Fake News Alert: Social Security

The GOP is pushing Grandma off a cliff again

Welcome to 2016.  It’s the year that Dan Rather called on the media to be more biased and Brian Williams complained about fake news. And of course, both were praised and accorded credibility on the left for their laments.  Fake news is the thing right now.  It’s why Trump won, it’s how Russia infiltrated the brains of the electorate and forced them to vote for Trump, and it is defined of course as right wing sources only.

Just as there is an Alt-Left, there is left wing fake news.  Usually it’s unrecognizable because it comes in the form of mainstream media publication.  A great example came on December 9th when Ethan Wolff-Mann (yup) wrote an article for Yahoo! Finance about how Republicans are going to massively cut Social Security. Rather than citing what was proposed, Wolff-Mann cited Center for American Progress’s twitter account as his source.

According to Wolff-Mann, and Talking Points Memo who he also cites, the Republican proposal will drastically cut benefits for the poor and runs contrary to a bi-partisan effort to save Social Security through a payroll tax increase for those under the Obama threshold of what constitutes being “rich”.

Meanwhile, the actual bill is not quite as drastic and gloomy as the “press” reports.  The Sam Johnson plan, which is actually different from the Paul Ryan plan, would increase the retirement age for younger workers and adjust how inflation is calculated for benefits. Aside from that, his proposal should be a dream for liberals.

The Johnson plan would reduce benefits for wealthy retirees.  It includes means testing which is basically a tax on the wealthy.  It also takes away cost of living increases for the wealthy. Johnson, who calls his proposal the start to a fact-based conversation, also calls for benefit increases for some.

No solution has been determined for Social Security yet.  In the end it will likely be an adjustment in inflation, an increase to the retirement age, but it also may include private accounts which can earn far more and can’t be cut by the government. For all the fear mongering, we are far from a final solution for Social Security.

Perhaps a better headline would have been “Wolff-Mann Scares Seniors”.

 

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