Piers Morgan on Monday picked the wrong guy to toss Democrat talking points at.
After the CNN anchor spoke the typical liberal nonsense about Paul Ryan's budget only benefiting rich people, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scolded, "I do wonder sometimes if you guys all get off in a little club and learn a brand new mantra and then all repeat it mindlessly...You guys almost sound like you're an extension of the Obama campaign" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Advancing a false narrative about how the wealthy are paying a lower tax rate than the middle class, CBS Bob Schieffer used his 60 Minutes session with the Republican ticket to push Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to agree “fairness” means the rich should pay higher taxes. “A lot of people,” Schieffer contended, “think corporations and rich people are getting all these breaks and they’re getting stuck with paying the bills. They see some of the wealthiest paying the lowest tax rates. How are you going to fix that?”
Schieffer next insisted: “Doesn’t fairness dictate that the wealthiest people should not be paying the lowest taxes because that’s what happening many times?”
“Why do these rich people need another tax cut?” Schieffer demanded of Ryan on the April 17, 2011 program. Conveying his no-so-profound economic reasoning, Schieffer saw a pot of money to be absconded: “I mean, they’re already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?” After Ryan explained his proposal would maintain current tax revenue levels while eliminating deductions and loopholes used by the wealthy, a baffled Schiefier ruminated:
On a special Saturday edition of Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews twice claimed that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget "screws" needy people. During a segment with Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, as he asked what it was like to work with Rep. Ryan as his colleague, the MSNBC host asserted that the plan "really screws the people who desperately need Medicare and programs like that."
Politifact has set Harry Reid's pants on fire with the lie that Romney hasn't paid taxes in ten years. Even the Washington Post called out Reid's paranoid rants about Romney, labeling his statements as baseless drivel. However, the L.A. Times seems to think this whole sordid episode is scoring points for Obama.
In an obnoxious piece by James Rainey published today, the columnist wrote that "while Reid’s tax claim strained credulity, it did not seem to strain the Nevada senator. Accustomed to pitched partisan battles, he showed little inclination to back down. One of the journalists who follows Reid most closely, columnist Jon Ralston, told the Washington Post that the old pol was 'fearless and shameless.”
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl informed viewers of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in 10 years, with the ABC correspondent dismissing the accusation as "outrageous and apparently unfounded."
On Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC, co-host Bianna Golodryga seemed to admire Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for making an unsubstantiated charge that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in 10 years, as she ended a short discussion of the smear by gushing: "Harry Reid, always one to speak his mind," inspiring a chuckle from correspondent David Kerley.
“Harry Reid is disgrace. But you expect this from Harry Reid,” The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes zinged on FNC’s Special Report Friday night before turning his ire on a certain Washington, DC-based anchor for CNN for advancing Reid’s baseless allegation that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any income tax for ten years.
“The disappointing cohort in this, to me, is journalists,” Hayes contended as he recalled how “I saw another network anchor ask a Romney supporter about this accusation, saying Harry Reid is a really honorable man.”
The Big Three networks largely yawned at Majority Leader Harry Reid's wild charge on the Senate floor on Thursday that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to mention it on the evening newscasts on Thursday. On Friday morning, CBS This Morning was the lone broadcast morning show to report on Reid's "explosive accusation," as correspondent Nancy Cordes put it.
By contrast, all three networks covered Rep. Joe Wilson's 2009 "you lie" shout at President Obama at the State of the Union within 24 hours and were unanimously scandalized at the "stunning moment" in the House chamber, as then-anchor Charles Gibson labeled it on ABC's World News. Both ABC and CBS trumpeted Wilson's outburst as the "shout heard 'round the world."
Today, ATR Tax Policy Director Ryan Ellis issued a strong critique of Politifact's analysis and unfair conclusion, explaining how it is fundamentally flawed (portions bolded and underlined reflect my emphasis):
For the "You didn't build that!" file: Our friends at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) did some number crunching and calculated that American Olympians who win gold medals this year will face nearly $9,000 in federal income tax per each one earned. Silver medalists would pay just a bit over $5,300.
What's more, in undoubtedly one aspect of American exceptionalism that American liberals love, the U.S. is the only developed country that taxes income earned overseas by its citizens, notes ATR's Hugh Johnson:
Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) I critiqued a short Associated Press item posted earlier Monday by reporter John Hanna which seemed quite alarmed at the notion that "Conservatives in Republicans are turning against moderates in their own party."
Hanna expanded his report on Monday. Its apparently final version, time-stamped at 5:16 p.m. at the AP's national site, goes further into describing those scary conservatives who want Republicans who will act on principle instead of just going along. What follows are excerpts from material added after the initial report:
Gosh, I think John Hanna and the Associated Press need to do something about their use of eliminationist language and violent imagery.
Look at how AP headlined Hanna's late morning report on the rise of conservatism in several midwestern and southern states at the likely expense of moderate incumbents (shown in full because of its brevity and for fair use and discussion purposes).
Journalists are quite eager to undermine Mitt Romney’s trip. “A new diplomatic dust-up,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley teased Monday night, citing how “Mitt Romney in the Middle East says culture makes Israelis economically superior to Palestinians.” NBC’s Peter Alexander declared upsetting Palestinians meant Romney’s “day began in Israel with another diplomatic misstep” as ABC’s David Muir saw “another overseas controversy in a trip with missteps already.”
Muir also discovered, without citing any evidence, “fallout today from a question we asked Romney during our one-on-one last night on World News,” specifically Muir’s demand to know: “Was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9 percent” income tax rate?
In his column at the Los Angeles Times today (HT to a NewsBusters tipster), Michael Hiltzik engages in predictable whining about discussions on how to bring the federal deficit under control seem "increasingly to be driven by the wealthy." In the instance he cites, one could substitute "big bank and big company CEOs," who seem to have recently decided that President Obama's Simpson Bowles debt commission had a good roadmap in late 2010 after being as far as I can recall pretty much AWOL on the matter when it was first presented.
That's fine. Hiltzik entitled to his take. But he's not entitled to his facts, particularly his assertions on Social Security (bold is mine):
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.]