Friday Mailbag: Manchester, Stereotypes and Social Security Math

The public editor’s take: That’s a tough one. Unquestionably, Ariana Grande has been through the worst possible tragedy that a performer, anyone, could endure. Unfortunately, her name in news stories is also a way of signaling the type of young girls that Grande’s concerts attract, and that the bomber presumably hoped to target. Hopefully the further we get from the attack the less frequently her name will be mentioned.

On Tuesday, President Trump released his budget proposal for 2018, titled, “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” Leading up to the release, The Times’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis penned a piece previewing the coming cuts. Hirschfeld Davis noted that the “wildly optimistic projections balance Mr. Trump’s budget, at least on paper, even though the proposal makes no changes to Social Security’s retirement program or Medicare, the two largest drivers of the nation’s debt.”

Several readers took issue with her description of Social Security, including Bill Coulter of Bloomington, Ind., who wrote, “Actually, Social Security is funded by payroll taxes entirely and contributes nothing to the national debt.”

We asked Hirschfeld Davis to explain her reasoning.

It is true that Social Security benefits are funded by payroll tax, but it has already started paying more in benefits than it takes in in payroll taxes (to the tune of $73 billion last year.) While it is still running an overall surplus and projected to be solvent for many years into the future, because of the retirement of the baby boomers (more benefits to be paid out) and the comparatively slower growth of the work force (less taxes paid in), it faces long-term fiscal problems. The government will have to find some way to meet those obligations. Here’s the latest Social Security Trustees Report for more detail.

The public editor’s take: That’s a very clear explanation that I…

Read the full article at the Original Source..

Back to Top