Is the following headline true or false:
The answer is: false. Here's the complete story, a "speed read" at The Week:
The Social Security Administration has spent nearly $300 million over the course of six years on a new computer system to process 11 million Americans' disability claims. Now, a new report commissioned by the federal agency indicates that the system still doesn't work at all. After repeated delays, it is unknown when it will be complete, who is responsible for delivering the finished product, or what the final bill will be. A group of House Republicans blasted the failure in a letter Wednesday, calling the project an "IT boondoggle."
In spite of these major uncertainties, former Social Security assistant deputy commissioner Terrie Gruber, who has been appointed to review the project, took an optimistic perspective, saying, "We are absolutely committed to deliver this initiative and by implementing the recommendations we obtained independently, we think we have a very good prospect on doing just that."
A Pew Research Center poll from March revealed that millennials have a record lack of confidence in the beleaguered Social Security agency; more than half do not believe they will receive any Social Security benefits, and only 6 percent expect to get benefits at the rate current retirees receive them.- - Bonnie Kristian
My first thought was, "Is this just a reprinted press release from the GOP?" But that would be "unethical" in the eyes of good journalists. The ethical reporter puts together a balanced story by first quoting the other side (the SSA) and then a neutral party (Pew). Never mind that the last quote is totally irrelevant.
And so all the "good journalism" boxes are chalked. And yet it's a total lie.
The "who" of the story is not the SSA, it's Lockheed Martin! The "what" is nonsense" REALLY BIG NUMBER, blah blah, doesn't work blah, blah.
Why do I have to click the link to learn that SSA didn't do anything wrong except believe the empty promises of Lockheed Martin?
Real headline: Lockheed Martin Can't Write Software Worth A Damn.
Real story: The contract was 300 million over six years. The Social Security Agency has an operating budget of $12 billion dollars. One sixth of 300 million is 50 million per year, which works out to spending 0.4% of the budget on bad software.
In human terms, that is $200 bucks for a person with yearly spending of $50,000.
In other words, MicrosoftOffice. Do you think it works better or worse? Probably depends on which version of Windows you're running.