The Washington Post continued to use its news section to advance its agenda for cutting Social Security and Medicare. It headlined an AP article on how these programs have not been cut by the sequester, "entitlement programs thrive amid gridlock, shifting money from younger generations to older."

The headline and the article wrongly imply that cuts to programs will benefit the young and increase economic growth. This is not true. The proximate cause for these cuts is a decision by political leaders to have lower budget deficits. The headline would have more accurately read "pursuit of deficit reduction is taking away money from young."

The notion of a shift to older generations is especially bizarre because none of the programs benefiting the elderly have been expanded notably in recent years. (The Medicare drug benefit is being made more generous, but the cost is covered by reduced payments to drug companies.) The assertion of a redistribution to the elderly would be like claiming there has been a redistribution to people living in North after reporting on a crop failure in the South. Certainly the fact that the South is worse off means that the North is relatively better off, but to describe this as a redistribution to the North is highly misleading, as is the claim of a redistribution to the elderly.

Also, even within whatever deficit targets are set one could just as credibly say that there has been a redistribution from children to Wall Street banks since the Wall Street banks are using their political power to block any effort to tax their financial speculation. Such a tax could easily cover the cost of the programs that are now being cut. The Post has decided not to frame the issue this way.  

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