Again?

AGAIN?…. It seems like we just had this debate, and yet, people in positions of responsibility are still mangling the basics.

During the February 1 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory falsely asserted that “Social Security is about to go — pay out more than it’s taking in by 2010.” In fact, the 2008 Social Security trustees’ report estimated that “[u]nder the intermediate assumptions, the OASDI [Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance] cost rate is projected to increase rapidly and first exceed the income rate in 2017,” not in 2010 as Gregory claimed. Moreover, as Media Matters for America has noted, the 2008 Social Security trustees’ report forecasts that, in the absence of a change in the law, Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2041, after which it will be able to cover between 78 and 75 percent of scheduled benefits through the end of the 75-year period the report’s long-range projection covered.

This is not the first time NBC has perpetuated myths about Social Security. As Media Matters documented, during the October 2, 2008, edition of NBC’s Nightly News, NBC News correspondent John Yang falsely asserted: “At current rates, analysts say Social Security will run out of money by 2041.” Additionally, on the September 18, 2008, edition of MSNBC Live, correspondent David Shuster stated that Social Security “will run out of money unless we make some major changes, at least in the next several years.”

The bogus claims were frustrating enough when it was George W. Bush making them in 2005. They have not improved with age.

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