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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.

Quote: 

“ ‘President Obama’s plan provides no hope of balancing the budget, no plan to save Social Security or Medicare, and no realistic ideas to grow the private economy or create jobs,’ U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio” 

 “’He ignores Social Security and Medicare, but we need real reform or these programs won’t exist for future generations of Americans,” (Rep. Tom) Rooney said’.”

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

Reporter: Jeremy Wallace

 

Correction:

Reporters have a responsibility to hold their sources, even Members of Congress, accountable to the truth.  Unfortunately, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune did none of that in its coverage of the President’s budget. 

It’s certainly no surprise that Congressional Republicans hope to use their new majority to cut benefits to millions of middle-class seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare.  The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, unfortunately, gave its local lawmakers free reign to make up their own facts in support of that agenda.

Rep. Tom Rooney is flat-out wrong when he claimed “these programs won’t exist for future generations” without reform.  There isn’t a single actuarial projection that Social Security and Medicare won’t exist for future generations.  In fact, the Social Security Trustees report that with $2.76 trillion in the Social Security Trust Fund the program will be able to pay full benefits for decades to come - until 2033.  At that point, there will still be enough revenue coming into the program to pay 77 percent of all benefits owed.  Won’t exist?  Hardly. 

In the Herald-Tribune story, Senator Mark Rubio claimed the President’s budget offers “no plan” for Social Security or Medicare.  Truth is this budget includes $400 billion in Medicare savings including, unfortunately, increased means-testing, premium hikes and co-pays for seniors.  While these cuts apparently aren’t enough for Senator Rubio that doesn’t make them non-existent. This budget also addresses the more immediate Social Security disability shortfall with a simple administrative move, done 11 times before, that the House GOP refuses to consider.

As the old adage goes, “we’re entitled to our opinions but not our own facts.”  Journalists owe it to their readers to report those facts not merely parrot one party’s political spin. 

More Fact Checks
    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


     
   

Report: Fix Social Security Now – or Pay a Stiff Price

Reporter: Dan Kadlec

     
   

Projections Show U.S. Budget Deficit Will Shrink

Reporter: Jonathan Weisman
Date: July 8, 2013

     
   

DOMA and Social Security

Anchor: Stuart Varney

 
   
   

US Chamber of Commerce Wants to Fix Entitlement Programs

Reporter: Michelle Smith


     
    Is the Class of 2013 Really Ready for What's Next?

Host: Melissa Harris-Perry

 

     
    Entitlement Programs Thrive Amid Gridlock, Shifting Money from Younger Generations to Older

Reporter: Charles Babington


     
    Democrats Risk Alienating Young Voters By Opposing Cuts in Entitlement Spending

Writer: Charlie Cook


     
 
  Republicans Embrace Obama's Offer to Trim Social Security Benefits

Reporter: Laura Montgomery


     
   

Obama to Send Detailed Budget to Capitol Hill

Reporter: Cokie Roberts

 

     
   

Why Democrats Must Get Smart on Entitlements

Columnist: Jonathan Alter, Columnist

 

 

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