Advocates Seek Balance Currently Missing in Deficit Debate CoverageContrary to the headlines and soundbites coming from America's newsrooms, Social Security and Medicare aren't to blame for our nation's fiscal woes or our deficit. In fact, without these vital programs our economy would be in even worse shape and millions more American families would be threatened with economic insecurity. Why do so many journalists and news/talk-show hosts ignore the facts in favor of one-sided propaganda? Why won't they allow all sides to weigh on these important issues? Whatever the reasons, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare believes the public deserves more balanced research and discussion. The truth about our nation's most successful and revered programs deserves EQUAL TIME.
Our new project, EQUAL TIME, will bust through the myths and misleading statements in the news about Social Security and Medicare. We will find and correct the factual errors and politically charged perspectives. We'll use social media like Facebook and Twitter to inform the reporters, pundits and anchors when they've been the subject of an EQUAL TIME correction. In this way, we hope to influence the mainstream media to use facts, not fiction, in their coverage of these important programs. An online form will also provide an easy way for advocates and citizens nationwide to submit news stories in which the media got it wrong and NCPSSM will track it down to provide the truth about Social Security and Medicare.
EQUAL TIME is at http://www.ncpssm.org/equaltime
Here is an example of an Equal Time post:
Quote: “Entitlements are squeezing out public investments”
“This shift in public resources is dramatic and growing. While 14 cents of every federal dollar not going to interest was spent on entitlement programs in 1962, the amount is 47 cents today, and it will reach 61 cents by 2030, according to an analysis of government data by Third Way, a centrist-Democratic think tank.”
Source: The Associated Press, Entitlement Programs Thrive Amid Gridlock, Shifting Money from Younger Generations to Older
Reporter: Charles Babington
Date: May 10, 2013
This Associated Press story reads like a news release written by the multi-million dollar austerity lobby offering readers zero balance, zero analysis, zero context and plenty of factual errors.
Social Security is an earned benefit paid for with the FICA contributions of generations of American workers. Suggesting that repaying the Social Security Trust Fund for the trillions of dollars in contributions already made by those workers is a “shift in public resources” or that it squeezes “out public investments” shows a complete lack of understanding of how the Trust Fund works. It’s also the core message in a Wall-street funded intergenerational warfare propaganda campaign which attempts to pit young versus old while ignoring the real challenges facing young people – income inequity, joblessness and a stagnant economy. The fact that more benefits will be paid to the large baby boom generation (who also built up the $2.7 trillion—and growing -- trust fund to pay for it) than to a smaller retiree cohort in 1962 is the classic case of how to manipulate the truth with statistics.
Had this reporter talked to just one Social Security or Medicare expert, he would have seen the fallacy of the propaganda offered by Wall Street backed groups, like the Third Way, which advocate for cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay down the deficit.