CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research

Multimedia

En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Washington Post Tries New Tactic in Campaign to Cut Social Security

The Washington Post Tries New Tactic in Campaign to Cut Social Security

Print
Saturday, 07 August 2010 13:42

The Washington Post adopted a new tactic in its ongoing campaign to cut Social Security benefits, highlighting a relatively trivial amount of mispayments or fraud, leading readers to believe that the program has major administrative problems. The Post devoted a major news story to a GAO report that found "1,500 federal workers might have received improper or fraudulent Social Security payments in the past several years."

There are just under 8 million people who receive disability benefits. Summing over 4 years would give approximately 30 million disability years of benefits. The GAO report identifying 1,500 federal workers who received benefits would imply 3,000 per years of improper benefits, assuming an average of 2 years of benefits per worker. This is equal to 0.01 percent of the beneficiaries of the program.

A mistake of this magnitude would warrant little or no attention in a newspaper reporting issues that affected people's lives in any way. However, it is not surprising that it would get substantial attention in a newspaper like the Post, which is on a campaign to cut Social Security and freely uses its news section to advance this agenda.

Comments (8)Add Comment
L.A. Times article today says SS is just fine
written by LJM, August 07, 2010 4:12
The writer makes the point that SS doesn't contribute to the national debt. The latest report shows the fund to be in much better shape than expected. The catfood commission needs to find a new target.
Social Security was set up o serve and unite the working class
written by Scott ffolliott, August 07, 2010 8:29
This is a ruling class vendetta against the working class
Social Security was set up o serve and unite the working class and is still today a monument around which the working class still gathers in solidarity
Because the gov't screws everything up ...
written by Lucy Honeychurch, August 08, 2010 11:56
Try finding those kind of error rates in the private sector. You won't. So much for the excuse that we should shrink gov't b/c however good the program, the private sector can do it better. They can't and they don't.
the same soup..
written by peteRed, August 09, 2010 3:51
..as in Switzerland. Right-wing parties are since years arguing for a cut in social security and they do it by pointing out at the "gigantig" abuses and malpractices, which squander the resources. the media of course are happy to report about that, but when the national research foundation found out, through a serious scientific research, that the abuses accounted for approx 0.5 to 1% of the resources, the sound didn't change. foreigners or aliens in the american wording remained the preferred scapegoats for such a no-issue!
i'm glad (or sad) to see that right-wing politics is the same wherever you go!
"can't find those error rates in the private sector"? who are you trying to kid?
written by hb, August 09, 2010 6:36
fraud in the private sector is what got us into this mess.
Victorinox replica watches
written by Victorinox replica watches, August 13, 2010 2:08
Social Security was set up o serve and unite the working class
written by Scott ffolliott, August 07, 2010 8:29 PMVacheron Constantin replica watches

This is a ruling class vendetta against the working class
Social Security was set up o serve and unite the working class and is still today a monument around which the working class still gathers in solidarity
Victorinox replica watches
written by Victorinox replica watches, August 13, 2010 2:37
written by peteRed, August 09, 2010 3:51 AM
..as in Switzerland. Right-wing parties are since years arguing for a cut in social security and they do it by pointing out at the "gigantig" abuses and malpractices, which squander the resources. the media of course are happy to report about that, but when the national research foundation found out, through a serious scientific research, that the abuses accounted for approx 0.5 to 1% of the resources, the sound didn't change. foreigners or aliens in the american wording remained the preferred scapegoats for such a no-issue!
i'm glad (or sad) to see that right-wing politics is the same wherever you go!Longines replica watches
baidu
written by baidu, August 15, 2010 9:59
We offer sports shoes sale mbt shoes uk ,like mbt shoesWe offer sports shoes sale mbt shoes uk ,like mbt shoesWe offer sports shoes sale mbt shoes uk

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.

busy
 

CEPR.net
Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

Archives