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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.

“One [proposal] circulating this past week would… eliminate much of the [Social Security] payroll tax…” 

Sources: 
Associated Press Article

Congressional Correspondent:
Josh Boak and Stephen Ohlemacher

Correction:

Associated Press correspondents Josh Boak and Stephen Ohlemacher report this week that Republicans are considering eliminating the Social Security payroll tax as part of a grand tax reform scheme. Their reporting is based on an unnamed “GOP lobbyist.” Eliminating the payroll tax may be the lobbyist’s pet cause --- or it could be a trial balloon from the Trump administration. Either way, the AP story seriously lacks context or balance. The piece touts the $3,700 extra that a worker making $60,000 per year would gain in take home pay, making the payroll tax rollback seem like a gift to working people. In reality, eliminating the payroll tax could rob Americans of their retirement security --- including that worker making $60K.

The story doesn’t mention that the payroll tax has been a pillar of Social Security for more than 80 years. Workers pay into the system knowing they will receive Social Security benefits upon retirement, disability or death. According to the AP article, Republicans would change Social Security’s financing by substituting the traditional payroll contribution with a value-added tax (VAT). This would convert Social Security from an earned benefit to ‘just another’ government social program subject to the whims of fiscal hawks. The financial security of America’s seniors would suddenly have to compete with the budget demands of other government programs, potentially pitting seniors against other vital domestic interests. But the AP story excludes these negative consequences. The article notes that the proposal would likely run into opposition from Democrats “who are loathe to be seen as undermining Social Security,” implying that any objection to the proposal would be for the sake of appearances. No, Democrats would fight the elimination of the payroll tax to protect a worker-funded program that has the overwhelming approval among the majority of Americans. They know what the AP story doesn’t say: that Social Security has provided basic retirement security since 1935 --- and kept multiple generations of seniors out of poverty.

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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