This week the New York Times decided to scare the bejeezus out of everyone by publishing several articles with slanted statements about Social Security. I’d like to revisit some key points in Williams Walsh’s piece from March 24 – statements from her article are in bold below.
“The bursting of the real estate bubble and the ensuing recession have hurt jobs, home prices and now Social Security.”
First of all, the real estate bubble was predicted and no one listened. In fact, it was predicted, ignored, and it is a large cause of the economic downturn and part of the larger deficit. We had to bail out banks and other financial institutions because everyone ignored the warnings about the real estate bubble. The bursting of the housing bubble doesn’t hurt Social Security the program, in fact, Social Security, the program, is designed to withstand just such miscalculations by our nation’s top economists.
The causes of our deficit are approximately $1.5 trillion to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $1.2 trillion due to the Bush-era tax cuts, $0.9 trillion for financial rescues and recovery measures including TARP, Fannie and Freddie. As indicated by the above figures, clearly Social Security is not causing the deficit.
“…payments have risen more than expected during this downturn, because jobs disappeared and people applied for benefits sooner than they had planned.”