On Friday's World News, ABC's David Kerley pressed I.R.S. Commissioner John Koskinen about taxpayers who are unable to "get an answer as to how much they're supposed to pay," due to long wait times on the agency' help line. However, Kerley didn't bother to ask Koskinen about the House Ways and Means Committee's Wednesday vote to refer former IRS official Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for prosecution, over alleged targeting of Tea Party groups for auditing.
In fact, as of Friday, none of the Big Three evening newscasts have covered the House committee's criminal referral, nor the House Oversight Committee voting on Thursday to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. Instead, the ABC correspondent zeroed in on taxpayers' complaints about the IRS help line, as well as the commissioner's YouTube video warning about how to deal with the poor service there: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Dalton Conley is a professor at New York University and author of the book “Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask.” With his son – Yo Jeremijenko-Conley, a high school student – he has written a piece for the Sunday Outlook section on punishing good parents if they’re rich.
As I noted on Saturday, the idea that a state with about $6 billion in overdue unpaid bills would choose to raise taxes and apply the money to new spending is appalling. But when it comes to describing a state's finances, "appalling" and "Illinois" have belonged in the same sentence for so long, it's hard to remember when that wasn't the case.
Part of the reason that such proposals gain traction is that the press only occasionally reminds its readers, listeners and viewers of the past-due balance situation. As Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's proposal to increase the income tax on incomes above $1 million by 60 percent (from 5 percent to 8 percent made legislative headway and Govenor Pat Quinn surprised absolutely no one by backing the idea of making supposedly "temporary" income tax increases imposed three years ago permanent, both the local Chicago Daily Herald and the Associated Press predictably failed in this regard.
All three network evening newscasts on Thursday found time to cheer the JFK Library Foundation announcing former President George H. W. Bush would the 2014 recipient of its annual Profile in Courage award. So what specific accomplishment did the organization cite from the Republican's decades of public service? His decision to hike taxes in 1990 that cost him re-election and paved the way for Bill Clinton to become president. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: "Bush had famously said, 'Read my lips. No new taxes.' His decision to break that promise not only took courage, as the award says, it also may have cost him re-election."
One of the odd things about the weekend pot-stirring by Matt Drudge over his stated inclusion of one-quarter of his estimated 2014 "Obamacare penalty" tax for not carrying health insurance coverage this year — calling it a "liberty tax" — is that few if any of those who criticized him seem to have bothered to consult with a tax practitioner for an expert take on the matter before what we now know were serious misfires. Either that, or they did, decided that they didn't like the answers, and crawled back into their holes. That list includes Jesse Lee, the White House's Director of Progressive Media and Online Response (yes, that's a real position), who didn't even understand that Drudge is paying this year's taxes this year, not last year's taxes.
Thus, I thought it would be useful to publish a note I received this morning from someone who works at a CPA firm in the Midwest who had a chance to read my NewsBusters post on Tuesday and two earlier technical posts (here and here) at my home blog (bolds are mine):
I would say "Only in Illinois," but I suspect that other states have similar problems and would propose "solutions" just as nutty as the Democratic state Speaker Michael Madigan and his party have chosen.
The states has an unpaid bills backlog of $5.8 billion, meaning that vendors are going months before they get paid. We're supposed to be thrilled that this total is down from $8.8 billion several years ago. So when I read that Madigan wants to impose a "millionaire" income tax of 3 percent over and above the steep tax increases on income-earning Illinois residents across the board three years ago, I figured that he would at least plan on using the money to further whittle down those past-due amounts. Silly me. Unfortunately, reporters Ray Long, Monique Garcia and Maura Zurick at the Chicago Tribune didn't even bring the topic of old bills up in covering Madigan's ill-advised plan, which seems to have more to do with swaying the November election results — especially the race for the governor's mansion — than anything substantive:
You reap what you sow. Most MSNBC hosts have excitedly touted ObamaCare over the past four years, despite warnings that the law would increase costs for businesses. Well, now we are beginning to see the natural consequences of what the health care law is doing to businesses, and at least one MSNBC host is upset by it.
On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt was incensed that Gator’s Dockside, a Florida restaurant chain, has started charging its customers a one percent surcharge to help cover expected ObamaCare-related costs. Witt fumed, “[I]s it even legal to just add on a surcharge like that? I mean, it’s essentially a tax.” [See video below the break.]
At this rate, Ruth Conniff may not last much longer as political editor of the Progressive magazine, a venerable left-wing periodical.
Last week, for example, while a guest on Ed Schultz's radio show, Conniff became quite possibly the only liberal in America willing to acknowledge the obvious -- that President Obama's much-ballyhooed executive order to raise the federal minimum wage in government contracts will affect a "handful of people".(Audio after the jump)
If liberals have their way the State of the Union will be all about income inequality. That kind of speech would be cheered by many in the press, including several hypocritical millionaires who love to complain about the one percent.
The broadcast networks already took up this banner, promoting left-wing complaints about inequality and arguing for liberal solutions, in recent years. Well-paid, big name network news anchors, like Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams personally know a whole lot about wealth, since they make millions of dollars every year. At least two are worth $60 million each.
Within the past four years, these multi-millionaires have attacked the “mega-rich,” complained on air about “dangerous” income inequality, and promoted President Barack Obama’s “responsibility” to raise taxes and promote tax “fairness.”
Is Joe Scarborough taking tips from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo? Cuomo recently declared that conservatives who are pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and opposed to gay marriage "have no place in the state of New York."
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough took things a step further, telling rich people who shield money abroad to reduce their taxes "you're not welcome in the United States of America." Thundered the self-righteous Scarborough: "Follow your damn money. Leave! Go!" Wonder if Scarborough's banishment order applies to corporations as well as individuals? If so, say sayanora to Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard . . . not to mention MSNBC's previous owner, GE, from whom Scarborough took paychecks for years. All are among the 15 US corporations with the most money held offshore. View the video after the jump.
Even as he hailed Bill de Blasio's "progressive revolution," The Daily Beast's Michael Daly sought to downplay fears that the newly-sworn-in mayor was a radical leftist intent on soaking the rich. Instead Daly practically painted a picture of the Democratic politician as a drum major leading the "march" to a more "equal" New York.
While noting de Blasio was a "leader speaking much the same language" as the now moribund Occupy Wall Street movement, Daly insisted the left-of-center David Dinkins acolyte "was only asking [wealthy New Yorkers] to pay 'a little more.'" Heck, de Blasio "suggested that the city’s very wealthiest would be paying only $973 more a year," no big whoop:
Did you know that the left has been almost completely starved for funding all these years? Why, there's almost nobody out there providing seed money for "community organizers," activists, and "advocacy groups" to offset the evil impact of the Koch brothers.
Continuing an establishment press meme going back at least to April, as NewsBusters' Tim Graham noted at the time, that's the impression one would get from reading Evan Halper's coverage of Tom Steyer, the left's most recent addition to what is really a decades-long line of deep-pocketed providers of the mother's milk of politics — and the guy sure knows how to pick 'em when it comes to identifying a pet cause (HT to Gary Hall; bolds are mine):
Kelsey Snell "is a tax reporter at POLITICO Pro." Her output in a column entitled "Indiana lures 'Illinoyed' biz with tax breaks" makes one wonder how she arrived at her current position.
Snell's piece is riddled with striking omissions and lame progressive talking points. But the most jaw-dropping element in her report is her clear inability to detect erroneous numbers which she and her employer should know make no sense.
ABC This Week viewers were treated to a classic conservative versus liberal debate Sunday.
When former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich tried to blame the increase in poverty in the past five years on Republicans, former Speaker of the House and current CNN host Newt Gingrich called it "baloney" firing back, "Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
To do so, she reinvented what it is to be "rich" or "affluent." It apparently has nothing to do with how it is normally defined, i.e., based on current net worth (assets owned minus debts owed). Ms. Yen's and AP's yearning is apparently to base it on whether you're in a household which has had annual earnings above $250,000 — ever. Really. The purpose of the piece appears to be to go after this segment of the population, such as it is, because they aren't knee-jerk supporters of limitless government spending, and won't spend money on consumption to improve the economy like Keynesians think they're supposed to. Be on the lookout for a clearly misused word (HT to emailer Alfred Lemire; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made some rather ominous economic observations Sunday.
Appearing on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, Greenspan said, “[T]he level of uncertainty about the very long-term future is far greater than at any time I particularly remember.” He blamed it on “government intervention [that] has been so horrendous that businesses cannot basically decide what to do about the future” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With anti-tax Republicans in control of the House, it’s a little odd that The Washington Post would devote a story on Thursday to liberal Democrat Earl Blumenauer’s proposal to raise the federal gas tax by 15 cents a gallon.
It was stranger that reporter Ashley Halsey III seemed ordered to produce a Blumenauer press release, quoting absolutely no opposition to such a tax hike, instead quoting tax-hike backers like AAA and unions. No one seemed to ask whether the nation's infrastructure was supposed to get a boost from Obama's "stimulus."
The New York Times has been notoriously biased and wrong for a long, long time. On things large and small. The Old Shady Lady is at least consistent - if they want to advance Leftism, no facts shall impede them.
Their Ron Nixon is part of a century-plus-old pathetic tradition.
To a liberal, what's worse than smoking crack? Opposing higher taxes! Admission: I'm libertarian when it comes to drug laws. I believe the War on Drugs has been a big bust, excuse the pun, just like Prohibition was.
That said, I still found hilarious Chris Hayes' statement on his MSNBC show tonight, commenting on the admission by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that he had smoked crack cocaine, that Ford had done worse things. Among the litany of Ford's failures that were worse than getting on the pipe? Opposing higher taxes and privatizing garbage collection! View the video after the jump.
Kathleen Pender at the San Francisco Chronicle (HT Zombie at PJ Media) had some Obamacare-related financial advice for her readers on Saturday: "Consider reducing your 2014 income by working just a bit less," because doing so could get you a "huge health care subsidy."
This is not news to anyone who has studied Obamacare in detail, and shouldn't be a revelation to anyone in the business press, especially a financial advice columnist like Pender. Among several others, Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation and yours truly sounded the alarm about Obamacare's work-demotivating impact — as well as how it will encourage marital breakups and discourage couples from getting married — in early 2010. I also wrote related columns here and here in late September. Excerpts from Pender's prose follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Just when you think liberal radio host Mike Malloy can't say anything crazier than he already has, out comes another gem.
On Monday as the President and his Party were refusing to compromise with House Republicans thereby setting the wheels in motion for a government shutdown, Malloy called the GOP "religious psychopaths" who "want women to get cancer," "girls to get sexually transmitted diseases," and "Jews to kill everybody in the Middle East" in order to "bring Jesus back!" (video follows with transcript courtesy Radio EQ):
On Tuesday, Ron Binz, nominated by President Obama to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, withdrew his name from consideration. Those who want to see the economy prosper should be relieved that the position described by Matthew Daly at the Associated Press as that of "the nation's top energy regulator" won't be occupied by a died-in-the-wool "renewable" energy radical.
The AP's Daly somehow kept the word "carbon" out of his coverage of Binz's withdrawal, even though, as the Wall Street Journal noted in a September 15 editorial which appropriately used the word 11 times, the man is obsessed with it to the point of wanting to establish, in the Journal's words, a "carbon-free paradise." Excerpts from Daly's dodging, followed by additional ones from the Journal's editorial, follow the jump.
Chris Matthews just can’t make up his mind about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).
After telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe crew last week that the Texas Tea Partier is “a problem for our republic,” Matthews on Tuesday said, “I think Ted Cruz is brilliant. I think the President’s met his match in this guy” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For weeks Americans have been told that if Congress and the White House didn't agree to a Continuing Resolution to fund the government when the new fiscal year started on October 1, an economic calamity would befall the nation.
Well, the government officially shut down at midnight Monday, and markets all around the world don't seem to care.
Chris Matthews has a new book out about his former boss the late Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.
Despite this, the MSNBC host was made a fool of on Sunday's Meet the Press by Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Id.) concerning how many times the government was shut down when O'Neill ruled the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One thing which is almost as reliable as the sun rising in the east is the Associated Press, aka the Adminstration's Press, putting a better face on the federal government's fiscal situation than it deserves when a Democrat is in the White House. Almost as reliable is the arrival in a related report of some kind of statement about spending cuts which describes them as "deep," "steep," or some other awful adjective.
Have you witnessed Republicans “using extortion and blackmail?”
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward apparently has, and claimed on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that some House GOPers are using such methods to defund ObamaCare (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, liberal columnist and former CNN correspondent Bob Franken accused those who complain about "class warfare" against the wealthy of themselves waging "class warfare," but in their case, "against everybody but the super rich class."
Franken's negative interpretation of those who support capitalism came after host Harris-Perry read a quote from outgoing independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling Democrat Bill De Blasio's campaign for mayor "class warfare and racist." Franken:
Even though MSNBC host Chris Hayes has a history of airing his far-left views and has even admitted to being a "liberal caricature," he does from time to time ask contrarian questions from a conservative point of view, and managed to do so on the Monday, September 9, All In show during an interview with New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio.
On the subject of taxing the wealthy, Hayes brought up criticism from outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the MSNBC host posed: