You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

November 04, 2011

Let's All Chip in and Buy the Washington Post Ombudsman a Subscription to the Washington Post

Part of the horrible article the Washington Post ran about Social Security this week said this: 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax collections for the first time since the early 1980s.

Now, Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury. This year, it will add a projected $46 billion to the nation’s budget problems, according to projections by system trustees. Replacing cash lost to a one-year payroll tax holiday will require an additional $105 billion.

And now the Washington Post ombudsman, in a defense of the article, said this:

[T]he trust fund is in balance and does not contribute to annual deficits...

However, with the payroll tax holiday enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama last year to boost the economy, less money is coming in. That law required this new gap to be covered not from the trust fund, but from the government’s general fund. That’s why Montgomery wrote that Social Security is now sucking money out of the Treasury. It is.

And, because more people are out of work and for longer periods in this financial crisis, payroll taxes are lower than planned. That puts more pressure on the trust fund to make up the gap in payments to current retirees by using the interests and proceeds from the bonds earlier and faster than anticipated in 1983.

So the article said that "Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury" because of the shortfall in payroll taxes due to the recession, AND because of the payroll tax holiday.

The Washington Post ombudsman claims the article said "Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury" not because of the shortfall in payroll taxes but purely due to the payroll tax holiday.

I realize this isn't the biggest thing in the world. (For more important aspects of the Post's gross attack on Social Security, see Dean Baker here and here.) But when people are angry about an article in the Washington Post, and the ombudsman writes about it, I don't think it's too much to ask the ombudsman to actually read it.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 4, 2011 09:21 PM

A papa gander, at a papa gander's nest, checking to see how well OUR goose is cooked---priceless! What a world!!!

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 5, 2011 10:12 AM

Sounds like the 1% lean on WP to keep them on message. They need the 99%'s Soc.Sec. money to fund the wars that make the 1% more egregiously wealthy by way of plunder.

Posted by: Dredd at November 5, 2011 03:50 PM

I'm very upset, because I never thought I'd hear somebody criticized here for not reading the Washington Post.

Posted by: N E at November 5, 2011 04:23 PM

Dredd, the WP is the 1%. There's no need to lean on it.

Posted by: Duncan at November 5, 2011 09:52 PM

It's funny no one was able to predict that the payroll-tax-holiday idea would be used as another weapon in the murder of SS...

Posted by: Earth at November 7, 2011 07:08 PM