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What is Equal Time?

Contrary 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.   

Have you seen a story in which media got it wrong?  If so, let us know and we’ll track it down and provide the truth about Social Security and Medicare.

“Social Security is projected to run out of money within 20 years.”  Dana Bash, CNN Congressional Correspondent. 

GOP Debate

Congressional Correspondent:
Dana Bash


Wrong. Social Security will pay 79% of benefits in twenty years even if nothing is done to close the actuarial gap. No one projects Social Security will run out of money; in fact, the only way the Social Security program can “run out of money” is if the American people all lose their jobs or quit contributing payroll taxes. However, the Social Security Trust Fund will be eventually be depleted (as it was designed to do) now that the baby boom generation is retiring. This distinction is not nitpicking or inconsequential. A 21% benefit cut is not the same as “Social Security is projected to run out of money.” Look at it this way, if CNN cut Dana Bash’s salary by 21% does that mean she has no income at all? Of course not. She hasn’t “run out of money” she’s taken a big cut. No one wants that to happen to America’s seniors so a 21% benefit cut must be avoided. However, a national correspondent should understand the difference between the Trust Fund, built up to handle the baby boomer bulge and the entire Social Security program, a benefit cut and “running out of money.” This is an all too common error by journalists and one perpetuated by politicians who know the only way to get support for their plans to cut Social Security is to convince America the program is going down the tubes anyway. Workers have enough reasons to worry about their fiscal futures. As long as some in the media continue to hawk this type of misinformation, a legitimate conversation about how to address the 21% shortfall will remain virtually impossible.

More Fact Checks
    Report: Proposed Budget Bill Would Have Devastating Effects on Millions' Social Security Benefits

Columnist: Laurence Kotlikoff

  Report: The Left Gets It Wrong About Social Security

Columnist: Megan McArdle

    Report: On Obama budget, Florida Republicans critical of lack of reforms to Social Security

Reporter: Jeremy Wallace

    Report: NPR’s “Here & Now”

Senior Business Editor: Marilyn Geewax

    Report: Millenials Face Big Problems

Reporter: Abby Huntsman


  Report: Reining In Health Care Costs Key To Trimming Deficit

Reporter: Thomas Friedman

    Report: Sorry Kids, We Ate it All

Reporter: Thomas Friedman



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Telling the Truth about Social Security's Funding isn't "Nasty" it's Just Reality

While Social Security and Medicare finally got their 90 seconds of fame last night, as expected, the question was framed exactly how Washington's well-funded fiscal hawks had hoped -- America can't afford "entitlements," (wrong), the programs are the biggest drivers of our debt (nope), are going bankrupt (actually no, they're not) and then the real heart of the question: How are you going to cut benefits?

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