Baby Boomers, Social Security, and Illiterate Reporters

Kash does not think we need another commission to understand the Social Security solvency issue. Had anyone listened to Tim Russert on the Today Show, they might have another view. Russert claimed that the fact that the number of folks on retirement may double in the next several years means we have to either double the payroll tax rate or drastically reduce benefits. I guess Russert never heard of the concept of pre-funding. Now you might argue that the massive General Fund deficit means all those Trust Fund reserves have been squandered by the fiscal irresponsibility of this White House. In fact, this White House makes this very argument in defense of its Social Security deform proposals.

So do we need another Presidential commission on this issue? Not if they are going to misrepresent the issues like the last one appointed by this President. Kash is correct that economists have studied this issue and put forth a menu of reasonable solutions. The problem is that certain politicians are being less than honest about this issue, while certain reporters (e.g., Mr. Russert) act as if they know what they are talking about when clearly they do not. Bob Somerby, however, has been on the task for demanding better coverage of this issue even since April 1998. Since Bob is especially hard on Mr. Russert, it may be the case that Mr. Russert refuses to read his columns. Until he does so – can we request that NBC cease to ask Mr. Russert about his incredibly ill-informed opinions on this important issue?