Friday, December 09, 2016

Let the lies and hysteria begin

TPM's main hack Josh Marshall leads with this headline: "GOP Plans Major Social Security Cuts" then follows up with nearly nothing of substance before shifting to a cut-and-paste job of old proposals.  But that headline caught your attention, right?

In fact there are no "major" cuts planned unless you count a slight reduction in cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) phased in over decades and hitting mostly affluent families.  Meanwhile the actual and factual major cut in Social Security (see figure 2 on the SSA's review of Johnson's proposal) are just something we have to live with.  Here's Marshall at peak insouciance:
The big picture is that the current Social Security Trust Fund is predicted to be exhausted in the mid-late 2030s. So roughly in 20 years. People often refer to this as 'bankruptcy'. But that's not really accurate. At that point Social Security would only be able to pay 79% of benefits recipients will be entitled to in those years.
Gosh, why's everybody throwing around these inaccurate terms like "bankruptcy?"  So remember this important semantic lesson: when current law cuts your benefits by 21-25% that's a "fairly stable drop-off."  But when benefits are slowly reduced over decades, that's a "major cut."


Anonymous said...

Yes, overheated rhetoric can be insufferable. Did the police ever arrest President Obama for his $700 billion heist in "raiding Medicare"?

Eric2 said...

Nah, it seems to have been brushed aside in the mainstream media. I know, but it's true.

However here's that right-wing rag the Washington Post with "Romney’s right: Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion." The author Sarah Kliff later moved on to that alt-right web site Vox.

Anonymous said...

And here are the loony liberals over at the Christian Science Monitor, citing multiple sources that agree the campaign claim, which was dropped like a hot rock by the GOP two minutes after Romney lost, relied on fuzzy math:

I wonder which pinko double agent slipped the $716 billion Medicare adjustment into Paul Ryan's budget?

Anonymous said...

And from the devastating When You've Even Lost The Author Sarah Kliff... Department:

The column you cite concludes:
It's worth noting that there's one area these cuts don't touch: Medicare benefits. The Affordable Care Act rolls back payment rates for hospitals and insurers. It does not, however, change the basket of benefits that patients have access to. And, as Ezra pointed out earlier today, the Ryan budget would keep these cuts in place.