CBS Praises Obama Tax Cuts, Slammed Bush’s

Stimulus Bill, CBS On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric introduced a report on the Democrats’ so-called "stimulus" plan about to pass Congress: "And we'll tell you what's in it for you, including tax breaks...It's designed, in part, to get you spending again by giving you the money to do it." However, in July of 2001, when President Bush was trying to get tax cut legislation passed, then Evening News anchor Dan Rather warned: "...new worries that his big tax cuts, along with a shrinking budget surplus, are re-shaping the political and fiscal landscape of the country."

Following Couric, Correspondent Nancy Cordes touted the benefits of the tax cuts: "For restaurant owner Tom Glascow, and for most Americans, the new stimulus package serves up a variety of tax cuts...The biggest bit is a $400 credit for almost all workers. That comes out to about $13 a week, which may not sound like much, but consider this-" Glascow explained: "The bottom line is, is every little bit will help...Basically, what does my business good is people with disposable income that can spend a little extra on lunch on a daily basis."

Cordes went on to declare: "But the biggest winners may be low-income workers like Glascow's eight employees. The bill gives workers making as little as $3,000 a year, a check of $1,000 per child and gives a one-time payout of $250 to social security beneficiaries." The report featured Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, who further defended the tax breaks: "The poor spend almost any additional money they have coming in. They have lots and lots of needs relative to their incomes. They need every dollar they can have, and a new dollar in the door goes out pretty quickly."

Back in 2001, Katie Couric, then co-host of NBC’s Today, asked Bush advisor Karen Hughes if tax cuts should be "put on hold" due to budget deficits: "...the Bush administration is relying on a $5.6 trillion surplus over the next ten years. But there is no guarantee of that...So if that money, you know, for some reason isn't there and the debt isn't being paid down that the tax cut would be put on hold. What's wrong with that notion?"

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

6:30PM TEASE:

KATIE COURIC: That package will be approved just the same. And we'll tell you what's in it for you, including tax breaks.

6:34PM SEGMENT:

KATIE COURIC: Congress is expected to approve the economic stimulus plan by tomorrow. It's designed, in part, to get you spending again by giving you the money to do it. Nancy Cordes has details.

TOM GLASCOW: Cheeseburger, American, all the way, to go!

NANCY CORDES: For restaurant owner Tom Glascow, and for most Americans, the new stimulus package serves up a variety of tax cuts.

GLASCOW: The bottom line is, is every little bit will help.

CORDES: The biggest bit is a $400 credit for almost all workers. That comes out to about $13 a week, which may not sound like much, but consider this-

GLASCOW: Basically, what does my business good is people with disposable income that can spend a little extra on lunch on a daily basis.

CORDES: Americans will also get more tax breaks for making big purchases, up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers, while new car buyers can deduct the sales tax, and the college tax credit jumps from $1,800 a year to $2,500.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Two orders of fries?

CORDES: But the biggest winners may be low-income workers like Glascow's eight employees. The bill gives workers making as little as $3,000 a year, a check of $1,000 per child and gives a one-time payout of $250 to social security beneficiaries.

ROBERTON WILLIAMS [TAX POLICY CENTER]: The poor spend almost any additional money they have coming in. They have lots and lots of needs relative to their incomes. They need every dollar they can have, and a new dollar in the door goes out pretty quickly.

CORDES: The stimulus bill does little, however, to spur small business owners, like Glascow, to add to their payroll.

WILLIAMS: President Obama, during the campaign, proposed a $3,000 refundable tax credit for any business that hired an additional worker.

BARACK OBAMA: You are going to get a tax break.

WILLIAMS: But that's been dropped. That's not part of the stimulus package.

CORDES: And in today's tough environment, it's going to take a lot to convince employers to start hiring again. Americans could start to see that extra money in their pockets within a couple of months, but the big question is will the tax breaks continue once the economy improves? Congress could find it difficult to take those tax breaks back, Katie, once they've given them out.

COURIC: Alright, Nancy Cordes on Capitol Hill tonight. Nancy, thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC