Cuts to Social Security are not inevitable Fox Broadcasting Co. used a 2017 report by the Social Security Board of Trustees nearly a year after its release to scare its viewers into thinking benefit cuts and further increases to the full retirement age are inevitable.
In at least 93 news segments on May 21, dozens of Fox affiliates warned of an approaching time when Social Security tax revenue would be outpaced by its spending on benefits, without once mentioning that a modest revenue increase would solve the problem. On just May 21, Fox affiliate stations aired at least 93 news reports on the 2017 trustees’ report.
Many of the segments had generally the same content as the one aired in the 4 a.m. hour on WXMI (FOX17) in Grand Rapids, MI: Now, reasons for the problems include people are living longer, lower interest rates affect the yields on special issue bonds, and more baby boomers are going to be entering the system with really not enough workers to cover for them. One trend for sure to continue is raising the age at which you get full benefit retirements.
These reports are misleading in multiple ways. Their claims that in the next few years, benefit cuts of over 20 percent might be necessary are flat-out false.
Social Security has built up a nearly $3 trillion surplus so that full benefits could be paid out when there’s a large increase in new retirees, as America is currently experiencing with its retiring baby boomer generation. As the 2017 trustees’ report (which all these Fox reports are citing) explains: “Social Security’s combined trust funds increase with the help of interest income through 2021 and would cover full payment of scheduled benefits on a timely basis until the trust fund reserves become depleted in 2034.” So, contrary to Fox’s fearmongering, there will be enough money to pay out full benefits for nearly two decades. Read more from mediamatters.org…
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