MSNBC's Shuster falsely claimed Social Security "will run out of money unless we make some major changes, at least in the next several years"

››› ››› LILY YAN

On MSNBC Live, David Shuster stated that Social Security "will run out of money unless we make some major changes, at least in the next several years." In fact, according to the 2008 reports by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2041, at which point it will be able to cover 78 percent of benefits if no legislative changes are made. It will not "run out of money ... in the next several years," or in 2041.

On the September 18 edition of MSNBC Live, correspondent David Shuster stated, "[T]oday, we're taking a look at the issue of saving Social Security, which will run out of money unless we make some major changes, at least in the next several years." In fact, the 2008 Social Security trustees' report forecast that Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2041, and according to the same report, the Social Security program will not "run out of money" when the trust fund is depleted in 2041, as Media Matters for America previously noted based on the report's 2007 data.

The 2008 trustees' report explained that Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2041, at which point it will be able to cover 78 percent of benefits if no legislative changes are made, and further noted that "[e]ven if a trust fund's assets are exhausted ... tax income will continue to flow into the fund":

Redemption of trust fund assets will allow continuation of full benefit payments on a timely basis until 2041, when the trust funds are projected to become exhausted. This redemption process will require a flow of cash from the General Fund of the Treasury. Pressures on the Federal Budget will thus emerge well before 2041. Even if a trust fund's assets are exhausted, however, tax income will continue to flow into the fund. Present tax rates are projected to be sufficient to pay 78 percent of scheduled benefits after trust fund exhaustion in 2041 and 75 percent of scheduled benefits in 2082.

From the 4 p.m. ET hour of the September 18 edition of MSNBC Live:

SHUSTER: And welcome back to MSNBC, the place for politics. Barack Obama is out with a new campaign ad in the battleground state of Michigan, and he's taking direct aim at John McCain on the issue of privatizing Social Security.

NARRATOR [video clip]: A broken economy, failing banks, unstable markets, families struggling. To protect us in retirement, Social Security has never been more important. But John McCain's voted three times in favor of privatizing Social Security. McCain says, "I campaigned in support of President Bush's proposal."

SHUSTER: And this brings us to our daily segment we call "Where They Stand." And today, we're taking a look at the issue of saving Social Security, which will run out of money unless we make some major changes, at least in the next several years.

Posted In
Economy, Social Security
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
David Shuster
Show/Publication
MSNBC Live
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