Former Associated Press writer Ron Fournier on Tuesday praised Barack Obama's call for higher taxes as "one of his best, a searing and historically poignant account of the greatest challenge of the American experiment: How do we give every citizen, rich or poor, a path to the good life?"
Fournier, now with National Journal, only seemed to lament that the President didn't go far enough: "Borrowed or not, Obama's rhetoric was worthy of [Theodore Roosevelt], who declared in his 1910 'square deal' address that the 'right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted.' But the comparison goes only so far: Obama's proposed solutions were a whisper of TR's agenda."
He mournfully concluded, "Obama gave a great speech. But the next TR? History doesn't repeat itself. In this case, it may not even rhyme."
Fournier's gushing analysis of Obama's Kansas speech skipped some "suspect facts" found by the Washington Post. At one point, Obama insisted, "Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1 percent — 1 percent. That is the height of unfairness."
Yet, the Post's Glenn Kessler pointed out, "An administration official conceded the White House had no actual data to back up the president’s assertion, but argued that other reports showed that some of the wealthy pay little in taxes."
See the Right Sphere for more.
When he was at the AP, Fournier lobbied for what he called "accountability journalism." This, apparently, means bigger government:
Katrina made a believer out of me. I had always known that The Associated Press played a role in holding public officials accountable, but it took a killer hurricane and an incompetent, arrogant government response to make me realize this is no mere role. It's an obligation, a liberating one at that.
The Iraq war, the war on terror, the federal budget deficit, the crushing cost of entitlements, the rising cost of health care, crumbling infrastructure and the horrendous state of the American public school system –- these and other generational crises must be addressed by the leaders we cover or future generations will suffer. So how do we hold our leaders accountable?