I found it ironic that the truth about Social Security came from FDR’s grandson.
James Roosevelt Jr. says, “There is a saying that if you repeat something often enough it becomes the truth.” Then later in the piece, he points out that “Social Security’s critics have been casting the same aspersions (an unfavorable or damaging remark; slander, which means a false and malicious statement) on the program for 75 years.” Source: Social Security’s Enduring Truths
I also learned that Social Security costs are funded out of its own dedicated revenue stream, which is paid by workers and employers. It does not and cannot borrow money to finance its operations. There is no deficit financing in Social Security and by the end of 2010, the fund had a positive balance of $2.6 trillion and enough money to pay full benefits through the year 2036.
How the media lies to manipulate us – length about one hour
Compare that with the US National Debt, which carries a negative balance of more than $14 trillion while Social Security has no debt and carries a positive balance, yet, thanks to echoes in the media and on the Internet, many people believe that Social Security is almost broke and is a burden to the taxpayer.
There is a lesson to be learned here.
Next time you hear or read something about China from a US politician, a critic of China or from the Western Media, do not accept it as the absolute truth. Check the facts first—that is, if you can find them under all the lies.
After all, in the US where freedom of the press is protected, that means lies are also protected as long as they do not slander another individual. Everything else is fair game for manufacturing the truth regardless of the facts.
Return to Free to Lie – Part 2 or start with Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.
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I never thought of it this way before. Freedom of speech is no excuse to lie and manipulate people, but how do we stop the abuse?
At one time, for about forty years, we had what was called the Fairness Doctrine that was enforced by a government agency. The Fairness Doctrine didn’t recension or ban free speech but it did require the media to allow both sides a chance to have equal time to debate and provide facts/evidence to support their opinions.
In the 1980s, President Reagan and his GOP majority did away with that law claiming that it violated their 1st Amendment rights. The Democrats attempted to bring it back under the first Bush and he vetoed it too.
My questions are: Why do Conservatives have to have total freedom to lie and not face the risk of being challenged in the free press? And is the traditional media really free when it’s owned by six huge corporations controlled by men like Rupert Murdock (Media Corp is the 2nd largest media empire on the plant and the Fox network and its news is part of that monster) who is a known neoconservative (they believe in the right to lie to manipulate public opinion) involved heavily in pushing his political beliefs through misinformation, propaganda and lies.
Just this week, Fox news and other media that Murdock controls has attacked the new (honest) mayor of New York for standing up against corruption that Murdock supports. You see, Murdock has formed a partnership with Bill Gates to dismantle America’s democratically run public schools and to do this they have been working together to demonize teachers, their unions and the public schools so enough people will believe the schools are failures—when they aren’t—so it will be easier to take them over and profit off taxpayers.
What kind of money are we talking about? Billions.
Almost one trillion dollars a year is at stake through state and federal taxes that are used to fund public education in 13,600 different democratically run school districts with almost 100,000 schools, more than four million teachers teaching more than 50 million children and these school districts are run through elected school boards. Remove the school board and turn the schools over to CEOs like Bill Gates and Rupert Murdock and then parents and voters have no say in how their schools are run while the robber barons and wolves of Sesame Street profit off those taxes to the tune of billions.
Excellent post! It’s true. No one can trust the media. Can we even trust the fact checkers? Keep up the great writing.
Take everything with a grain of salt. Compare conservative with liberal media. See what the fact checkers have to say. If they are pointing out lies from both sides, the odds are we can trust most of what they claim.
I’ve heard SS is built like a ponzi scheme. People pay money in, and that money goes to pay off the interest to other people. The only way I can see something like that fall apart is if the government cuts the money that’s being put in, and in essence it wouldnt fully pay off the interest owed to those former investors. Otherwise, if you just let it run normally, then it should operate and grow continuously and hopefully that growth will negate the inflation of the dollar, as such when you are 60 years old you’ll still be getting the same value of money back that you put in plus a little interest even if the value of the dollar has changed by then.
Yes, SS is sort of like a Ponzi scheme. I’ve never heard it put like that before but it is true.
Under the 1935 law that was voted in while FDR was president, what we now think of as Social Security only paid retirement benefits to the primary worker. In 1939, that law was changed adding survivors’ benefits and benefits for the retiree’s spouse and children. In 1956, disability benefits were added (meaning if someone was disabled before they were elligible to collect SS, they might be eligible for SS Disability. During the Vietnam War under President Johnson, the money paid into Social Security by America’s workers was “loaned” to the General Fund.
Then under President Reagan, another change allowed the IRS to start taxing SS payments. Before Reagan, SS was not taxed as income.
When SS reports that it has $2.7 trillion dollars that is based on those IOU loans to the Federal Government so SS relies on the government to make payments to SS so SS can pay the retired workers. In essence, back in the 1960s during the Vietnam War, SS was raided to pay for the Vietnam War and for President LBJ’s war on poverty, which meant the US government was giving away the money of the American worker to mostly people of color living in poverty and other poverty relief programs that came about during the Civil Rights era.
In fact, over the years, the original SS program that was voted into law under President FDR before World War II has been changed many times eroding its ability to pay the original recipients of the program—the American working class, who actually worked most of their lives and paid into SS. If the Federal Government defaults on its debts, million of retired US workers would be broke and might become homeless and starve.
So, essentially, the federal government can “invest” Social Security funds by lending them to itself, then spending that money on programs not related to Social Security (e.g., defense, foreign aid, education). The two houses of Congress also vote on their own pay raises, have the best retirement and medical plan in the country for themselves and their immediate family. From what I understand, all one has to do is get elected to the House of Representatives for one two-year term or to the Senate for one six-year term to qualify for life. If what I have read and heard is true, that means while the American working class has to work for most of their lives to collect a pension/SS, all a politican elected to one of the houses of Congress has to do is serve two or six years to qualify.
For example, I started working after school in the evenings and weekends at age 15 and worked 45 years compared to a person elected to either house of Congress who will be elligible for a retirement pension with full medical after he or she leaves the Congress even if he or she serves only one term.
When I retired from teaching as a public school teacher, I did not have any medical plan as part of that retirement and most teachers in the state I worked in do not receive a medical plan as part of the retirement package unless they pay for COBRA which is very expensive. Most teachers do have medical while working though. However, since I served in the US Marines and fought in Vietnam, I am eligible for medical through the VA so I was fortunate but teachers that did not serve in the American military and fight in one of its wars are mostly out of luck until they reach the age to sign up for Medicare.