Saturday, September 25, 2004

Why Does the Media Hate Social Security?

Talking about the overall bias of the media is a difficult thing -- it depends on what weight you're giving which part of the overall collective thing which is "the media" (my quick version is that the media is extraordinarily pro-Republican, while being more mixed when it comes to actual policies). But, on some specific policy issues I think there are some clear biases that shine through. I'd concede that there's a slight pro-gun control law bias which comes through (and, years ago, I would have conceded a strong bias.) But, why does the media hate Social Security so much? Literally every piece that's run on the issue, such as this one, buys into the premise that there's little chance that today's 20somethings will ever receive retirement benefits, unless some sort of radical and "painful" policy changes are made. This is just bollocks.

I've been hearing these Social Security scare stories for as long as I can remember. Look, it's predicted that Social Security's dedicated revenue stream will pay for expected promised benefits under current law for the next 42 years. Can we say the same the thing about any other government program? No, I thought not.

But, anyway, I don't want to rehash all the Social Security arguments, though I would like to point out that what is scary is that one of the Public Trustees of the Social Security program recently wrote an op-ed in the WSJ asserting that T-Bills weren't "real" assets (he meant real as opposed to fake, not real as opposed nominal). That'll be news to bond traders around the world. But, in any case, I just wonder at the uniform hostility to the program expressed in the media.