea Party supporters, Libertarians and other critics advance their radical agenda by creating a “mythology of fear,” trotting out themes of a program that is “in crisis,” “bankrupt,” “broke,” and, in the wake of the Madoff scandal, even a “Ponzi scheme.” They then position themselves not as wanting to eliminate Social Security but as wanting to “save, “strengthen,” and “protect” Social Security by privatizing it.

Describing the trustee’s findings that Social Security is solvent, Roosevelt goes on to say that “Social Security does not need to be saved.”

The fact is, Social Security has been the most successful government program of the past 75 years. Today, 53 million Americans receive Social Security benefits each month. No other program in American history—has touched more lives and families and brought more financial stability to households—including those of its most ardent critics.


Published by AFL-CIO Blog

August 15, 2010

Top 5 Social Security Myths Debunked

Filed under: Social Security — Tags: , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 9:56 am

We especially like this page because the responses to the myths are footnoted.  So if someone says “Sez who?” ,  the answer is right here.  Some Republicans are putting out myths and lies about Social Security in an attempt to privatize it.  We say: “If you liked credit default swaps, Lehman Brothers, and Bernie Madoff, you’re going to love privatized Social Security.”

Top 5 Social Security Myths

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis.  By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a ‘T’).  It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it’ll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that’s without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers’ retirement decades ago.2  Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What’s more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut. 

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security. 

Reality: Social Security doesn’t need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here’s a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share.  If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6  But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn’t full of IOUs, it’s full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It’s not just wrong—it’s impossible!  By law, Social Security’s funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can’t add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts.  Can you share this list now?


1.”To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security,” New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

2. “The Straight Facts on Social Security,” Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009

3. “Social Security and the Age of Retirement,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010

4. “More on raising the retirement age,” Washington Post, July 8, 2010

5. “Social Security is sustainable,” Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010

6. “Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010,” Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010

7. “Trust Fund FAQs,” Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010

8.”To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security,” New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

Distributed by DelMont Progressive Democrats of America –

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