The NYT Features the Views of the Mysterious "Many" Who Don't Understand Social Security's Finances

Serious newspapers don't pull down ghosts from the sky to present their views to readers. However, in an article discussing the implications of the health care plan, the NYT told readers:"many have come to believe that the system [Social Security] must change or go broke, the battle Mr. Bush fought and lost in 2005."

Of course people who are familiar with the finances of the system don't believe such things. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the program can pay all scheduled benefits through the year 2044 with no changes whatsoever. Even after this date it could still pay more than 75 percent of projected benefits long into the future (a level far higher than current benefits) even if no changes were ever made.

In fact, these projections show that Social Security is on a sounder financial footing today than it has been through most of its history since it can go 34 years with no changes being made at all. This was not true at any point in the first 40 years of the program's existence.

--Dean Baker

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