The facts are finally starting to catch up to President Bush. Despite his and his administration’s incessant efforts to portray the Social Security system as on death’s door, and on the verge of collapse unless his radical revisions are undertaken, facts are facts. What Bush is saying is false — and more and more mainstream media outlets are starting to talk openly about it.
The NY Times. Time magazine. MSNBC. CBS. They’re all starting to use words like "not true," "not in crisis," and even "plain wrong" when discussing Bush’s talking points on social security. Have the bloggers (Josh Marshall and the Daily Howler in particular), who have done such great work debunking the administration’s line on this, had an effect? Hard to say. But whatever the cause, the result is excellent. The genie is out of the bottle, and it’s going to really, really tough for the Bushies to put it back in. (Don’t think that they won’t keep trying, though — here’s the latest outrage, in which the Social Security Administration itself is being forced to shill for its own destruction.)
If you haven’t gotten into the nuts and bolts of social security yet, you should do so now. This is a really, really big debate, and it’s important to understand the details so that you can cut through the bullshit. Today’s NY Times Magazine article is a very good place to start — it provides a historical overview as well as important facts about the numbers and how the finances work.