PolitiFact Checks Ed Schultz's Criticism of Marco Rubio on Social Security

TAMPA (2011-9-1) -

Are Social Security, Medicare and similar programs a crutch that "weakened our people"?

That's a question raised by Senator Marco Rubio during a recent speech at the Ronald Reagan Library.

"You saved for your retirement and for your future because you had to. … But all of that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. ... And as government crowded out the institutions in our society that did these things traditionally, it weakened our people," Rubio said.

MSNBC talk show host Ed Schultz took issue with that, saying Social Security keeps seniors from being destitute.

"And in Rubio's state of Florida alone, Social Security lifts more than -- count it -- a million people out of poverty," he said.

But PolitiFact Florida found Schultz's claim to be only half-true. First, he was misleading when he said his stats were from the U.S. Census Bureau -- they're actually from an analysis of Census data by a liberal think-tank.

Also, Schultz only looks at Social Security payments...the money that goes out to people...and not Social Security taxes.

PolitiFact says if Social Security was eliminated, the tax savings might help prevent some people from going into poverty.

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