Couric to Push Candidates to Agree Tax Hike Needed to Pay for Iraq?

Previewing her questions next week for her “Primary Questions: Character, Leadership & The Candidates” series in which she runs clips of ten presidential candidates from both parties answering the same question, Katie Couric on Thursday night showed herself asking Joe Biden: “With the country fighting a costly war and going deeper into debt should the American people be expected to sacrifice more, and if so, specifically how?” Couric didn't specifically cite raising taxes, and so maybe by some miracle a candidate will suggest cutting government programs, but “sacrifice” is the common media code word for raising taxes. After the Minneapolis bridge collapse in early August, with a logical implication that taxes would have to be increased, Couric set up a CBS Evening News story by wondering “are taxpayers ready to spend the billions, maybe trillions, it would take to fix all the pipelines, tunnels and bridges?”

The other question she previewed: “Do they think the warnings about climate change are overblown or not?” The question all the candidates answered on Thursday's CBS Evening News: “What are you most afraid of losing?” Earlier questions asked the ten contenders to name their “most influential person” and “biggest mistake.”

My August 2 NewsBusters posting recounted:
Neglecting any thought about cutting spending anywhere within the federal budget, for instance some of the soaring entitlement spending, CBS's Katie Couric on Thursday night wondered if taxpayers are "ready to spend" the "trillions" needed to repair the nation's infrastructure. Couric's assumption about higher taxes came as she introduced an August 2 CBS Evening News story from Nancy Cordes on the estimate by the American Society of Civil Engineers, a group obviously in favor of additional public works project spending, that it will cost $1.6 trillion to address infrastructure needs. Live from Minneapolis, Couric asked: "Experts have been warning for years that this country's infrastructure is crumbling. But are taxpayers ready to spend the billions, maybe trillions, it would take to fix all the pipelines, tunnels and bridges?"
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center