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June 2, 2006

Dean on Social Security

Read Dean Baker's blog, Beat the Press, it's fun.

Today's column, reprinted without permission;

"One of the disadvantages of having a public Social Security system is that people are free to make all sorts of untrue statements about it without facing any consequences. For example, an oped in the Washington Post this morning described the Social Security trust fund as “largely an accounting fiction.” This statement is of course absurd. The trust fund consists of U.S. government bonds, which the government is obligated to repay under the law. There is no sense whatsoever in which it can accurately be described as fictional.

Because Social Security is an agency of the government, the author is free to impugn the soundness of Social Security's financial situation with impunity, and the Post need not fear any consequences from printing this libel. On the other hand, if the author had made similarly untrue claims about the financial status of General Electric or Microsoft, the paper would be quickly greeted with an angry call from some honcho corporate lawyer. The correction would already be up on the website and ready to run in tomorrow’s paper. Maybe privatizing Social Security wouldn’t be a bad idea."

1 Comment

I have sent you an email with an attachment from Scopes about an urban legend that is TRUE. Project Pascua Lama in Chile. I was sent the email quoted in the Scopes entry and had to check it to believe it. You might want to post part of it for your readers, and I am curious if Dahlia knows about it as an envidronmental specialist. It really sounds like the next James Bond plot.