In a surprising segment, ABC’s 20/20 highlighted several cases of freeloading by people looking to fraudulently claim disability. While the program did not get to the heart of the matter – just how easy it is to claim disability and the skyrocketing cost of the program – noting a major flaw in an expensive government program is rare for a liberal network like ABC.
Yahoo national political columnist Matt Bai – a former staff writer for Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine – wants to be impressed that Gov. Chris Christie is proposing Social Security reforms as he visits New Hampshire and flirts with a presidential campaign. "Chris Christie bets on bold" is his headline.
But Bai chided Christie for failing to raise the cap on Social Security payroll taxes, which would end the fiction that taxpayers are just contributing to their own retirement through the bloated federal government. Raising taxes? Bai said it creates “speaking-in-tongues madness” on the Right:
Esquire’s Pierce deems Ryan “the single biggest fake in American public life” and declares that he “should have no more credibility on [fiscal] issues than does Sarah Palin, his predecessor in the second spot on the [Republican] ticket. Any Democratic congresscritter who seeks to make a deal with him should be drummed out of Washington. Any reporter or pundit who takes his plans for the economy seriously should be reassigned to the custodial staff.”
In the 1980s and ’90s, journalists passed along expert predictions of the world as they thought it would be in 2015. Now that the New Year has finally arrived, it might be fun to recall a few of those forecasts: starvation due to overpopulation, troops keeping women out of abortion clinics, and a U.S. government drowning under massive revenue surpluses.
Far be it from me to talk a leftist columnist out of an ignorant, self-satisfied position which might, if anything, cause his fellow travelers to hit the accelerator a little less aggressively in future political campaigns.
At the Atlantic on Monday afternoon, Richard Reeves, policy director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, claimed that the left shouldn't be so glum after Tuesday's election results, because "progressive policies are working." His very first graph makes a mockery of his claim:
On Thursday evening, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appeared on the PBS NewsHour to discuss his new memoir. Not only did the taxpayer-subsidized anchor Gwen Ifill gently press Geithner from the left on policy matters, she failed to ask him about one of his most startling admissions – that Obama administration officials wanted him to lie during appearances on the Sunday morning TV talk shows.
It's not for a lack of air time either. Ifill gave a two-minute introduction, followed by a 10-minute interview, yet she never got around to this revelation from Geithner’s book Stress Test:
Charlie Rose invited on Timothy Geithner for the entire hour on his PBS show to plug his new memoir but never once asked him about the juiciest nugget in the book - that the White House told Geithner to lie to the media.
On Monday’s edition of PBS’s Charlie Rose show, the CBS This Morning co-host never got around to asking the former Treasury Secretary about his revelation that White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer pressured him to lie to the likes of Rose’s CBS colleague, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer. (video after the jump)
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's Fox and Friends on FNC, conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham asserted that former Obama administration Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should have resigned when he was asked to lie about the role Social Security plays in the federal government's fiscal problems.
After a quote from Geithner's book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, in which he recalled that Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer asked him to claim publicly that Social Security does not play a role in the budget deficit as a "dog whistle" to the left. [See video below.]
On October 3, the National Retail Federation projected that "sales in the months of November and December" will "marginally increase 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, over 2012’s actual 3.5 percent holiday season sales growth." But on October 16, it warned that "the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, décor, greeting cards and more, two percent less than the $752.24 they actually spent last year."
Anne D'Innocenzio at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in a report on the upcoming Christmas shopping season, chose to report the NRF's overall November-December increase, and ignored the obviously more relevant and more recent individual spending expectations. She also held off mentioning the elephant in the room — sharply reduced spending by Obamacare "sticker shock" victims and those who anticipate more of the same during 2014 — until the 19th of her 21 paragraphs (bolds are mine):
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Steve Kroft boosted the agenda of Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-identified socialist, by granting him 30 seconds of air time to attack billionaire Pete Peterson, who was featured on the November 17, 2013 edition of the news program. However, this half-minute block was 2.5 times the amount that Peterson got during Charlie Rose's report [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Rose merely played a 12-second soundbite of Peterson during the segment, and mentioned the former Nixon Cabinet official's involvement with a group of philanthropists, who are donating at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity:
There was no annual adjustment to Social Security benefits for inflation during 2010 or 2011. That's because the 2009 increase of 5.8 percent (announced in November 2008, and considered the "2009" increase at this table) was artifically lifted by the $4 per gallon gas prices seen in the summer of 2008, the period used in the annual inflation adjustment calculation. After gas prices came down, overall prices levels were slightly lower during the next two years.
With that background, it's hard to imagine how a headline writer at the Associated Press, aka the Adminstration's Press, could transform what writer Stephen Ohlemacher accurately described as an "historically small increase" to "among the lowest in years" — unless it's to create a false impression among those who only read headlines that the government is being unduly stingy in disbursing benefits. Excerpts from Ohlemacher's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Quick: how much were Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps cut by the sequester? Zero, you say? Those programs were exempted from sequester cuts, and Medicare was reduced by only 2%? Correctomundo!
So what was Andrea Mitchell thinking when she claimed on her MSNBC show that the sequester "gutted" social programs? You tell me. View the video after the jump.