Mudcat Café message #1391946 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1391946
Posted By: Amos
28-Jan-05 - 10:54 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Media is advancing Bush administration's faulty argument on Social Security's race inequalities

Reporters and commentators have unquestioningly presented, or even promoted, the Bush administration's faulty argument for Social Security privatization that blacks are disadvantaged under the current system and that Bush's proposal for private accounts would address that purported inequity. But the General Accounting Office (GAO) and two Social Security Administration (SSA) actuaries have undermined that claim.

In covering President Bush's January 25 meeting with black leaders, several news reports repeated the administration's claim that the current Social Security program is unfair to blacks, but did not note any of the evidence debunking it. On January 25, Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler provided the administration's account while neglecting to report evidence refuting the claim that private accounts will especially benefit blacks; New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller continued the trend January 26.

Los Angeles Times staff writers Peter Wallsten and Richard Simon, on the other hand, noted in a January 26 article some of the reasons private accounts could hurt blacks: "[Congressional Black] Caucus leaders contend that blacks rely disproportionately on disability and survivors benefits paid by Social Security, and that Bush's changes would jeopardize the entire system -- hurting black beneficiaries far more than the private accounts might help them."

In a January 25 report on FOX News' Special Report with Brit Hume, chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron reported the "administration selling point" that "because blacks on average do not live as long as whites, African Americans could get a fairer share of the retirement pie with the investment nest egg." On the January 24 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, nationally syndicated radio host Limbaugh declared: "If Social Security is all screwed up here because it discriminates on race and gender, it's broken! ... Can we all admit we need to fix it?"