The "center" doesn't usually indicate where most of the public is, but rather where elites have determined an appropriate middle between opposing arguments.
Decrying "the ability of well-funded extremist groups to thwart the will of the overwhelming majority," Time's Joe Klein cites defenders of Social Security–who, of course, are trying to thwart the will of an overwhelming minority.
Covering the media's rush to misjudgment on the Boston Marathon attack, which acts of terrorism are called "terrorism," and PBS's "debate" over Social Security–in which both sides call Obama "brave" for trying to cut benefits.
On the PBS NewsHour (4/12/13), the left/right debating duo of Mark Shields and David Brooks took up the issue of Social Security and "chained CPI"–and found that they didn't have a lot to debate on the virtues of Barack Obama's benefits-cutting plan.
"Today there's an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block…. That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war."
Media remember Margaret Thatcher for turning around Britain's economy. But do the numbers tell a different story? Also: Barack Obama's plan to cut Social Security and Medicare is inexplicably deemed a move to the "center," and pundits are monitoring the 2016 election by paying close attention to… Hillary Clinton's haircut?
The new White House budget proposal is getting a lot of attention because it explicitly connects the Obama administration to an agenda that includes cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits. Some pundits see this as a way to appeal to the "middle." But does anyone– in the middle or anywhere else–really want to cut the safety net?
Here's a proposal for Social Security that was on the New York Times' op-ed page yesterday (2/20/13): The top third of beneficiaries (by lifetime income) [would] receive no annual cost-of-living adjustment in retirement. The middle third would get half of today’s adjustment, and the bottom third would receive the same annual increase they do now. Such a reform…would reduce Social Security spending by more than a tenth over a decade and fix the program’s long-term financing. This is part of Paul Ryan adviser Yuval Levin's attempt to find "common ground" on the entitlement issue: "Both sides should agree at least [...]
Tom Friedman wrote a column about how government policies are harming the recovery. What we need is some kind of grand bargain to, as the headline puts is, "unparalyze" the economy and spur new growth. What's that mean? Cuts to Social Security and Medicare, along with "tax reform."
This week on FAIR TV: Can Chuck Hagel really be considered anti-war? Pundits are mad about the fiscal cliff tax deal–they wanted more Social Security and Medicare cuts. And Murdoch's New York Post made another attempt to link Occupy Wall Street to crime–and other media outlets went along.
Don't expect much help from corporate media on understanding the "Chained CPI," because selling the "grand bargain" requires citizens not really knowing what this part of the deal entails.
What should the U.S. do about the so-called "fiscal cliff"? Who better to ask than Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, "one of the world's most influential bankers"? That's what CBS Evening News must have been thinking, anyway, when they did a segment last night (11/19/12) all about Blankfein's opinions. CBS's Scott Pelley began: "When we asked Blankfein how to reduce the federal budget deficit, he went straight for the subject that politicians don't want to talk about." BLANKFEIN: You're going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people's expectations. The entitlements, and what people think that they're going to [...]
Time magazine's Joe Klein found the lesson (11/7/12) in Obama's re-election. And it involves… wait for it… moving to the right: It will, and should, be argued that the election was a mandate for moderation. The last month of Mitt Romney‘s campaign, when he rushed to the center and suddenly made it a race, ratified the real will of the people: a sensible centrism that runs deeper than the over-caffeinated bluster that seems to dominate the media. The election hinted that the third rail of American politics–the certain death that comes to those who question entitlement programs like Social Security [...]