In the course of a story ("Senate votes down controversial House budget") from all appearances designed to make House Republicans look like quixotic time-wasters while minimizing presidential embarrassment, the Associated Press's Andrew Taylor fabricated the following:
GOP senators immediately forced a vote on President Barack Obama's February budget proposal, which opened to chilly reviews in February for failing to aggressively tackle issues like the long-term future of benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security. Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the plan, which failed to receive a single vote.
No Andrew, you're wrong, wrong, at least nineteen times wrong. From Townhall's Guy Benson, with links -- The following Senate Democrats sang the praises of the President's laughingstock of a "budget" in mid-February (resorted in alphabetical order after Reid and Schumer; bolds and underlines are as they originally appeared):
As recently as last month, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was pushing for a clean debt ceiling measure. “You don’t have to have a lot of things attached to raising the debt ceiling. You can do that separately,” he told reporters at an April 14th press conference.
Now a House GOP plan to hold a vote on a clean extension of the debt ceiling is coming under fire by Reid. It will send "a terrible message to the international community," Reid said Tuesday.
Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday that the press are so in bed with President Obama that they are actually supporting Democrat lies about Medicare and Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) plan to save it.
Appearing on the "O'Reilly Factor," the syndicated columnist also told the host that Fox News is "extremely powerful" because it "broke the monopoly that liberals had on all the media for about 30 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an effort to counteract tactics that some Republicans fear could cost the GOP electoral victories in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan lays out the facts behind his proposed budget, which he calls the "Path to Prosperity," in a follow-up to his first video on the plan. Check out the new one after the break, and let us know what you think.
Although the annual federal budget deficit is expected to hit $1.65 trillion this year and the national debt is already at $14.34 trillion, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said today he disagrees with House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) assessment that America is broke.
“America is not broke,” Hoyer said at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.. “America has extraordinary resources and we can use those resources, both intellectual and financial, to get us to a place where we are again a fiscally sound nation, a fiscally balanced nation, and future generations are not at risk.”
President Obama trusts America’s generous and compassionate nature, that our rugged individualism is tempered by a belief that we’re all connected. In his speech on budget reform on April 13, he celebrated "our belief that those who benefited most from our way of life can afford to give back a little bit more."
The president’s faith in Americans’ sense of common purpose is uplifting. But it does not fit the history of American budgetary politics.
I don’t just mean Tea Partiers’ revulsion at the government spending "our money," or Republican Paul Ryan’s Reverse Robin Hood gambit to cut trillions from spending on social programs in order to pay for a tax cut for the rich.
The budgetary policy of the United States has been the least generous in the industrial world for a very long time.
This morning, Associated Press reporters Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar and Stephen Ohlemacher went back to an AP-GfK poll yours truly thoroughly discredited on May 11 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). That's when the AP's Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta laughably claimed that President Obama's approval had jumped to 60%.
NBC's David Gregory must have thought he had performed another gotcha on a prominent Republican Sunday when he cited a poll to his "Meet the Press" guest Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) finding people aren't interested in reducing Medicare spending in order to balance the budget.
Without skipping a beat, Ryan marvelously educated his host saying, "I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be. Leaders change the polls" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you had any questions as to why Dylan Ratigan belongs on MSNBC rather than CNBC they were all answered Friday night.
Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," Ratigan presented himself as a far-left commentator telling the audience of devout liberals, "This entire rhetoric machine from the Republican Party is predicated on an abandonment of arithmetic and fact" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ed Schultz on Thursday mocked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as a young, inexperienced kid who's never run a business, never had to meet payroll, and who offered up a radical plan that he doesn’t know the ramifications of.
As the host of the "Ed Show" whined, he clearly missed the irony that these very same things were said about the former junior senator from Illinois prior to Election Day 2008 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Anyone whose eyes have been glued to certain news outlets for the last 24 hours has probably heard almost nothing about one of the most offensive political advertisements in recent memory. That's because most major networks have largely failed to cover a video portraying Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan as literally throwing grandma off a cliff.
While ABC, MSNBC, and CNN continue to ignore the left-wing attack ad, these same outlets wasted no time excoriating Sharron Angle's controversial immigration ad during the 2010 cycle.
Tuesday’s New York Times featured a rare excursion into print by Timothy Egan, liberal Times reporter turned leftist nytimes.com blogger, excoriating Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and the "Tea Party political illiterates" as greed-heads for wanting to reform the bankrupt Medicare system: "The Need for Greed."
The bet was audacious from the beginning, and given the miserable, low-down tenor of contemporary politics, not unfathomable: Could you divide the country between greedy geezers and everyone else as a way to radically alter the social contract?
But in order for the Republican plan to turn Medicare, one of most popular government programs in history, into a much-diminished voucher system, the greed card had to work.
Martin Crutsinger's Wednesday, May 11 coverage of that day's release of Uncle Sam's April 2011 Monthly Treasury Statement was such a train wreck that I had to turn away before I could get through it, hoping against hope that if I came back a few days later it wouldn't seem so bad. Of course I was wrong.
How was Marty Crutisinger's report erroneous, incomplete, misleading, and from all appearances politically-driven? Let me count just some of the ways, as I go through selected segments from his report:
CBS's Cynthia Bowers trumpeted the inauguration of incoming Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday's Early Show, highlighting how the former Obama chief of staff went "weeding in a community garden. He called it...weeding out corruption." Bowers also acclaimed the legacy of former mayor and "family man" Richard M. Daley, despite referencing the poor high school graduation in the city.
When an admittedly liberal Nobel laureate in economics thinks trying to balance the budget is holding America hostage, one has to wonder if there are any adults remaining on the left side of the aisle.
Consider what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote Monday:
The opening paragraph of Saturday morning's Associated Press report by Stephen Ohlemacher and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar on the state of Social Security and Medicare and an additional sentence from the third paragraph give away the fact that theirs will not be a missive that should be taken seriously (bold is mine):
The bad economy is worsening the already-shaky finances of Medicare and Social Security, draining the trust funds supporting them faster than expected and intensifying the need for Congress to shore up the massive benefit programs, the government said Friday.
... The Social Security trust funds are projected to be drained in 2036, one year earlier than the last estimate.
This post will concentrate on Social Security. By referring to the idea that its trust fund is being "drained," the pair are perpetuating the myth that the Social Security system has a stash of cash and investments just sitting there ready to be redeemed and distributed as benefits when needed. This of course is false. What follows are four fundamental truths about Social Security.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Sunday that Democrats should risk a debt default to avoid being blackmailed by Republicans that are holding a bomb "over our head" in the form of serious budget cuts.
This came moments after FDIC chair Sheila Bair told ABC's "This Week" panel, "I think maybe there's a little too much testosterone in this debate. It’s too much about winning and losing and not enough both sides are right, let’s come together and have a solution" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson on Friday joined the ranks of liberal media members claiming Republican calls for Democrats to stop saying the GOP is trying to destroy Medicare is hypocritical due to their support for Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget proposal.
When he got his chance to address this absurdity, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Apparently, the state of California has been trying to do something about the runaway costs of its "traditional welfare" program. Nationally, it's known as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). In the tarnished Golden State, it's called CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids).
Wednesday, the supposedly nonpartisan but clearly left-leaning California Budget Project (CBP) issued a report entitled "Recent Cuts to CalWORKs Have Significantly Affected Families and Local Communities." At the Sacramento Business Journal, Staff Writer Kathy Robertson essentially transcribed its major points. Had she done further work, she would have noted that the number of CalWORKs recipients, already over triple the national average as a percentage of the population, increased by another quarter-million during the past 27 reported months (June 2008 to September 2010) to 1.46 million. That total is almost 4% of the state's population. The welfare-receiving percentage of the population in the rest of the country, including a few other states which have allowed their rolls to unreasonably balloon, is less than 1.2%.
Here are several paragraphs from Robertson's report:
CBS gave President Obama over 26 and a half minutes to answer 12 questions related to the economy during a town hall aired on Thursday's Early Show. Obama got six uninterrupted minutes to answer one question about Medicare during the hour-long event. Host Erica Hill wondered how the Democrat could "change the mind-set from things are tough to things are turning around" with the economy.
Hill led the town hall with her concerned economic "mind-set" question, noting beforehand that "it seems that we have been hearing, whether it's on TV, at the office, around the kitchen table, things are tough," but continuing that "there's positive economic data coming through. Yet, sometimes it can feel like for every two steps forward, it's one step back. There's definitely a psychological component to this recovery."
Here's a safe prediction: The "bipartisan" group of congressmen led by Vice President Joe Biden will fail to solve the $14 trillion debt crisis.
Here's another prediction: The Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org/) has developed a formula, made possible by a grant from The Peterson Foundation (www.pgpf.org/), that could balance the budget in 10 years, reduce the debt to 30 percent of gross domestic product within 25 years, cut the size of the federal government in half by 2036, reform the tax code, restructure Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while protecting the most vulnerable, and not increasing taxes if -- and it is a very big if -- politicians prefer the solution to continued bickering.
Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy has called himself the "anti-Christie" because of his willingness to raise taxes to help balance the Nutmeg State's budget. By contrast, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the object of Malloy's scorn, recently ruled out tax increases, as he has been doing ever since he became governor in 2010.
Malloy's recently passed taxes amounting to an estimated $1.4 billion annually include property tax hikes which according to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial (quoted at link's third item) amount to "$500 a year for the average homeowner."
But Malloy still needs to balance the budget by extracting significant cost savings from the state's recalcitrant employee unions, and guess what? Just like Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, he's staring at the need to resort to layoffs if he can't reduce employment costs. But unlike the Associated Press's militant reporters in Wisconsin, the AP's Susan Haigh in Hartford is letting Malloy off relatively easy, as seen in these excerpts from her Tuesday evening report:
According to a USA Today analysis, Americans are paying a lower percentage of income tax rates now than in the 1970s-1990s – and CNN's Jack Cafferty used this fact Monday to ask if raising taxes should be the first priority in Congress's deficit reduction plan. He hinted that the Treasury could use the extra revenue from higher taxes.
Then on Tuesday, CNN Anchor Carol Costello continued the talking points on the 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. EDT news hours, asking if it is time "for the GOP to blink" on the tax hike standoff. "[Obama] toppled Osama bin Laden. But can he slay the budget dragon? Not without striking a deal with this guy, House Speaker John Boehner," Costello ominously declared.
In an interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner on Tuesday's Today on NBC, co-host Matt Lauer fretted over the upcoming debate on raising the nation's debt limit: "...after the news surfaced that Osama bin Laden had been killed there was this – a good feeling in this country....Are we going to see that unity shattered in the coming weeks when we start to debate things like the debt ceiling?"
Boehner explained the importance of addressing the issue: "45 of the last 50 years we spent more money than what we brought in. We cannot continue to do that without imprisoning the future for our kids and grandkids. So this is the moment, now, to address those problems as adults." In response, Lauer quoted Boehner's recent call for cutting trillions in spending and wondered: "When you look at the gut-wrenching negotiations that took place to get $39 billion in cuts for the 2011 continuing resolution, how in the world are you going to get trillions of dollars in cuts?"
The Washington Examiner reports that it's been 768 days since the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a budget. What's the big deal? It's not like the nation is facing financial difficulties or anything.
I realize it's convenient for President Obama to pretend he's a bystander on fiscal matters when it suits him and to pass the buck that never stops with him back to Congress, but how about a little leadership on the issue for a change?
Sunday evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I predicted that the press will ignore the likelihood, based on the Congressional Budget Office's most recent Monthly Budget Review, that officially reported federal spending will top $1 trillion for the first time during a three-month period (i.e., for February through April 2010) when the Tim Geithner's gang issues its Monthly Treasury Statement on Wednesday afternoon.
You can also pretty much count on the fact that the press will greet an uptick in April and year-to-date 2011 collections as something impressive. In historical context, as the graphic after the jump will show, it absolutely is not.