Thursday, July 7, 2011

How Not to Report the "News"

I would have thought that since NPR is not a commercial enterprise it wasn't under pressure to maintain "party line" and pretend that there is a balance between Republican and Democratic politicians, policies, etc.

It is really disappointing to see that they are "inventing" news to give the impression that Republicans are willing to "compromise" on the debt degotiations. Here is an interesting post by Dean Baker in his Beat the Press blog:
NPR decided to do a cutesy piece in which it implied that the debate over the debt ceiling amounted to the semantics of what constitutes a tax increase. It told listeners that there appears to be some movement by Republicans who are now willing to consider the elimination of some tax breaks, although these would have to be offset by reductions in tax rates. In other words, there would be no increase in revenue.

This is ZERO movement. Most Republicans have been on record as being willing to go along with the elimination of some tax breaks in exchange for a reduction in rates. In fact, this is the explicit goal of the Ryan plan which lowers tax rate but promises to offset with the elimination of trillions of dollars of unspecified tax breaks. This bill was approved by the Republicans in the House with just 4 Republicans voting no. It also garnered near unanimous support from Republicans in the Senate.

In short, the notion that there has been some change in the Republican position so that they are now willing to consider tax increases is a complete invention of NPR. It badly misled its listeners with this piece.
The tragedy for the American people is that their politicians are down in the weeds with this low priority "debt" stuff while they should be working on the number one issue: jobs and getting the economic recovery booming. Any deficit reduction should be looking at the time frame of 2015-2025. Right now the main -- and only -- issue is to get the US economy back to full employment.

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