On Monday, President Obama announced that 2011's budget deficit is going to be an all-time high $1.65 trillion.
In an interview with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly later in the day, ABC's George Stephanopoulos predictably blamed the red ink on former President George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In his lifetime, Princeton economics professor and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman has published 20 books, over 200 papers, and since the year 2000 two columns a week at the New York Times.
Clearly without understanding the irony of his question, the man once accused by the Gray Lady's ombudsman of possessing a "disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers" asked his readers Monday, "How can voters be so ill informed [sic]?":
As NewsBusters previously reported, CNBC's Rick Santelli was very disappointed by Friday's jobs report from the Labor Department showing a surprising decline in the unemployment rate to 9.0 percent.
Disappointing is hardly the word I would use for buried inside the numbers was another huge decline in the size of the American labor force that should have economists and government officials fearing for our ability to ever balance our budget or be able to fund our rising expenditures without issuing more and more debt.
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Situation Summary stated (emphasis added):
In the middle of a rather comical exchange on PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday evening, Washington Post columnist Colby King accused fellow panelist Charles Krauthammer of being "cranky" concerning President Obama's State of the Union address.
Not at all surprising to fans of the Fox News contributor, Krauthammer struck back and did so quite impressively (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The President that expanded the role, scope, and size of the federal government more than all that came before him or since is unquestionably Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Yet on Tuesday, moments after calling Congresswoman Michele Bachmann a "balloon head," MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually said FDR "bailed out capitalism in the '30s" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Did you know that the "big new tax law" signed by President Obama yesterday "will save taxpayers, on average, about $3,000 next year," and that it will have "tax breaks for being married, having children, paying for child care, going to college or investing in securities"?
Don't spend that extra $3,000 yet, because it mostly won't be there. With the only major exception being the 2-point cut in the Social Security payroll tax, and of course barring new legislation the next Congress may take on, the tax laws for the next two years will essentially be the same as they have been since 2003, when Congress lowered marginal income, capital gain, and dividend income tax rates.
This lack of major change didn't stop the Ministry of Propaganda -- er, the Associated Press -- and reporter Stephen Ohlemacher from calling the new legislation "the most significant new tax law in a decade," when there's almost nothing "new" about it, or from trumpeting how much certain American families will "save" as a result.
One of the press's longest campaigns to systematically obfuscate the truth about a specific government program is the one that has protected Social Security from reasonable scrutiny for most of the 75 years of its existence.
The Associated Press's Stephen Ohlemacher did his part to continue the misdirection in his coverage of the possible effects of the payroll tax cut President Obama and congressional Republicans have proposed.
To Mr. Ohlemacher, the Social Security system has this huge, "guaranteed" trust fund. I can almost stop there, but readers should buck up and see the following excerpt as an object example of the falsehoods fed to the public for so many years (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
You would think after the last time President Obama incorrectly said Social Security when it was originally created was exclusively for widows and orphans, someone in his administration would have corrected him so he wouldn't do it again.
Yet there he was at Tuesday's press conference making the same completely false assertion on national television (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Washington Post's Robert J. Samuelson in his Monday column scolded President Obama's deficit commission in a fashion that should be must-reading for every American, especially liberal media members.
At issue for Samuelson wasn't the cost-saving or revenue-generating ideas in the plan. Instead, he accurately pointed out that it lacked a coherent message as to why our social programs are not a right to every American at birth, and that it is not immoral for government to withdraw or lessen benefits as it sees fit:
New York magazine's John Heilemann said this weekend that President Obama is the only serious adult in the deficit reduction conversation now going on in Washington.
This deliciously came seconds before Heilemann told other guests on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," "I have been dispirited by the lack of strategy on the part of the White House since the midterm elections...specifically on this [issue]" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There are times when one has to think the Manhattan building that is the home of the New York Times doesn't have any windows, doesn't have any television sets, and doesn't have any doors that allow employees to venture out and actually see what's happening in America beyond the walls of 620 Eighth Avenue.
Consider that after the impact the Tea Party has had on our nation's politics the past 20 months, and the historic elections that just took place on November 2, Times columnist Tom Friedman actually thinks Americans aren't interested in reducing the federal deficit but are instead yearning for higher taxes and greater government spending:
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Krugman tries to clarify what he said.
Although he was likely taking a swipe at former governor Sarah Palin with the reference, Paul Krugman on Sunday recommended "death panels" as a means of helping to balance the federal budget.
In a Roundtable discussion on ABC's "This Week," the New York Times columnist said of what recently came out of the President's deficit commission, "Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
There's little debate in America that with baby boomers retiring, Social Security and Medicare are on a collision course with bankruptcy.
Regardless of this inconvenient truth, powerful media figures like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman stand in the way of any meaningful reform to these programs that might lead to their long-term viability.
Krugman proved that once again in his article Friday:
For a man who thinks Social Security is the most important social safety net we have in America, Barack Obama appears to know very little about its history.
Consider that on Wednesday, the President actually told the "Daily Show's" Jon Stewart that Social Security benefits originally only applied to widows and orphans (video available here, transcript and commentary follow):
Seniors prepared to cut back on everything from food to charitable donations to whiskey as word spread Monday that they will have to wait until at least 2012 to see their Social Security checks increase.
If no change means cutting back on food, imagine the media's hyperbole over victims if anyone ever suggests reducing payments in any federal program. That's what the Tea Party will be up against.
As for the threat to the ability of our nation's seniors to imbibe whisky, Sedensky stopped by “St. Andrews Estates North, a Boca Raton retirement community,” where “Bette Baldwin won't be able to travel or help her children as much. Dorcas Eppright will give less to charity. Jack Dawson will buy cheap whiskey instead of his beloved Canadian Club.” Another year without an increase in payments while costs hold even and Dawson will be forced to eat dog food!
New York Times correspondent Thomas Friedman is clearly unhappy about the Tea Party, so much so that he considers the movement "not that important."
Instead, he envisions another group, "which stretches from centrist Republicans to independents right through to centrist Democrats," sitting silently out there in America waiting for the right leader to emerge.
For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Here's change you can believe in!
The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
Census figures for 2009 - the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency - are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings. [...]
The anticipated poverty rate increase - from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent - would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power. [...] (more stats follow)
Looking for someone to investigate theft and questionable spending in government programs? Think twice about hiring Rachel Maddow. The earnest MSNBC polemicist has deemed such a thing impossible, at least when it comes to Social Security.
Reacting with the reptilian defensiveness of liberals whenever conservatives suggest Social Security is unsustainable, Maddow made this whopper of a claim on her show Sept. 1 in response to former senator Alan Simpson's pithy criticism of the FDR-created sacred cow --
MADDOW: Here's the broader context, what he said, it was in an email, what he wrote in that email, in which that quote, from which that quote was taken. This is what he said -- 'yes, I've made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know 'em too. It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow with 310 million [tits]', thing that starts with T that rhymes with bits.
Chris Matthews on Friday blatantly misrepresented former President George W. Bush's plan to reform Social Security in 2005.
"If George W. Bush had gotten his way and privatized Social Security and tied it to the stock market, your constituents would be 100 percent Democrats now -- 100 percent! -- because they`d be looking at their Social Security checks shrivel to nothing because they`d be based on the Dow Jones," the "Hardball" host falsely told Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
As quotes directly from the actual reform plan Bush submitted in February 2005 will demonstrate, Matthews is either completely ignorant of the facts or intentionally lied to his audience.
You decide whether the following is just a foolish mistake or a willful misrepresentation of the truth by a so-called journalist on national television (video follows with transcript, commentary, and quotes from Bush's 2005 reform plan):
The New York Times on Tuesday declared what most conservatives knew would happen if Democrats took control of both Congress and the White House: "more Americans - and not just the rich - are going to have to pay more taxes."
In its editorial comically titled "A Real Debate on Taxes," the Times predictably argued for a total elimination of the Bush tax cuts, although it favored some partial delay to this given the precarious state of the economy.
That in itself was humorous as the Times clearly seems to get that raising taxes is indeed economically damaging.
Yet maybe more telling was how this "real debate" didn't once involve the spending side of the budget:
Aug. 14 was the 75th anniversary of Social Security, the largest government program and most troubled. Social Security is in the red this year - six years ahead of forecasts. The program faces a $41 billion shortfall this year alone.
The major anniversary of a program often nicknamed the "third-rail" of politics didn't even rate a mention on NBC "Nightly News." Instead, NBC celebrated an "iconic" children's cartoon: Dora the Explorer.
"If you've ever said the phrase: ‘Swiper, no swiping.' then you know the power of the little girl who made that phrase famous." Kate Snow enthusiastically teased. "Dora the Explorer will forever be a seven-year-old cartoon character, but this weekend marks the tenth anniversary of a ground-breaking show that has been almost inescapable for a generation of kids."
Don't they usually wait until after Labor Day to do this?
Ten days ago, I asserted that that the administration's cynical use of Andy Griffith for a patently political promo on behalf of Medicare ("This year, as always, we’ll have our guaranteed benefits, and with the new healthcare law, more good things are coming: free check-ups, lower prescription costs") was "the foundation for the biennial Democratic scare-the-seniors campaign."
Well, the Social Security portion of that scare campaign kicked in this morning.
President Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to glorify Social Security's accomplishments (he "somehow" forgot to mention the program's $7.7 trillion unfunded liability) and to rip unnamed Republicans for proposing to privatize the program. The President, who has used so many straw-man arguments in the past 19 months that he ought to have a scarecrow sitting next to him every time he speaks, framed active GOP proposals as all-or-none privatization ("You shouldn't be worried that a sudden downturn in the stock market will put all you've worked hard for, all you've earned, at risk"), when they're not. For example, what President Bush proposed five years ago involved giving those who wished the opportunity to invest 2% of their pay -- out of the 12.4% of their pay that currently goes into the system -- in one or more of a limited number of investment funds.
But wait until you see how the Associated Press and Erica Werner fanned the flames even further. I found the headline that follows at both the AP's main site and at the same story at USA Today, so what you're about to see is clearly their preference:
Ed Schultz on Thursday blamed Republicans for all the unemployed people living in America today.
As he began the most recent installment of the "Ed Show" on MSNBC, the host said, "The Republican Party has been on a crusade against the middle class and the poor for the last 30 years. We're now seeing the wreckage of that race to the bottom line culture."
He disgracefully continued, "Today a government report showed weekly jobless claims at a five-month high. 484,000 new unemployment claims were filed in the week ending August 7th. And you know what folks, you can lay this right at the feet, right at the altar of the Republican Party."
Sadly, he wasn't close to done, claiming, "The people you see flooding the streets begging for help, begging for an opportunity are victims of the Republican agenda just to make sure that President Obama fails" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This is a historic year for the largest government program: Social Security, which turns 75 in just a few days. The program is also running a deficit for the first time since 1983, and ahead of estimates.
Initially, Social Security was created to provide supplemental income to elderly and disabled people who could not work, and was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Aug. 14, 1935.
Social Security is in the red six years earlier than forecasted, and for the first time since 1983 (the last time the program was "fixed"). Downplaying the significance of the problem, The New York Times reported March 24, that the program is facing a "small" $29 billion shortfall this year because the high 9.5 percent unemployment rate is cutting into payroll tax collections that fund the program's benefits. Oh, and because there isn't actually a trust fund with all the money previously collected by people paying into the system.
Problems are mounting for the Social Security program which essentially is a government-created "Ponzi scheme." It was a boon for the earliest entrants to the program like Ida May Fuller. She was the recipient of the first monthly retirement check, in 1940, and continued to collect until her death in 1975. Fuller worked only three years under the system: paying in $24.75 in taxes. By the time of her death she had collected a total of $22,888.92 according to the Social Security Administration.
Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has struck back at Paul Krugman calling the New York Times columnist "intellectually lazy."
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Krugman wrote an article the previous day castigating Ryan as "The Flimflam Man" calling the Congressman a "charlatan" and a "fraud" while claiming his "Roadmap" to balance the nation's budget was "drenched in flimflam sauce."
Krugman's criticisms of the Republican rising star were of course praised by all manner of media member from the shills at MSNBC to the sycophants in the liberal blogosphere.