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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press WAPO Talks About Social Security "Changes"

WAPO Talks About Social Security "Changes"

Monday, 11 July 2011 05:06

Usually it is the politicians who use euphemisms to try to conceal the impact of their policies. However, the Washington Post decided to help them along in a front page article when it twice referred to Social Security "changes" that could be part of the budget agreement.

Of course "changes" don't reduce the deficit unless they are cuts. President Obama and the congressional leadership were discussing plans to cut Social Security. These cuts are likely to be very unpopular, so it is likely that they would rather have the public not realize that they were debating cuts to Social Security.

Since the Post's editorial position also supports cuts to Social Security, the paper apparently decided to help the politicians along in this effort. This is why the Post is known as Fox on 15th Street.

Interestingly, the Post never once referred to tax "changes," rather than increases. It even allowed Don Stewart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s deputy chief of staff for communications, to refer to "massive tax increases," without pointing out that none [thanks Jim A.] of the tax increases put forward by President Obama would raise taxes above their late 90s level when the economy was adding 3 million jobs a year.

Washington Post reporters have the time to look up tax increases and assess their importance. Washington Post readers do not.

Comments (5)Add Comment
Dean adopts the whole government approach
written by AndrewDover, July 11, 2011 6:06
Dean wrote: "Of course "changes" don't reduce the deficit unless they are cuts."

So now Dean is saying that Social Security cuts do reduce the deficit.

When SS is considered as a separate entity, the SS COLA reduction just timeshifts benefits slightly from retirees before 2036 to those retirees afterwards.
minor copy editing...
written by Jim A, July 11, 2011 7:58
I think that should be "...none of the tax increases..." not "...known of the tax increases..."
for whom the dog whistles
written by frankenduf, July 11, 2011 7:58
the old code word for gutting social services was "reform"- now people are onto that, so they use the word "change" to describe gutting social services
written by urban legend, July 11, 2011 2:58
So which "reporter" is responsible for that cynical piece of propagandizing, Goldfarb, Kane or Balz? Or perhaps they will all claim editing ignorance and point the finger at an editor? And perhaps the editor who they say changed "cuts" to "changes" will claim he or she was ordered to do it by still other higher-ups?

The Washington Post is a disgrace. Too bad no other Big media journalists have the guts to say so.
written by bg, July 11, 2011 7:44
I am one of the 33% of recipients who depend on SSMedicare/food stamps for my subsistence. By January 2012, my SSDI benefits will have been frozen for 3 years, yet my Part D deductible, premiums & co-pays have risen each year. The january COLA only accounts for 3Q 2010 to 3Q 2011. Before copays, I'm out $1345/year on Parts A,B & D premiums.

But thanks to the COLA, the deductibles, premiums & co-pays will increase for all 3 Medicare Parts: A,B & D. Result = loss, not gain, especially since Medicare doesn't cover Dental & Vision care.

Chained COLA= deeper loss

Any guesses on how much more I'll lose when the premiums rise on 01 January 2012?

The GOP death panels are killing Americans, truly.

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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.