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T.G. Magin, Fargo, Published January 24 2013

Letter: Fuzzy math on Social Security, debt can confuse Forum readers

The Forum’s recent Washington Post analysis on the national debt was thought-provoking, especially considering the headline, “Social Security, Medicare payments make up the bulk” of the national debt. The article explains this is so because “an increasingly large portion of the debt is money that the government owes itself because of borrowing from large entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.”

It is this kind of shallow thinking and fuzzy arithmetic that keeps your readers confused, the two-party circus in control, the economy dependent on government debt and our system ever more frequently on the brink of collapse.

The truth is, working people have paid into the Social Security Trust Fund, and it is solvent by all accounts for decades to come ... except for the funds the politicians have used/borrowed to pay for unjustified/unfunded wars, bailouts for the big bankers and Wall Street, and military machinery we are told we need in order to keep America safe from millions of people who hate us worldwide because of how self-righteous and un-Christian we have become.

The problem is not Social Security spending; it is the news media, the corrupted two-party system and the deeply entrenched denial process that passes for accountability, journalism and analysis these days.

Social Security payments do not contribute a penny to the national debt. The problem is money borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund by politicians of both parties to pay for 30 years of ill-advised tax cuts and wasteful spending increases.

The so-called fiscal cliff is, in fact, reality catching up to them, and all of us. Blaming Social Security may be simple to sell and easier to swallow than dealing with the truth, but the fact is we have no accountability in Washington and no honest debate about the real issues because of media misinformation like the Washington Post article published in The Forum.

The Forum must do better because we depend on it for content and context regarding these important subjects.