Carrying water for the left as their pet programs implode while pretending to be an objective reporter is a daunting task. The Associated Press's Stephen Ohlemacher was not up to that task Thursday afternoon. Twice, in relatively early paragraphs of his 31-paragraph writeup, the AP reporter claimed that the Social Security system has "money." He then separately quoted a Democratic congressperson who insisted that it has money, and that the mere act of correctly asserting that it doesn't "manufactures a crisis."
In his MSNBC show The Last Word Tuesday evening, Lawrence O’Donnell dedicated a segment to describing his opinion of what “good and bad socialism” looks like. Naturally his example of “good” socialism included the man and policies Bernie Sanders. It also included a 6 year old cover from Newsweek magazine that proclaimed “We Are All Socialists now,” which detailed how it's becoming normal (and good) for America to fund massive socialist policies like Social Security and Medicaid. Bad socialism is, of course, allowing the government to “socialize” the sports industry by subsidizing the construction of new stadiums for rich and greedy team owners and the millionaire athletes they employ.
Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935.
In anticipation of the New Deal-era program's 80th anniversary, the Associated Press's Stephen Ohlemacher presented as facts several unfortunately widely believed distortions. His worst offense against common sense was an item in his list of "modest changes" which could "save" the actuarially bankrupt (to the tune of at least $10.6 trillion) program. The AP reporter included in his list of what he claimed would be "modest changes" the idea of applying the 12.4 percent payroll tax to absolutely all earned income. Modest, schmodest.
A week after CNN's New Day aired a pair of pre-recorded segments focusing on an allegedly balanced group of New Hampshire voters who ended up displaying political views stacked heavily in the liberal direction, this week's batch of voters -- this time from Charleston, South Carolina -- appear even more slanted to the left in spite of suggestions of a balanced sample with equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independents.
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.]