Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Social Security Zombie Lies

Most Americans actually believe they won't receive any Social Security benefits at all. Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum has a nifty chart illustrating the results from a recent Gallup poll that show six in 10 people don't think they'll get a dime from Social Security. Drum concludes

That's loony tunes territory, and it's now what most Americans believe.

Dean Baker believes that a concerted public relations campaign by investment banker Pete Peterson is undermining Americans' confidence in Social Security.

Peterson, a Wall Street investment banker, has pledged $1 billion to a foundation that has cutting Social Security and Medicare as its major goals. He has spoken widely around the country telling people that Social Security is going broke and that it has no trust fund. He has enlisted prominent political figures, including former President Bill Clinton in this effort.

Baker points out that other groups are eroding support for Social Security, including President Obama's deficit commission.

Duncan Black, who blogs under the Atrios handle, refutes additional Social Security Zombie Lies.

No, life expectancy at age 65 has not changed all that much, and those changes were anticipated.

No, the beneficiary/taxpayer ratio is not an important issue.

No, you can't do better investing the money in private sector funds (and people wouldn't do it anyway. 25-year-olds do not save 15% of their gross for retirement).