Jan
17
2014

NYT: The Center Is Right in France

Are "economic experts" really gratified by French President Francois Hollande's economic policy ideas? The New York Times cites one, but it's not hard to find other economists who offer a very different take.

Nov
04
2013

Social Security Death Fraud EXPOSED!

washpost-dead-govt-checks

After reporting that "the government has trouble determining exactly which Americans are deceased," the Washington Post notes, almost as an afterthought, that the "vast majority" of deaths are recorded without incident.

Aug
28
2013

Washington Post: Big Government…Isn't That Big

wash-post-big-govt

The Washington Post wanted to show that big government was still big–but they wound up showing readers mostly the opposite.

Mar
15
2013

Washington Post's Austerity Backer, Still Trying

swiffer+unemployment+blackhole

The Washington Post's Howard Schneider asks, "In Europe's grand battle over growth vs. austerity, has Ireland proved that austerity works?" If so, keeping unemployment more than 10 percentage points above pre-recession levels is an odd sort of "working."

Feb
27
2013

CNN's Recipe for Italy: Austerity–No Matter What

Newsweek's Barbie Nadeau

CNN.com had an odd piece of analysis of the Italian election results, arguing that austerity "is necessary by any calculation to actually start moving Italy out of the recession." That's not the calculation of Paul Krugman, who for what its worth is a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

Feb
13
2013

Milbank Looks Forward to 'Bleak Times' Ahead

Why do we need "serious spending cuts"? Milbank assumes the answer is so obvious that it need not be explained–everyone knows the more cuts, the better. All the serious people, anyway.

Dec
19
2012

Journalists Back on the Chained Gang

Chicken Cow, by Egui_

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.

Dec
17
2012

John Boehner–Philosopher?

obama-boehner

Are John Boehner's ideas about tax cuts evidence of his "philosophy"? Or are they just misleading?

Sep
07
2012

Don't Call It 'Raising the Retirement Age,' Because That's Not What They're Doing

Barack Obama (photo by NASA/Bill Ingalls)

As Dean Baker noted (Beat the Press, 9/7/12), corporate media mostly missed one of the major pieces of news in President Barack Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention. Talking about the federal budget deficit, Obama said, "Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission." Then, as he talked about what he would and wouldn't do to reduce the deficit, he included this line: "And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it–not by turning it over to Wall Street." "Responsible steps to […]

Aug
21
2012

Niall Ferguson Can't Be Factchecked!

Niall Ferguson's Newsweek cover story "Hit the Road, Barack" has attracted lots of the wrong kind of attention. As Dean Baker put it: It's hard to believe that progressive bloggers didn't get together to pay Newsweek to run Niall Ferguson's piece on Obama. The thing is so shot full of easily identifiable errors no serious publication would ever allow it into print. But printed it was–a lengthy cover-story argument against re-electing Obama, based on an array of charts and economic facts that the Harvard professor believes bolster his case. The first–and arguably most important–error was flagged in a blog post […]

Jun
15
2012

Millionaire Pundit: Public Sector Pensions Are the Real Threat

CNN host and Time columnist Fareed Zakaria is no doubt a wealthy guy. He reportedly gets paid $75,000 for one hour speeches. Who has that kind of money? As CJR recently noted: Over the years, he has been retained for speeches by numerous financial firms, including Baker Capital, Catterton Partners, Driehaus Capital Management, ING, Merrill Lynch, Oak Investment Partners, Charles Schwab and T. Rowe Price, according to the website of the Royce Carlton speakers bureau. All of which brings us to his new column in Time magazine, where he rails against the cushy pensions of public sector workers and slams […]

Apr
10
2012

Samuelson's Social Security Screed

Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson really doesn't like Social Security and Medicare. And he'll go a long way to argue that they're wasteful, inefficient forms of welfare. (See Extra!, 10/11.) But his arguments rarely hold up. His most recent column (4/9/12) is no exception; in fact, it recycles a totally misleading factoid from a column he wrote last year. Samuelson's column has problems from top to bottom–you can read Dean Baker's dismantling of it at his Beat the Press blog: There is no trust fund, benefits cuts are necessary and inevitable, there are too many retirees supported by not very […]

Mar
27
2012

Progressive Budget vs. Paul Ryan, Round 2

Last year Republican Rep. Paul Ryan presented a budget plan that was, according to one analysis, full of "dubious assertions, questionable assumptions and fishy figures." But Ryan's brand of budget austerity makes the media swoon–hence we saw coverage (FAIR Media Advisory, 4/12/11) of Ryan's "piercing blue eyes" that dubbed him "a PowerPoint fanatic with an almost unsettling fluency in the fine print of massive budget documents." Ryan's budget was never going to be adopted, but its release was widely covered across the corporate media. He was given credit for presenting a plan to reduce government deficits, even though his plan […]