Several AP Reports Bury Obama's Demand for Twice as Much in Tax Hikes

When it comes to reporting on the what the White House wants to achieve in talks with Congress about averting the "fiscal cliff," one apparent theme at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has been "Bury the lede about the size of Obama's tax increases." I'll cover another theme ("Let them get away with misstating the 'balanced approach'") in a later post.

President Obama now wants $1.6 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years, which is double the amount he sought during last year's debt-limit standoff. In ordinary times with a responsible press corps, such a massive change in posture would be headline-driving material, but not at AP, which appears to be doing its utmost to ensure that most Americans don't know about it while still being able to claim (sort of) that "Well, we told 'em."


Here are three AP reports from the past 24 hours which bury the news about the size and scope of Obama's tax increases. Also note that after being presented in the middle of an initial report, subsequent ones buried the tax increase news near the end (bolds are mine):

Nov. 14, 2:21 p.m., via Ken Thomas --

Obama pressing business and labor on fiscal cliff

In a challenge to Republicans, President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to extend expiring tax cuts immediately for all but the nation's highest income earners as a way to eliminate half of the so-called "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy back into recession.

... "A modest tax increase on the wealthy is not going to break their backs," Obama said. "They'll still be wealthy."

... (Paragraph 13 of over 25) White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president would bring to the table a proposal for $1.6 trillion in new taxes on business and the wealthy when he begins discussions with congressional Republicans, a figure that Obama outlined in his most recent budget plan. The targeted revenue is twice the amount Obama discussed with Republican leaders during debt talks during the summer of 2011.

Nov. 14, 4:50 p.m., via David Espo

OBAMA PRESSES GOP ON TAXING RICH TO AVERT 'CLIFF'

President Barack Obama challenged congressional Republicans Wednesday to let taxes rise on the wealthiest Americans on both economic and political grounds, noting he campaigned successfully for re-election on the point and contending it would instantly ease the threat of the "fiscal cliff" plunging the nation back into recession.

"A modest tax increase on the wealthy is not going to break their backs," Obama said of the nation's top income earners. "They'll still be wealthy," he said at his first news conference since winning a second term.

At the same time, the president stressed he was amenable to compromise on other approaches from Republicans who say they will refuse to raise tax rates. "I believe this is solvable," he said during the news conference.

... (Paragraph 23 of 24) White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president would bring to the table a proposal for $1.6 trillion in new taxes on business and the wealthy when he begins discussions with congressional Republicans, a figure that Obama outlined in his most recent budget plan. The targeted revenue is twice the amount Obama discussed with Republican leaders during debt talks during the summer of 2011.

Nov. 15, 4:50 a.m., no byline --

Obama challenges Republicans on taxing the rich, says best way to avoid 'fiscal cliff'

President Barack Obama opens face-to-face negotiations with Republican opponents in Congress at the end of the week, getting down to the messy business of finding common ground on U.S. government spending and taxes to ease a looming threat that could throw the country back into recession.

Obama has challenged Republicans to let taxes rise on the wealthiest Americans, insisting they join him in his campaign pledge to increase the burden on high-income earners while leaving substantial tax deductions in place for the middle class.

The president's remarks at a Wednesday news conference were his first extended public discussion of the issue that is dominating the postelection session of Congress. Known as the "fiscal cliff," the convergence of mandatory spending cuts and the expiration of tax cuts is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

"A modest tax increase on the wealthy is not going to break their backs," Obama said of the nation's top income earners at his first news conference since winning a second term. "They'll still be wealthy."

... Wall Street wasn't encouraged. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 185 points for the day.

... (Paragraph 16 of 17) White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president would bring to the table a proposal for $1.6 trillion in new taxes on business and the wealthy when he begins discussions with congressional Republicans, a figure that Obama outlined in his most recent budget plan. The targeted revenue is twice the amount Obama discussed with Republican leaders during debt talks during the summer of 2011.

So increasing taxes on everyone will hurt the economy, but doing so to those who are generally the most productive and are largely responsible for the job creation we've seen won't. I don't think so, guys.

This post's graphic is partially taken from one found here by "Colin Anderson."

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.