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Thursday, March 24, 2005

WCCO knew better, didn't care

Posted by: Hammer / 10:31 AM

Here's WCCO's story on yesterday's Trustees report on Social Security:
Trustees: Social Security Going Broke In 2041 The trust fund for Social Security will go broke in 2041 -- a year earlier than previously estimated—the trustees reported Wednesday. Trustees also said that Medicare, the giant health care program for the elderly and disabled, faces insolvency in 2020.

The new projections made in the trustees annual report were certain to be cited by both sides in the massive battle to overhaul Social Security, which President Bush has made the top domestic priority of his second term.

The go-broke date for Medicare was delayed by one year, compared to the estimate that trustees gave a year ago.

The insolvency dates represent when both trust funds will have exhausted the government bonds that have been building up to take care of the pending retirement of 78 million baby boomers.

WCCO, like many other news organizations relied on an egregiously misleading AP story.

What really infuriates me, though, is that WCCO knows better. Here's the "Fact Check" WCCO ran in February

But, for the president to call Social Security bankrupt, which he has done for months, is QUESTIONABLE.

The Social Security Administration said the system won’t go bankrupt, even if we don’t do anything at all.

In 2018, Social Security for the first time pays out more benefits than it takes in, but that’s when it starts using money from its trillion dollar reserves, just like it’s done before.

In 2042, when those reserves are gone, it will still pay at least 73 percent of the benefits promised, and that’s if no one does anything to fix the system before then.

In February, WCCO knew that the system can't go bankrupt. According to the latest projections, Social Security would pay between 70 and 80% of promised benefits after the trust fund is exhausted. WCCO forgot its own reporting and highlighted a misleading news report in its telecast. Please contact WCCO and ask them to correct their report.


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