AP falsely claimed Social Security program "is forecast to run out of money around 2041"


In a November 19 Associated Press article, reporter Beth Fouhy wrote that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "have traded barbs over" the Social Security program, which she identified as "the retirement program for seniors ... forecast to run out of money around 2041." Fouhy's assertion, however, is false -- as Media Matters for America has noted several times; while the most recent Social Security trustees' report forecasts that the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted by 2041, according to the same report, the program will not "run out of money" when the trust fund is depleted.

The trustees' report explains: "Even if a trust fund's assets are exhausted ... tax income will continue to flow into the fund." The report adds that, for Social Security, under current law, "[p]resent tax rates would be sufficient to pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits after trust fund exhaustion in 2041 and 70 percent of scheduled benefits in 2081."

From Fouhy's November 19 article:

Polls show Clinton locked in a tight race with Obama and Edwards in Iowa more than six weeks before the state holds its caucuses Jan. 3. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Obama with 30 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers and Clinton with 26 percent and Edwards with 22 percent. The poll showed that about half of Clinton supporters said they had never attended a caucus; 43 percent of Obama supporters said this would be their first caucus. The finding is significant because voters considered the most reliable caucus participants are those who have caucused before.

Clinton, in her speech, also tackled the issue of Social Security.

In recent weeks, Clinton and Obama have traded barbs over the retirement program for seniors, which is forecast to run out of money around 2041. Presently, the first $97,500 in individual income is subject to the Social Security tax -- a level Obama has said must be increased in order to keep the program solvent.

Posted In
Economy, Social Security
Associated Press
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.