CBS's Erica Hill invoked an infamous Christmas season villain on Wednesday's Early Show, stating that "[House] Republicans...risk looking like the Grinch here four days before Christmas" for their refusal to sign onto the Senate's proposed two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday. Hill made that claim during an interview of Rep. Michele Bachmann, and pressed her about the payroll tax issue.
The anchor brought on Rep. Bachmann to discuss her presidential campaign's swing through Iowa during the lead-up to that state's caucuses at the beginning of January. However, Hill devoted the first half of the segment to the dispute over extending the tax holiday, and led with a question that included her "Grinch" label:
George Will on Sunday marvelously told liberal economist Robert Reich something that many conservatives have been dying to say for years.
During a fascinating Right vs. Left debate on ABC's This Week, after Reich predictably pined for higher income tax rates to solve all that ails us, Will struck back with the line of the weekend, "You are a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"You know, the president's been calling for bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, I'm not sure that he meant for the two of you to get together and go up against his signature program," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell complained at the conclusion of a chat with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on today's Andrea Mitchell Reports.
Mitchell had the senators on to discuss their opposition to extending the 2011 payroll tax holiday.
For conservatives, one of the bright spots of the Occupy Wall Street protests was when millionaire investor Peter Schiff went down to Zuccotti Park with video camera and a sign reading "I Am The 1% - Let's Talk."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Schiff by telephone in a sweeping interview about his experience at OWS, how the financial media are doing, and ending with his rather frightening view of the economy and the future of our nation (video follows with transcript):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday perfectly demonstrated that he is willing to contentiously debate issues with conservative guests without regard for the truth.
In the middle of a Hardball segment about the Democrat proposal to extend the payroll tax holiday, Matthews ignorantly accused the far more knowledgeable Ron Christie of "complicating" the discussion leading his guest to marvelously respond, "Of course, the facts get in the way of a good narrative" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman - might he finally be realizing that our budget deficits can't possibly be solved by just eliminating the Bush tax cuts? - is now calling for marginal rates even higher than when Bill Clinton was in office:
Politicians who are principled enough to point out the fraud of Social Security, referring to it as a lie and Ponzi scheme, are under siege. Acknowledgment of Social Security's problems is not the same as calling for the abandonment of its recipients. Instead, it's a call to take actions now, while there's time to avert a disaster. Let's look at it.
The term was derived from the scheme created during the 1920s by Charles Ponzi, a poor but enterprising Italian immigrant. Here's how it works. You persuade some people to give you their money to invest. After a while, you pay them a nice return, but the return doesn't come from investments. What you pay them with comes from the money of other people whom you've persuaded to "invest" in your scheme. The scheme works so long as you can persuade greater and greater numbers of people to "invest" so that you can pay off earlier "investors." After a while, Ponzi couldn't find enough new investors, and his scheme collapsed. He was convicted of fraud and sent to prison.
During the recent GOP presidential debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that Social Security is a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme." More and more people are coming to see that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, but is it a lie, as well? Let's look at it.
Here's what the 1936 government pamphlet on Social Security said: "After the first 3 years — that is to say, beginning in 1940 — you will pay, and your employer will pay, 1.5 cents for each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. ... Beginning in 1943, you will pay 2 cents, and so will your employer, for every dollar you earn for the next 3 years. ... And finally, beginning in 1949, twelve years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year." Here's Congress' lying promise: "That is the most you will ever pay."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't think the President's new "Buffett Rule" to create a higher tax rate for millionaires makes sense.
Speaking on Sunday's "Meet the Press," McConnell said, "With regard to his tax rate, if [Warren Buffett's] feeling guilty about it, I think he should send in a check" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For several weeks, NewsBusters has been reporting that despite protestations from liberal media members, Texas governor Rick Perry is 100 percent correct when he calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme.
On PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer put a fine point on this saying, "If Charles Ponzi had had the force of the law forcing people, new entrants, into his scheme, he’d still be going. He’d be commissioner of Social Security" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Confessore, who once worked for the liberal journals Washington Monthly and American Prospect, once again staunchly defended Social Security. In a December 2004 post for the Prospect, he praised the Times, the paper he was about to join, for its harsh coverage of President Bush’s attempt at free-market-based Social Security reform.
On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS targeted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry by using their 'Fast Draw' animators to depict the Texas governor as gun-slinging, right-wing extremist. Cartoonists Josh Landis and Mitch Butler turned to a Texas journalist who claimed that Perry "would turn back the clock. He would take America back to where there was basically no safety net" [audio clips available here].
The largely animated segment focused on Perry as part of "a contest to find out who will be 'America's Next Top Republican,'" a parody of the TV show "America's Next Top Model." After labeling the governor a "true believer," Landis noted the Texas politician's beginnings in "the dusty little town of Paint Creek," highlighting how "he bathed on the back porch," even depicting this with feet hanging out of a bathtub.
[Video clips from the segment available below the jump.]
It is very disheartening to see Republican presidential primary candidates racing to out-demagogue one another in denouncing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's accurate description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. It used to be that Republicans at least waited until the general election campaign to pander to liberals.
I admire Perry both for telling it like it is and for having the guts to stand by his statement when under fire. That shows character.
Whether or not Social Security is a Ponzi scheme was again a source of great discussion during Monday's Republican presidential debate, and it appears this is likely going to be a hot issue throughout this election cycle.
What should be interesting to participants and pundits alike is that during the last presidential campaign, on November 5, 2007, the late Tim Russert, and Chris Matthews, while talking about the Democrat candidates on an episode of MSNBC's "Hardball" broadcast exactly one year before America elected its first black president, agreed that Social Security was "a bad Ponzi scheme" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The day after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, CNN asked if Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry was being a "bomb thrower" for vilifying Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.
After playing a clip of Perry calling the program a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme," CNN's Kyra Phillips teed up Democratic strategist Maria Cardona with this question: "Bomb thrower or truth teller, Maria?" Cardona predictably replied that Perry was a "bomb thrower."
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday admitted that Social Security is technically a Ponzi scheme.
Less than 24 hours earlier, in numerous post-debate discussions, the "Hardball" host criticized Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry for saying the same thing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's not often that you see a member of the liberal media elite concede an important point to conservatives. It's even rarer when the person doing it is Obama cheerleader Chris Matthews. But that's just what happened during last night’s “Hardball” when the former Tip O’Neill aide dared to state the obvious fact that Social Security is remarkably similar to a Ponzi scheme—a truth that has become not just inconvenient to the left, but almost verboten.
Matthews’s admission occurred in a discussion about Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry who has come under a huge amount of fire from the left and even from fellow candidates for repeatedly stating that the pay-as-you-go nature of Social Security has many similarities to a classic Ponzi pyramid scheme.
New York Times online political reporter Michael Shear made Saturday’s front page with his close reading of the oeuvre of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and was predictably disturbed by what he found. “Perry’s Blunt Views in Books Get New Scrutiny as He Joins Race” amounts to a handy bit of opposition research before Perry’s debate debut on Wednesday (contingent on the wildfires in his home state of Texas).
Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, believes that climate change is a “contrived, phony mess.” The federal income tax was the “great milestone on the road to serfdom.” And the Boy Scouts of America are under attack by “a radical homosexual movement.”
George Will and Donna Brazile had a telling exchange on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
After Will listed all the excuses President Obama makes for the poor economy, Brazile said, "I thought you were going to mention media" leading Will to smartly retort, "They're not his problem" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the Associated Press's writeup ("Social Security disability on verge of insolvency") of the situation occasioned by a congressional report repeating the obvious, Stephen Ohlemacher surprisingly and correctly retold a bit of the history which readers should find quite interesting, as it largely explains how the program got out of control (bold is mine):
The opening sentence of Charles Babington's "objective report" about the possible extension of what was billed late last year as a "temporary payroll tax cut" reads like a Democratic National Committee press release: "News flash: Congressional Republicans want to raise your taxes."
It doesn't get any better until the final paragraph. Babington's babble is otherwise a long-winded, chidish taunt about the supposed hypocrisy of anyone who would like to see a program which, for all its very considerable faults, at least ran a cash surplus for several decades get into the neighborhood of where taxes collected almost equal disbursements.
As NewsBustersreported, America's media last week gushed and fawned over billionaire Warren Buffett's call for higher taxes on the rich.
On Monday, Harvey Golub, the former CEO of American Express, responded to the Oracle of Omaha in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that reveals a side of this tax story media refuse to share with the American people:
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media have largely been gushing and fawning over the current White House resident taking a vacation on Martha's Vineyard as the economy appears to be heading into a double-dip recession.
Giving an interesting insight into the President's decision to not call Congress back from its summer break to tackle the problems facing the nation was New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who wrote Sunday:
Sometimes I wonder how liberal media members could possibly live in the same country as I do and hold such startlingly absurd ideas about it.
Take for example FareedZakaria who on the CNN program bearing his name this Sunday is going to tell viewers that America would likely still have a AAA credit rating if we had a parliamentary system of government with a prime minister rather than a president (video follows with transcript and commentary):