Dec
12
2012

Politico Reveals Shocking Economic Truths

politco-boom2

Politico has discovered the perfect fix for the American economy–a set of policies that would create a jobs boom,if our political leaders would summon the courage to act. What's the plan? Cut Social Security and Medicare, lower corporate taxes, and encourage more fracking.

Aug
10
2011

WaPo Misleads on Dem's 'Super Committee' Picks

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has named his picks to the "super committee" charged with making deficit reduction recommendations. Reid named Washington Sen. Patty Murray and center-right Max Baucus, who the Post's Rosalind Helderman today (8/10/11) calls a "natural choice," given that he chairs the Finance Committee. The New York Times is a little more helpful, pointing out that Baucus broke with other Democrats and supported tax cuts enacted in 2001 under President George W. Bush. He also worked with Republicans in 2003 to pass legislation that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. This is important for anyone who […]

Aug
10
2011

Barney Frank Questions the Questions at NPR

It's an article of faith in mainstream media discussions of the budget: Social Security and Medicare are the "entitlements" driving our debt problems. That's not really true, but that's overwhelmingly the starting point for these discussions. Occasionally, perhaps by accident, someone questions that assumption. That's what happened on NPR's Morning Edition on Monday (8/8/11), when Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass.) was interviewed by Steve Inskeep about, among other things, the entitlement burden. Read what happened–or listen to the excerpt below: INSKEEP: Congressman, if I can, we've just got a few seconds. You have mentioned defense spending. You've mentioned tax increases. Those […]

Jun
01
2011

ABC's Karl: There's No Dem Plan for Medicare (Except for the New Law)

The roundtable panel on ABC's This Week (5/29/11) spent some time talking about the politics of Medicare, specifically the idea that the recent Democratic victory in a special Congressional election in New York could mean that Paul Ryan's Medicare plan might be a tremendous liability for the GOP. One of the most prevalent talking points from the Republican side is to complain that while Ryan's plan might have its flaws, at least they have something–unlike the Democrats. It was a point that ABC reporter Jonathan Karl passed along as fact: [Bill Clinton] said that I hope Democrats don't use this […]

Apr
04
2011

'Revamping' Medicare? The Word They're Looking for Is 'Slashing'

Few pieces better illustrate the uselessness of so much corporate media political journalism than Kathleen Hennessey's piece in the L.A. Times (4/4/11) on Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's deficit reduction plan. The piece is headlined "House Republican Budget Plan Would Revamp Medicare," and the lead explains that the GOP budget proposal outlined by Ryan "includes an overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid and would aim to chop at least $4 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade.""Revamp," an "overhaul"–well, that sounds good, doesn't it? How does Ryan plan to do that, exactly? Despite reporting that Ryan's "broad overview" offered "the […]

Jan
25
2011

Bob Herbert Slams Social Security Dishonesty; Times Reporters, on the Other Hand…

Bob Herbert, today in the New York Times (1/25/11): There has always been feverish opposition on the right to Social Security. What is happening now, in a period of deficit hysteria, is that this crucial retirement program is being dishonestly lumped together with Medicare as an entitlement program that is driving federal deficits. He's right. Where did I last readsomeone trying to pull off thatdishonest accounting? Oh yeah–it was in yesterday's New York Times. Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported on a poll that found people unwilling to support cuts to Medicare and Social Security, the programs that directly touch millions of […]

Jan
24
2011

NYT Disappears Public Support for Military Spending Cuts

Today the New York Times reports on the debate over spending, deficits and the State of the Union (1/24/11): The public itself seems split, or perhaps confused. Americans overwhelmingly say that in general, they prefer cutting government spending to paying higher taxes, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll published last week. Yet their preference for spending cuts, even in programs that benefit them, dissolves when they are presented with specific options related to Medicare and Social Security, the programs that directly touch millions of lives and are the biggest drivers of the long-term deficit. Social Security is not […]

Sep
16
2009

Real Journalism Still Exists — Outside of ABC

While within the power-friendly environs of the corporate-funded Newseum, congressmembers John D. Rockefeller IV, Tim Pawlenty and Mary L. Landrieu probably felt pretty good about their ability to field such softballs from ABC's George Stephanopoulos as "What's the problem with the public health option?" But upon leaving corporate TV's criticism-free zone, where such lies as Rockefeller's statement that "Medicare is gonna start going broke in 2017, which is like the day after tomorrow," pass completely unchallenged, they each were questioned by real-life journalist Sam Husseini of WashingtonStakeout.com (9/15/09). Compare the treatment described above with Husseini's calm but determined questioning of […]