You know, President Obama is such a constructive guy. Why, he's a veritable Mr. Sunshine like Chicago Cubs baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. He hardly ever goes after presidential opponent Mitt Romney with harsh criticism. When he does, it's a "rare swipe."
That's what Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press told his readers yesterday in his coverage ("New day, old bickering on taxes between Obama, GOP") of the President's weekly radio address and related matters. Kuhnhenn, who between shifts as a reporter must live in a hermetically sealed cave, wrote the following:
In an interview with Mitt Romney in London on Wednesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams grilled the Republican candidate about releasing more tax returns: "People hear he's not going to release the rest of his returns and they wonder why. They wonder, is there a year there where he paid no taxes? They wonder about expensive horses and houses....what is it that is preventing you from releasing the rest of your returns?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In another question designed to portray Romney as secretive, Williams quoted New York Times columnist David Brooks exclaiming: "[Romney] has an amazing personal story....He can't talk about it because it involves Mormonism. He is personally a decent guy. For some reason he's not willing to talk about it. He's a hidden man." Williams fretted: "Are you a hidden man?"
Charlie Rose omitted mentioning the continuing high unemployment rate as he interviewed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose also forwarded a criticism Geithner from the left, that the Cabinet official was "too friendly to the banks, because he knew them from his years at the New York Fed."
The anchor also didn't challenge the Obama administration official's assertion that keeping all of the current tax rates would be a "deeply irresponsible thing to do fiscally and economically now. If you do it, it costs a trillion dollars over ten years - a trillion dollars over ten years, which we don't have and we're not going to go out and borrow from other countries to support in that context."
Gosh, if Apple would only send the money it has parked overseas back to the United States and pay income taxes on it, the federal government's situation would be so much better, the budget would would balance, and ... no, not really. According to Peter Svensson at the Associated Press, the company has $74 billion in cash parked overseas, meaning that it would owe federal income taxes of about $26 billion at the maximum statutory rate of 35% if it brought it all back at once. That amount would cover the average daily deficit incurred during the past three and now going on four years for about a week.
If the idea of tax increases is so darned popular, why do journalists "creatively" avoid using the term?
Here's an example from a lengthy Saturday report on Democrat Bob Kerrey's U.S. Senate comeback effort in Nebraska by Karen Tumulty at the Washington Post, wherein she describes the 1993 Clinton tax hikes as a "deficit-reduction plan" (bolds are mine):
Norah O'Donnell adopted the left's spin on extending the current tax rates on Friday's CBS This Morning, challenging Rep. Paul Ryan when he asserted that "they're really not tax cuts. We're just talking about keeping taxes where they are." She asked, "You're calling them tax policies and tax code. You're afraid to call them tax cuts now?" O'Donnell laughed when Ryan affirmed that "they're not tax cuts," and replied, "Oh, Congressman, come on!" [video below the jump; 02:16 into the segment]
Back on July 9, 2012, the White House correspondent bizarrely cited that there was a $150 billion "cost to taxpayers" if the existing tax rates were maintained for another year.
New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman helped the Democrats's tax-hike agenda in his front-page story Wednesday, "At Fiscal Cliff, Anti-Tax Vow Gets New Look," suggesting Obama's proposed tax hikes were slight and "considerably smaller" by percentage of the U.S. economy than those installed by President Clinton in 1993, as if such an arcane statistic was the only worthwhile one for judging the wisdom of a tax hike.
On July 13, President Barack Obama told a campaign audience in Roanoke that "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." As Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters pointed out on Wednesday, it wasn't until July 17 that any of the Big Three broadcast TV news networks recognized the existence of the remark -- and two of them failed to run the actual quote.
Part of the reason for the avoidance is that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, which seems to be serving as the establishment press's signal caller and official Obama administration water carrier, has given the remark little heed -- so little that, as is so often the case with controversial remarks made by leftists or Democrats, Obama opponent Mitt Romney had to force it into the news by incorporating it into his stump speech. At that point, as seen in Steve Peoples' Tuesday writeup carried at AZcentral.com (HT to an NB tipster; the story is already gone at the AP's national site), the wire service went into "mean Republicans attack" and "what he really meant" modes (bolds are mine):
Appearing on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza warned Mitt Romney that he would suffer "a death by a thousand political cuts" if he does not release more tax returns. Cillizza further proclaimed: "...every day we talk about tax returns. Why hasn't he released them? What's in them?...the current position he has is untenable politically."
Continuing to push for Romney to release more, Cillizza predicted: "...what we don't know is how much tax he did pay. And until he releases more...the Obama team, at least, is not going to let this go away." He then concluded: "...all this stuff gets them [Republicans] away from talking about what they want to talk about, which is why I think he [Romney] needs to lance the boil, politically, sooner rather than later."
A study released Wednesday from accounting firm Ernst & Young, which estimated that the U.S. would lose 710,000 jobs if the Bush-era tax cuts on the highest income earners aren't renewed, apparently isn't newsworthy to CBS. The network's Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts omitted the study, which also predicted that the nation's already struggling economic output would decline another 1.3 percent.
By contrast, on the July 9, 2012 edition of CBS Evening News, White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell played up a supposed $850 billion "cost to taxpayers" over 10 years if the current tax rates are extended.
Despite Mitt Romney clearly going on the offensive by seizing on President Obama's gaffe that business owners "didn't build" their businesses, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander dismissed it as a futile effort: "...the Romney campaign right back where it started the day...on the defensive."
Early in the report, Alexander did his best to downplay Obama's comment that: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen." Alexander spun that Obama made the remark,"While outlining his vision of American progress as a partnership between business and government last Friday."
The liberal media paranoia over Mitt Romney’s tax returns reached a new low on Wednesday's Morning Joe. For weeks, MSNBC has been fretting over Mitt Romney’s refusal to release more than two years of taxes and has devoted days to discussing this non-issue.
Appearing as a guest on Morning Joe, journalist Carl Bernstein poured gasoline onto the liberal fire by saying Romney’s refusal to release more tax returns was a disgrace asking "how we can have a candidate for President of the United States who won't release his tax returns?" [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
Gwen Ifill of the PBS Newshour hosted Jonathan Martin of Politico and Molly Ball of The Atlantic magazine in a left wing cuddlefest that bashed Romney over Bain, his taxes, and Solyndra on July 16. Ms. Ifill was not the least concerned that this story is mere fodder for the Obama campaign to pivot away from its abysmal economic record, but nevertheless, started off the shooting gallery by asking Jonathan Martin to "help us explain this Bain back-and-forth."
"At the end of this weekend, was there any more clarity about when he left and if he left Bain?" Ifill asked:
CNN's Erin Burnett, injecting her own opinion into her newscast, lectured Mitt Romney on why he should release more tax returns and pay more taxes, on Monday's OutFront. "Release the returns," she told Romney.
"If there's a lot of tax shelters and some frankly incredibly low tax rates, significantly lower say than your 13.9 percent rate in 2010, Mitt, then say this: My tax rates were too low. I don't believe that passively invested money should be taxed lower than income other people earn by working. I benefitted from low rates on investment. That's not great policy and I'm going to change it." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
One useful interpretation of a journalist's use of "some people say that" or "some argue that" without an accompanying reference to or quote from a subject matters expert is that such phrases really mean "in my opinion."
This is the very likely case in a disingenuously headlined Associated Press story yesterday by Andrew Taylor concerning the standoff between the Republicans, who want the current income tax structure continued for at least another year, and Democrats, including President Obama, who want to raise taxes (they describe it as "ending the Bush tax cuts," which fully went into effect over nine years ago) on "the rich," currently defined as people making $200,000 or more per year. Taylor put the following statement out there without identifying any economist or political analyst who might agree with it (because I doubt there are many, or even any):
In an interview with Republican strategist Steve Schmidt on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie portrayed Mitt Romney's decision not to release more tax returns as a sign of guilt: "Mitt Romney is within the letter of the law, but he's on the low end of the norm. Do you think that he's left the impression with voters that perhaps he does have something to hide?"
A list appeared on screen of the amount of tax returns released by other presidential candidates in past years as Schmidt provided a bland response that only reinforced Guthrie's assertion: "...when you don't disclose something, one side is demanding you disclose it. People in your own party are saying you ought to disclose it. I think the American people look at it and they go immediately to, 'What's he hiding?' Whether that's a fair conclusion or not."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie kept up the drum beat for Mitt Romney to release more tax returns as she proclaimed: "Mounting pressure. Mitt Romney facing new calls to release more of his tax returns. And this time they're coming from prominent conservatives."
In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander failed to back up Guthrie's headline until the very end of the segment: "...there is growing pressure, this morning, for Romney to share more of those tax returns. You'll remember his own father released 12 years' worth during his 1968 presidential bid. And now, Savannah, some prominent conservatives are urging Romney to put more returns out. They say get it over with. One even calling Romney's refusal to do so, quote, 'crazy.'" Alexander did not mention the name of a single "prominent conservative" in the report.
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS, Time magazine's Rana Foroohar - identified as assistant managing editor in charge of economics and business on Time's Web site - lamented that she was "sad" at how much taxes are being discussed as she asserted that "one thing that's not going to get us some kind of a growth boom is a tax cut," and then called for more government spending which she claimed would entice businesses into more economic activity.
Without clarifying that the recent political debate about taxes has been about preventing tax rates from increasing as the Bush tax cuts expire, Foroohar dismissed the effectiveness of tax cuts and explained her prescription for the economy:
Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist had himself quite a day on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday dispelling liberal media myths.
In the course of about five minutes, Norquist gave a much-needed education to CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen and the Washington Post's Bob Woodward on which political party in Washington is obstructionist (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Sunday newspaper supplement Parade magazine is showing its liberal bias again...but this time, it's helping the Bush family whacks anti-tax conservatives again. Just as Jeb Bush slammed the Grover Norquist tax pledge last month, George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush unload for this Sunday's papers. George asks: "Who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?" Barbara thinks he should "go back to Alaska."
Parade puffs Bush up by claiming he was "vindicated in many respects" for scrapping his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge -- although you certainly cannot claim it reduced the deficit as he promised during his one term:
As I noted yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday refused to call a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, even though President Barack Obama days earlier urged passage of such tax cuts as soon as possible. Predictably, however, the July 11 editions of the network evening newscasts -- ABC's World News, the CBS Evening News, and NBC's Nightly News -- all ignored the development. Ditto with the network morning shows today.
Each evening newscast did, however, note the House vote to repeal ObamaCare, the first such vote after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday rejected a Republican request to vote on President Obama’s income tax plan amid defections within his caucus on tax policy," Alexander Bolton of The Hill newspaper reported just before 10:30 a.m. today. "Reid appeared exasperated by the Republican request to vote on extending the Bush-era tax rates when Democrats would prefer to focus this week on a small-business tax package estimated to create 1 million jobs," Bolton added.
You may recall that on Monday, President Obama renewed his call to extend the Bush tax cuts for every income bracket except that covering income earners making $250,000/year and more, blasting a "stalemate" in Washington and urging Congress to "come together and get this done" without delay because (emphasis mine):
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about philanthropist Denise Rich renouncing her U.S. citizenship to reportedly avoid paying taxes, advertising executive Donny Deutsch used the incident to proclaim: "We are a country that is at class warfare now. It is reality. And this is the kind of thing that if I'm home watching, I go, screw you, get out of my country!"
NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman had a similar reaction as she denounced the ultimate sin for liberals, the wealthy not paying enough taxes: "I think this is despicable. I have no – nothing but contempt for Denise Rich trying to escape taxes....Anyone who turns down an American citizenship, It's crap....It's crap, it's absolute crap."
CNN brandished liberal talking points on taxes during its morning and evening programming on Monday, in light of President Obama wishing to extend the Bush tax cuts to only those making less than $250,000 a year.
The President "has been cutting taxes like crazy," insisted anchor Christine Romans, and both she and host Piers Morgan questioned the economic benefits of the Bush tax cuts. Morgan suggested that the wealthy should indeed see their taxes go up. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
$150 billion. That’s “the cost to taxpayers” for President Barack Obama’s proposal to not increase the income tax rate for those earning less than $250,000, White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell bizarrely asserted on Monday’s CBS Evening News. As for Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s desire to keep rates the same for all permanently, O’Donnell fretted: “The cost to taxpayers? An additional $850 billion over the next ten years.”
So, not increasing the amount a person pays in federal income tax is a “cost” to them? That’s just surreal, but reflects the media’s conflation of taxpayers and the government.
On Friday's The Ed Show, MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe - formerly of Newsweek - compared Mitt Romney's economic plan to a "pre-9/11" mentality as he went along with substitute host Michael Eric Dyson's complaint that Republicans are being "clearly obstuctionist" against President Obama's economic agenda.
Liberal media's love for higher taxes is a thing of legends.
On Inside Washington Friday, PBS's perpetually pandering pundit Mark Shields told viewers that since 1991, "21 years, Republicans have not voted for a single broad-based tax increase, and that’s become the theology of the party, the ideology of the party, the definition of the party, and that is irresponsible" (video follows with transcript and commentary):