Wednesday, March 23, 2005

MSM: Ethically Insolvent

In response to newly wed Josh Marshall's post on MSNBC's egregious Social Security headlines, the good Doctor has this to add:

As a CPA, I just wanted to remind folks that, technically speaking and according to the SS Trustee's most recent report, Social Security will in fact be insolvent by 2041. Insolvent being a technical term for when liabilities exceed assets. And that is what is predicted to happen in 2041. And because the terms "bankrupt", "broke", and "bust" are generally accepted (though somewhat inaccurate) terms for being insolvent, the MSM's headlines and scary articles on this are not entirely unwarranted.

But, by that same technical standard, our own government has been insolvent, bankrupt, broke, or busted for decades now; as we've been paying out more money than we've been bringing in. I say "decades" because I'm fairly certain that even the Clinton surpluses relied on borrowed money from Social Security, so even those weren't true surpluses. And this isn't a projected insolvency almost forty years from now, but a real insolvency which is getting worse.

So, when do you expect to hear the media hype up our own growing insolvency? Probably right after they admit that they were wrong about their scare-mongering word choices they used to describe Social Security.

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