Is it biased or just poor reporting❓

A recent column in the LATimes “Paul Ryan makes it official: Republicans are coming after Medicare next” says:

“Ryan couched his policy prescriptions in the context of “entitlement reform,” employing an overused term for social insurance policies that include Social Security and Medicare, the costs of which Americans cover through payroll taxes during their working careers.

This type of inaccurate, misleading or outright biased reporting drives me nuts and fosters misinformation and thereby false conclusions for support or opposition.

No, payroll taxes DO NOT cover the costs for SS and Medicare; not even close and yet in large part because of this kind of reporting many, perhaps most, seniors believe they paid for their benefits and therefore are “entitled.” For example, payroll taxes are not even sufficient to keep the Medicare HI trust funded. Part B premiums cover only 25% of costs and the rest is an open-ended expense to all taxpayers.

Social Security payroll taxes are not sufficient to pay current benefits. Interest paid to the Trust must be used, the source of which is general tax revenue. Income taxes paid on some Social Security benefits are used to fund Medicare as are additional taxes on certain investment income.

No, the costs of Social Security and Medicare are not paid for through payroll taxes. Without Ryan or someone else “coming after” the current fiscal situation Americans will learn in a few years that payroll taxes only cover about 75% of the cost of Social Security 😢

The political left is doing a great disservice to the American people by misleading them and attacking anyone who dares address the fiscal crisis facing our major social programs.


9 replies »

  1. Paul Ryan is NOT addressing the fiscal crisis facing our major social programs in order to preserve or repair them in a responsible fashion. Rather he is “addressing” (using) the fiscal crisis as an excuse to destroy these programs. That has been his idiotological mission from his first day in office and anyone who is paying attention knows that. The Koch brothers have the same goals and they put it in writing.


    • All I can say is I have not seen any proposal from anyone that would destroy these programs and I have not seen any proposal to try and manage their costs that has not been attacked by someone. We are in denial about where they are headed especially as the working population declines in relation to the population collecting one benefit or the other.


      • Here are just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on in 1980:
        •“We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”
        •“We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
        •“We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”
        •“We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”
        •“We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”
        •“We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”
        •“We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”
        •“We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”
        •“As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”
        •“We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”
        •“We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”
        •“We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”
        •“We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”
        •“We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
        •“We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”
        •“We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.”
        •“We demand the return of America’s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”
        •“We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called “self-protection” equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”
        •“We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”
        •“We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”
        •“We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”
        •“We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”
        •“We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”
        •“We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
        •“We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
        •“We support the repeal of all state usury laws.”


      • You consider a 40 year old platform from a fringe group credible? Why not post the Socialist or Communist party platforms? NOBODY is doing away with SS or Medicare or Medicaid, etc nobody. But I sure hope some figured out how to make them sustainable.


      • The Koch brothers are still here and more powerful than ever. Buying elections and congress members whenever and wherever they can.


      • I don’t know about you, but after 53 years voting I’m still waiting for someone to offer to pay for my vote. But I sure would like to see term limits to minimize influence peddling.


      • I am not talking about the Koch brothers paying off voters. I’m talking about huge financial support for right wing candidates from the Koch brothers. Iowa senator Joni Ernst was bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. And, there are many, many more like her.
        I agree that term limits, outlawing gerrymandering and presidential line item veto would go a long way to solving our problems.


      • That’s not buying elections , it’s buying members of Congress with low integrity, the people Americans elect and re-elect and doesn’t Soros do the same thing? The problem is us.


  2. I am going with a is a little bit of both. No, make that a lot of both bad reporting and biased reporting.

    How often do you see live news reports with the news helicopter flying overhead and no reporters on the ground and the news anchors are just making things up to as to what they think they are seeing? The Internet has made it so that out of context sound bites are the only facts people believe. 10 second videos that do not show hours of work done by the police. Journalism very rarely answers the “who,” “what,” “where,” when,” “why” and “how” anymore. Be grateful if if the “who” and the “what” are answered. This morning a read an article on a high school basketball coach being removed for violating the 365 day rule. I have no idea what it is. Is it bad?

    There are definitely biased networks and TV talk shows who refuse to include the opposing point of view. They just talk down to you and tell you what to think and give you data to support your beliefs
    since you watch that show.

    I would just like the facts and their sources so I can make up my own mind.


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