Bashir Falsely Claims British and Spanish Recessions Are ‘Romney-Ryan Budget in Action’ - Omits They Raised Taxes

There ought to be a law against newscasters blatantly lying to the public.

On Monday, MSNBC's Martin Bashir falsely claimed the economic plans put forth by Great Britain and Spain are "the Romney-Ryan budget in action...almost exactly, word for word" without informing his viewers that those countries raised taxes to fight their deficits (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MARTIN BASHIR: The great thing about Mitt Romney’s plan for the economy is that he doesn’t need to be elected for us to see it in action. We don’t need to see a President Romney in order to witness the effect of his policies. Just take a look across the Atlantic at Europe, and there, as clear as day, is the Romney-Ryan budget in action.

Mr. Romney in his 59 point plan, and his affirmation of what he calls Mr. Ryan’s marvelous budget, would do the following: cut corporate taxes, reduce government spending, and decimate regulations. This is almost exactly, word for word, what the British and Spanish governments have been doing for the last eighteen months. Political leaders in both those countries have said that tackling the deficit is their central priority, and they’ve gone about it with gusto.

And now, the results are in. Last week, the United Kingdom announced that it’s back in recession. And today, the Spanish government officially accepted that it too is back in recession.

In Britain, in the first three months of 2012, the economy shrank by 0.2 percent. At the same time, the rate of inflation is not at 3.5 percent. In Spain, their economy shrank by 0.3 percent and unemployment is now at a record 24.4 percent. This is the Romney-Ryan plan for America as already imposed in Europe. And what you get is a double-dip recession.

But before you breathe a sigh of relief that the President has thankfully taken a different path, the biggest worry of all is that Europe’s troubles may soon become contagious and eventually reach us here in America. Which begs the question: if a serious contractible disease is known to be percolating in a particular area, do you go there or do you avoid it like the plague?

That’s the question that Americans will answer this November, and don’t say you haven’t been warned.

"The Romney-Ryan budget in action...almost exactly, word for word."

With one glaring exception: Great Britain and Spain have been raising taxes NOT cutting them as Bashir noted Romney and Ryan advocate.

As Britain's Financial Times reported in February 2010, that nation imposed a 50 percent tax rate on high wage earners that went into effect in April of that year. Months later, Britain increased sales taxes as well as imposed levies on banks.

As the British Telegraph reported this February, the income tax hike on the "rich" resulted in far less revenues than was expected.

Now we know that these moves likely also sent the United Kingdom right back into a recession.


As for Spain, it raised taxes in 2009 and again in 2011.

Do either of these economic plans appear to be "the Romney-Ryan budget in action...almost exactly, word for word?"

As Romney and Ryan both want to cut taxes, the answer is an upper-case "NO!"

I therefore call on the heads of MSNBC, NBC, Comcast, and General Electric to bring an immediate end to this misinformation.

Newscasters are supposed to report facts whenever possible, not intentionally mislead their viewers.

For Bashir to equate Britain and Spain's economic plans to Romney and Ryan's when the former raise taxes while the latter cut taxes is the height of dishonesty that would not be accepted in any other industry in this nation.

If MSNBC wants to continue referring to itself as a news organization and not just an entertainment arm of NBC, it needs to begin to immediately act like one.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.