Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Scrutinizing PFA's Social Security Ad

Progress For America's Social Security reform ad distills the issue better than anything else I've seen. Here's the text (transcribed by me):

It took courage to create Social Security. [FDR:] "This Social Security measure..." It'll take courage and leadership to protect it. Once, 16 workers supported 1 retiree [1950]. But when today's workers retire, only 2 workers will support 1 retiree. Washington must strengthen Social Security. No changes for those at or near retirement. But younger workers should have the option of a personal savings account. Call Congress today. Urge them to strengthen Social Security...for everyone.

16-to-1 in 1950, 2-to-1 when our kids retire. Is that true? Annenberg's FactCheck.org looks into this very ad, and finds...

Where it states facts, the PFA ad gets it essentially right. ... To be strictly accurate the ad should have said "beneficiaries" instead of "retirees." ... But the central point is quite true -- demographic trends make it certain that the current system cannot be maintained without increasing taxes or cutting the growth of future benefits.

So the ad stands to scrutiny. For more info, see SSA's own publications, The Future of Social Security, and the 2004 Trustees Report, particularly the conclusion.


(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)

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