A Shortfall of Accurate Reporting on the Trustees Report

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Written by CEPR   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:30

Now that the latest Social Security Trustees Report is out, it's time to dig through the misinformation that passes as reporting. Thankfully Dean Baker already does this for us over at Beat the Press. Here are some highlights:

  • A Washington Post article on the report attributed Social Security's "bleak outlook" to "the ever-larger numbers of people in the baby boom generation entering retirement."  As Dean notes, this isn't a new development. The Greenspan Commission in 1983 knew they would be retiring, too. Has the Post already forgotten about our high unemployment rate, which has resulted in fewer contributions to the program?


  • CNN had a rather amusing article about the "burgeoning" costs of Medicare and Social Security, but right below the headline they posted a graph showing Social Security costs, measured as a share of GDP, as basically flat. Medicare spending, on the other hand, climbs well above Social Security. This is what Dean has been saying all along: The problem is our health care system.


  • In an interview on American Public Media's Marketplace, Olivia Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School, trotted out the old line about how the trust fund "has been spent." Dean explains why that's simply false.