Oct
19
2012

FAIR TV: Factchecking Moderators, Chris Matthews Wants a King, When Advertisers Write the "News"

This week on FAIR TV: Who factchecks the debate moderators? What Does Chris Matthews Think is in the Constitution? And why not just let advertisers write the "news"? Please take a look– and spread the word.

Jan
24
2011

NYT Disappears Public Support for Military Spending Cuts

Today the New York Times reports on the debate over spending, deficits and the State of the Union (1/24/11): The public itself seems split, or perhaps confused. Americans overwhelmingly say that in general, they prefer cutting government spending to paying higher taxes, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll published last week. Yet their preference for spending cuts, even in programs that benefit them, dissolves when they are presented with specific options related to Medicare and Social Security, the programs that directly touch millions of lives and are the biggest drivers of the long-term deficit. Social Security is not […]

Jun
21
2010

The WaPo and Fiscal Times, Together Again

At the end of 2009, the Washington Post published an article that was produced by the Fiscal Times. As FAIR noted in an Action Alert (1/6/10): The article, headlined "Support Grows for Tackling Nation's Debt" (12/31/09), was a product of the Fiscal Times, described in an accompanying note as "an independent digital news publication reporting on fiscal, budgetary, healthcare and international economics issues." More accurately, it's a propaganda outlet created and funded by Peter G. Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire and Nixon administration cabinet member who has long used his wealth to promote cuts in Social Security and other entitlement […]

Jun
09
2010

More Social Security Bashing from NYT, WashPost

In a June 8 piece about a liberal summit in D.C. this week,the New York Times notes thatthe left's support forprograms like Medicare and Social Security areoutof touch with fiscal reality, and that budget cuts elsewhere aren't going to matter much: In truth, none of the cuts in annual appropriations will significantly reduce the long-term deficit projections. Those are driven mostly by escalating costs for the benefit programs that liberals most aggressively protect–Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security–and by insufficient tax revenues to support them. As has been noted many times, Social Security has amassed a surplus of over $2 trillion; […]

Apr
14
2010

Glenn Beck's Social Security Problem

Fox News host Glenn Beck (4/13/10) came out against Social Security yesterday: Have you ever wondered why we even have Social Security? It's not an American idea. It's first from Germany in the late 1800s. Hmmm, lets see, who else was prominent in Germany at that time…Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche. This is where the first progressive ideas came from, and when those ideas floated across the Atlantic, they took America off course…. The progressive wave of European social insurance infected America and this is the result of it. This is European thinking, not American. Now, factchecking Glenn Beck is a […]

Apr
08
2010

Washington Post's Anti-Social Security Crusade Continues

The Washington Post (4/8/10) continues its crusade against Social Security (Action Alert, 1/6/10; FAIR Blog, 5/15/09, 5/13/09, 4/1/09) in a front-page news story by Neil Irwin and Lori Montgomery: Social Security is already draining resources from the broader federal budget, as spending on benefits has risen above this year's Social Security tax collections. While that gap is expected to be fleeting, the program, the largest single item in the federal budget, is projected to require sustained support within the next 10 years. If you are a retiree under the age of roughly 90, then you paid extra Social Security taxes–cumulatively […]

Nov
23
2009

For Parade Magazine, the Middle Class Starts at 100K

Claiming that "something needs to be done–and fast" to save Social Security, Parade magazine's Gary Weiss (11/22/09) suggests a downside to the idea of raising the ceiling on taxed income, so that income above the current $106,800 would be subject to the Social Security tax: "Raising the cap is popular among Social Security reformers but would increase the tax burden on the middle class, since more of their income would be subject to the tax. " (By contrast, "Raising the payroll tax rate would disproportionately affect lower-income workers.") According to the Census Bureau, less than 5 percent of individuals over […]

May
13
2009

Social Security Scaremongering, Washington Post Style

Yesterday the Social Security and Medicare trustees' reports were released. This annual ritual oftengives reporters a chance to exaggerate the long-term problems of the Social Security system. This year, the news wasmoreor lesswhat folks were expecting: By the trustees' forecasting, Social Security's trust fund will be depleted in 2037, while Medicare's hospital fund will run out of money in 2017. Somehow, the Washington Post decided that Social Security was the real concern–its page-one story is headlined "Alarm Sounded on Social Security." The lead rings the same bells: The financial health of the Social Security system has eroded more sharply in […]

Apr
01
2009

Debunking the WaPo's 'Jihad Against Social Security'

Long a critic of the Washington Post's habit of pushing of "its editorial position in the news section" when operating as "a strong proponent of reducing Social Security benefits," Dean Baker (Beat the Press, 3/31/09) has a new example of what he dubs the Post's "Jihad Against Social Security": In keeping with this practice, it headlined an article today, "Recession Puts a Major Strain on Social Security Trust Fund." The article refers to the fact that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now projects that annual tax revenue will be nearly in balance with benefit payments for the next several years. […]

Feb
24
2009

AP Stuck in Social Security Crisis Groove

Media Matters (2/24/09) catches AP reporter Liz Sidoti garbling Barack Obama's position on entitlements: He called the long-term solvency of Social Security "the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far" and said reforming healthcare, including burgeoning entitlement programs, was a huge priority. What Obama actually said was: In the coming years, we'll be forced to make more tough choices and do much more to address our long-term challenges, from the rising cost of healthcare that Peter [Orszag, Office of Management and Budget director] described, which is the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far, to the […]

Feb
23
2009

NYT's 'Budget Analysts' Blow Smoke on Social Security

Jackie Calmes reports in the New York Times (2/23/09): The president signaled in his campaign that he would support addressing the retirement system's looming financing shortfall, in part by applying payroll taxes to incomes above $250,000. But that would ignite intense opposition from Republicans, especially with the economy deep in recession. Liberal Democrats are already serving notice that they will be equally vehement in opposing any reductions in scheduled benefits for future retirees. But any solution, budget analysts said, must include a mix of both approaches, though current beneficiaries would see no change. Really? Budget analysts said it was impossible […]

Feb
13
2009

Time Loves Summers, Hates Social Security

A Tiny Revolution blogger Jonathan Schwarz (2/8/09) quotes from yet another "Time magazine article about Larry Summers and how incredibly brilliant he is": Perhaps as early as March, they'll launch their biggest lift with the beginnings of a plan to reform Social Security and Medicare, the two entitlement programs that, even before the economy collapsed, were threatening the Treasury with bankruptcy…. When Obama unveils his annual budget in late February or March, Summers promises that the president "is going to describe the kinds of approaches he wants to take to the entitlement problems that have been ignored for a long […]

Feb
05
2009

Worldfocus Grant: No Strings Attached?

Yesterday the New York Times reported on the status of a new PBS news program Worldfocus. Amidst budget cuts at the New York station where it originates, the program has received some unusual financial support–a $1 million grant from thePeter G. Peterson Foundation. What does the funder expectto get out of it? The Times reported that the foundation expected Worldfocus to produce reports examining how other countries have dealt with the challenges facing the United States, like healthcare and Social Security reform. The head of the foundation, David Walker, added that the showwill maintain "total control over the content." That's […]