Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously exposed the poor state of American politics and today's media.
While the entire panel on PBS's Inside Washington gushed and fawned over this week's bipartisan agreement to extend the payroll tax holiday through the rest of 2012, Krauthammer said it was like buying crack cocaine - "A payroll tax cut has no effect at all, it’s going to make people smile for, you know, eight or nine months" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As host Gordon Peterson brought the payroll tax holiday extension up laughing about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) finally capitulating on this issue, the rest of the panel - the Washington Post's Colby King, PBS's Mark Shield, and NPR's Nina Totenberg - predictably joined in the merriment.
Enter Krauthammer stage right:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This tells you how bad our politics have become. Everybody here is so delighted that we finally have a bipartisan agreement and are celebrating it over what? We have just, we have, for 16 billion-trillion dollars in debt. We just added 100 billion, on a payroll tax cut that every economist will tell you is not going to have any influence on the creation of jobs or helping our economy. It’s temporary, will have no effect. And you know how we are paying for some of the goodies in there? We are auctioning off spectrum.
Now, you ought to auction off spectrum anyway. However, the idea that you’re going to do that - this is a priceless commodity that the government is selling it off – is selling crown jewels, it’s selling the jewels to buy crack. A payroll tax cut has no effect at all, it’s going to make people smile for, you know, eight or nine months. It’ll be $100 billion, and we are selling auction to do that. That’s the state of our politics today, and we’re all happy because it was done on a bipartisan basis.
Indeed. There is nothing economically stimulative about extremely short term, temporary tax cut extensions, and every economist worth his or salt knows it.
If the White House resident were Republican, this entire panel would be outraged by the stupidity on display. But because the president is a Democrat these folks adore, they'll actually applaud tax cuts they typically disdain because it's seen as a win for him.
And that's the state of politics and the media today.
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