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Mainstream media misleads public on Social Security

Written by Nancy Altman

Social Security is in strong financial shape. But, you wouldn’t know it if you’re reading AP or watching CNN or CBS. Having bought into a billionare-funded campaign to undermine Social Security, the mainstream media unintentionally is misleading the public about this vital program.

The Social Security Board of Trustees’ annual report was just released. It shows that Social Security now has an accumulated surplus of about $2.9 trillion. By the year 2100, it will represent just 6.07 of GDP. As compared with other wealthy countries, these retirement, disability, and survivor benefits represent a far lower percent of GDP.

Social Security has funding today to pay out benefits in full for the next 16 years. After that, it is still 93 percent funded for the next 25 years and 87 percent funded for the next 50 years. The shortfall is modest. Congress could, if it chose, easily restore Social Security to long-range balance and, importantly, expand funding.

The good news is that Congressional Democrats are working on just that. Congressman John Larson has introduced the Social Security 2100 Act, which now has 203 cosponsors.

And, there are other Democratic bills in the House and Senate. Moreover, every Democratic presidential candidate now in Congress is a member of the Expand Social Security Caucus.

Congressional Republicans have no plan other than to cut Social Security benefits. No Republican has cosponsored the Social Security 2100 Act or any other bill to expand Social Security. No current Republican politician has even introduced a bill to restore Social Security to long-range balance.

Congressional Republicans are not listening to their constituents. Like Medicare, Social Security enjoys tremendous bi-partisan support. Americans across the ideological spectrum, including conservatives, are united in opposing cuts to Social Security and supporting its expansion. Nearly seven in ten (68 percent of) Republican voters say they do not want Congress to cut Social Security, according to multiple polls.

Social Security is a solution. Expanding it would help to address our looming retirement income crisis. It provides needed economic security to virtually all working families, replacing wages when workers retire, become too disabled to work, or die, leaving dependents. How can we afford not to expand Social Security?

What can you do? Help stop Republican politicians from blocking Social Security expansion. In 2020, vote for candidates who support expanding Social Security. In the meantime, let Congress know that you support expanding Social Security, please sign this petition.

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