Saturday, September 20, 2008

Scaring Grandma, 2008

Factcheck: "An Obama-Biden ad says McCain supports "cutting benefits in half" for Social Security recipients. False!"

For the record, McCain has said that he would seek a bipartisan deal with Congress to fix Social Security's financial problems.During a Republican candidate debate last year in Orlando, Florida, he said:

McCain, Oct. 21, 2007: "Look, what Americans need is some straight talk. They need to know -- every man, woman and child in America needs to know that both of these are going broke. They're going broke and we've got to do the hard things. We've got to fix it for the future generations of Americans. Don't we owe that to young Americans today? I say we do. ... It's got to be bipartisan. ... And you have to got to the American people and say we don't -- we won't raise your taxes. We need personal savings accounts, but we got to fix this system."

The system isn't exactly "going broke." But the latest official projection is that the trust fund will be exhausted by the year 2041, after which current tax rates will finance only 78 percent of currently scheduled benefits. We agree that "straight talk" is needed and that finding solutions will be hard. Ads like this, however, misinform the public and make the job of fixing the system more difficult.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome, why to the Republicans keep trying to fix Social Security when they know the Democrats will demagogue it to death? McCain should simply repeat the opinion of the Social Security Administration that the system is on the path to bankruptcy and the party of FDR should propose solutions. In 2041, when automatic cuts kick in, a whole generation of Americans will realize they've been duped out of their hard-earned money for a negative rate of return.

Extra - Don Surber had a similar thought: "Here’s an idea for Obama: Tell us how you will save Social Security."

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