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 […]

Jul
02
2009

Climate Bill Damned but Military Budget Untouchable

Reacting to media noise over the economic costs of the Waxman-Markey environmental bill currently before the U.S. Congress, Dean Baker (ZNet, 7/1/09) looks to the damages of a different annual spending bill, this one perpetually unexamined in corporate news: Global Insight projected that after 20 years of higher defense spending, annual car sales would be down by more than 700,000. Housing starts would be almost 40,000 lower. Exports would be 1.8 percent lower and imports would be 2.7 percent higher, leading to a trade deficit that was almost $200 billion larger. The model also projected that there would be nearly […]

Apr
20
2009

MSNBC's 'Train Has Left the Station'–and Left Truth Behind

Political Animal blogger Steve Benen (4/8/09) asks if maybe it's "Already Too Late for the Truth" in cable news coverage of U.S. military spending, considering that directly "after Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled his recommendations for restructuring military spending–and boosting the Pentagon budget by $21 billion (4 percent)–the response was immediate: The Obama administration is trying to cut defense in a time of war. It wasn't true. It didn't matter." Quoting a former defense secretary telling MSNBC viewers a "clearly false" tale of "deep cuts in military spending," Benen notes that anchor Contessa Brewer had asked him "to address the […]

Mar
31
2009

Plane Crash Begets Military Budget 'Booster-Baloney'

News reports on a March 25 F-22 crash in Mojave, Calif., that "contained some strange assertions about the cost of the F-22" have budget myth-buster Winslow Wheeler (Military.com, 3/28/09) decrying the "utter hogwash" that reporters printed "possibly based on the price asserted in the Air Force's 'fact' sheet on the F-22 that was linked to a Pentagon 'news' story on the crash." Wheeler demonstrates how the uncritical dissemination of the assertion therein–that "the cost per aircraft was typically described in many media articles as about $140 million"–means that "the tragic event was apparently used to disseminate some booster-baloney": The latest […]