Fabricated Statistics


Just like with Enron's manipulation of public perception, the Federal Reserve, Treasury and government officials have been engaging in a shared narrative of growth and prosperity that is completely at odds with reality.  After listening to a Senate Finance Committee hearing on U.S. China Trade, I finally did a simple little research project on the social security numbers that were being produced by the Social Security Administration. 

From the SSA Annual Accountability Reports[1] beginning with the 1999 report and then picking up the current year from each of the subsequent reports, these are Social Security Tax Receipts in billions.

 1994     1995     1996    1997    1998   1999     2000     2001     2002     2003

340.8    356.2    381.2   405.3   432.0   462.7    501.7    528.2    537.7    546.8 

These numbers canít possible be true for 2001 and 2002 and 2003.  The U.S. economy had massive job loss during that timeframe.  Every job that has been exported, took it's tax base with it. So not only did the middle class person lose the job, the government lost the tax contribution. If you look at the corporate profits for the last couple of years and the accompanying increases in CEO pay, you'll see that the CEO's have received staggering increases in pay due to their increased profits.

The maximum that any one person pays into social security in any one year is 6,000. The millions of people who have lost jobs are no longer contributing or are contributing at a much lower rate if they were lucky enough to find a new job. The CEO that received millions of dollars in pay increases still only pays 6,000 per year.

So how would they falsify the statistics?   They would use a computer program - an economic model.  With models like this, you play 'what if' games to see what happens - if this variable changes or that variable changes.   And since nobody can really challenge them because they are the keepers of the statistics, they can pretty much say whatever they want.  On economic reports where they can't fudge the numbers, they simply stop reporting them - as they did with the mass layoffs report.

From Economic Policy Institute






[1] Sources for the social security tax revenues data: 

Tax Receipt Data for years 1994 through 1999
http://www.ssa.gov/finance/fy99acctrep.pdf         Adobe Pg 9     Saved pdf

Tax Receipt Data for 2000
        Adobe Pg 6     Saved pdf

Tax Receipts Data for 2001 and 2002              
      Adobe Pg 5     Saved pdf

Tax Receipt Data for 2003
http://www.ssa.gov/finance/2003/FY03_PAR.pdf   Adobe Pg 59    Saved pdf


Note:  the reports are no longer at the original location.  Fortunately I saved copies of the reports.  Click on the 'Saved pdf' for the copy.