Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Ok last night's debate was about as boring as it gets thanks to Mr. Brokaw and his sad attempt at moderating. I noticed this out in the blogs and I have to agree completely:

If Social Security Was a Private Corporation Then it Would Sue Tom Brokaw for Every Penny He Has

If a news reporter deliberately makes a false statement claiming that a private company like Boeing or Microsoft is going broke, the company has the right to sue the reporter and the news agency. That is why reporters rarely make statements like Microsoft or Boeing (or Lehman Brothers, AIG, or Goldman Sachs) are going broke.

However, reporters can freely impugn the financial health of a government program like Social Security because a government program cannot sue for libel. That is why Brokaw knew that he could imply that Social Security is going broke, even though it is not true. Social Security cannot sue Brokaw even if he deliberately tells explicit lies about its financial health.

Those who are interesting in learning about the true state of Social Security's financial health can find out by looking at the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's website.
--Dean Baker

Social Security can be addressed as an issue and I think it's a good point to bring up in a debate like this, but the way Brokaw stated the question, he made it out like SS will fold in two years if the candidates don't immediately jump on it. He didn't ask if they had any opinion on the state of social security he asked:

Since the rules are pretty loose here, I'm going to add my own to this one. Instead of having a discussion, let me ask you as a coda to that. Would you give Congress a date certain to reform Social Security and Medicare within two years after you take office? Because in a bipartisan way, everyone agrees, that's a big ticking time bomb that will eat us up maybe even more than the mortgage crisis.

Everyone agrees? The Congressional Budget Office doesn't agree with that statement. WTF is wrong with this picture?

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