SOCIAL SECURITY LINGUISTICS….This is sort of fascinating. Earlier today, after the 2005 Social Security report was released, the LA Times headline was (approximately) “Social Security Broke by 2041.” The Washington Post headline was (again approximately) “Social Security Broke by 2041.” The New York Times was the outlier, leading with “Medicare in Worse Shape Than Social Security.”

By tonight, though, all was changed. The New York Times had massaged their headline to “Report Says Medicare Is in Poor Fiscal Shape.” No mention of Social Security at all.

The Washington Post followed suit with “Report Emphasizes Shortfall in Medicare.”

And the LA Times joined the bandwagon with “Trustees Revise Fiscal Forecasts for Social Security and Medicare”

So two of the Big Three don’t mention Social Security problems at all in their headline, and the third says only that its “fiscal forecast” has been “revised.” And you’d never know it anyway since it’s not on their front page. Happy, Josh?

POSTSCRIPT: And while we’re on the subject, Matt is exactly right about Dems standing firm on refusing to offer an alternative plan of their own. It’s not necessary, since Social Security isn’t in crisis, and it would be politically moronic ? as no less an expert than George Bush himself has admitted. Bottom line: Bush is stuck in the quicksand on this issue, and it’s not up to the Democratic party to throw him a rope. He’s the one who claims there’s a crisis, so let him make the first move.

UPDATE: Revised to reflect the LA Times headline that actually showed up in the print edition.

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